What is it about?
The chemical industry is responsible for 13% of global industrial carbon emissions. We present seven planet-compatible pathways the industry could follow to reach net zero by 2050. We show that, through a combination of demand-side and supply-side strategies, it is possible to transform the chemical sector so that it is a force for environmental good rather than a planetary-boundary-breaking threat.
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Why is it important?
In the drive for a chemical sector with net-zero emissions, much hope has been placed in supply-side technologies like carbon capture or green hydrogen. However, these solutions are still very small-scale and their future development and rollout are highly uncertain. We present seven possible pathways toward net zero that combine these supply-side technologies with strategies to reduce demand, improve efficiency, and increase material circularity. We find that in the most ambitious pathways, the chemical industry could even produce net-negative emissions whilst still meeting societal demand for chemicals.
Read the Original
This page is a summary of: Planet-compatible pathways for transitioning the chemical industry, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, February 2023, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2218294120.
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