Refining strategies and policy priorities for a successful low carbon industry transition

The Climate Group

Since April 2019, eleven state and regional governments from across Europe and North America have been taking part in the Under2 Coalition’s Industry Transition Platform – together, they’ve been working to develop strategies to cut industry emissions while supporting growth, job creation and prosperity.

The governments have formed two innovation teams – Sustainable Hydrogen and Fostering Disruptive Innovation – to address specific low carbon challenges.

Through a series of virtual workshops held in collaboration with systems change experts Edge Effects, the project participants came together to share key insights on stakeholder engagement; policy options to support industrial emissions reduction; consider ways to experiment with strategy implementation, and to support each other’s learning and journeys towards a low carbon industry sector.

Stakeholder engagement insights

To transition to a low carbon industry, stakeholder engagement is key. State and regional governments often find themselves in a unique position whereby they have the potential to influence policies at the national level, and also to engage key stakeholders at the local level.

Key stakeholders identified by the governments during the workshops included:

  • National and local level governments
  • Funders, investors and financial institutions
  • NGOs and community organisations
  • Trade associations
  • Domestic and international consumers

Stakeholder engagement is a crucial exercise and can result in either reinforced or changed thinking on strategy priorities. In the case of the Industry Transition Platform, governments discussed aligning strategies to the priorities of different stakeholder groups and engaging with their stakeholders.

Prioritising policy options

Using a systems change approach, the governments considered the impact of various policies on industry emissions and discussed in groups the best policies to support the low carbon industry transition within each of their jurisdictions.

“The biggest takeaway for me was the policy prioritisation. I found it really helpful to learn how the other governments prioritise and to challenge the thought processes they went through.”

Exploring action experiments

During the workshops, the systems change method of ‘action experiments’ was explored as a way to test complex policy options.

Action experiments can be used as microscale explorations of policies, providing opportunities for feedback and fine-tuning before implementation on a wider scale.

Examples include:

  • Pilot projects for new technologies
  • Exploring methods for raising public acceptance
  • Developing training programs and enhancing capacity

The benefits of experimentation are clear and include: to break down silos, learn from different teams and governments, and involve stakeholders.

Next steps

During the final few months of the project, participants will take part in further workshops and webinars. Governments will learn from each other and hear from industry experts who will share experience on overcoming the challenges of transitioning to a low carbon industry. Case studies will be developed to showcase the participating governments’ industry transition strategies to inspire other Under2 Coalition members.

As part of the project, Under2 Coalition members are invited to join a virtual visit to the LEILAC1 (Low Emissions Intensity Lime and Cement) project in Lixhe, Belgium on 17th March 2020, 16:00 GMT.

LEILAC is piloting a breakthrough carbon capture technology that will enable both the cement and lime industries to dramatically reduce their CO2 emissions without significant energy or cost.

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