COP27: First Movers Coalition commits $12bn to commercialise zero carbon tech

COP27 saw the latest expansion of the First Movers Coalition, made up of 65 companies with a collective market value of $8 trillion. PHOTO: Paula Prekopova on Unsplash.

Cement and concrete industry is latest sector to be added to global coalition to cut emissions.

The World Economic Forum and the US special presidential envoy for climate announced today at COP27, the expansion of a coalition of global companies, to commit $12bn in 2030 purchase commitments for green technologies to decarbonise the cement and concrete industry and other hard-to-abate sectors.

The latest expansion of the First Movers Coalition – made up of 65 companies with a collective market value of approximately $8 trillion – focuses on cleaning up one of the world’s most carbon-intensive industry sectors through purchasing commitments for low carbon technology. From construction and engineering to real estate and developers, newly announced First Mover companies have committed to purchasing at least 10% near-zero cement and concrete per year by 2030.

“Cement is the second most consumed product globally after potable water and the demand signal that top companies have set today for near-zero concrete will drive critical investment in next-generation technologies,” said John Kerry, US special presidential envoy for climate.

“I am also delighted with the increased commitments we have announced across our existing long-distance transport, heavy industry and carbon removal sectors. This unprecedented $12bn demand signal will bring competitive technologies to market this decade that are needed to decarbonise so-called ‘hard-to-abate’ sectors of the global economy.”

Kerry announced the expansion of the First Movers Coalition alongside Brad Smith, president and vice-chair of Microsoft, Mads Nipper, chief executive officer of Ørsted, and Fernando González, chief executive officer of CEMEX. Founding coalition members of the cement and concrete sector are General Motors, Vattenfall, ETEX, Ørsted and RMZ Corporation.

Børge Brende, president of the World Economic Forum, said: “First Movers Coalition companies are paving the way for the decarbonisation of our industries through disruptive innovations across seven of the hardest-to-abate sectors. The cement and concrete sector is the latest addition to this effort, creating the early markets needed to scale innovative green technologies. We are thrilled to see government partners join in this effort to ensure a net-zero transition that is truly global.”

Since the coalition’s launch in 2021, companies that make up the First Movers Coalition have made unprecedented advance purchase commitments by 2030 for near-zero carbon steel, aluminum, shipping, trucking, aviation, carbon dioxide removal solutions and now cement and concrete.

Recently joined First Movers Coalition members are Autodesk (aviation), Bang & Olufsen (aluminum), Constellium (aluminum), Emirates Global Aluminium (carbon removal technologies), ETEX (cement and concrete), General Motors (cement and concrete), Hoegh Autoliners (shipping), PepsiCo (aluminium, trucking), Rio Tinto (aviation, shipping and trucking) and RMZ Corp (cement and concrete).

According to experts, the critical climate target of 1.5ºC can only be reached if new decarbonising technologies are quickly developed. Demand signals today for innovative green technologies by 2030 will ensure that innovative green solutions are invested in and scaled in this decade.

The First Movers Coalition was launched by US president Biden and the World Economic Forum at COP26 last year to decarbonise heavy industry and the long-distance transport sectors responsible for more than one-third of global emissions.

The global initiative, made up of 65 companies, works to harness the purchasing power of companies to decarbonise seven hard-to-abate industrial sectors that currently account for 30% of global emissions – aluminum, aviation, chemicals, concrete, shipping, steel and trucking – along with innovative carbon removal technologies.