The Paris-based agency published a report at the request of Germany, as part of its presidency of the group of seven advanced economies, which represent 40% of the world economy and 25% of the energy system's CO2 emissions. .

Heavy industry (chemicals, cement, steel) is a crucial sector in the fight against climate change because it is still a major consumer of coal and gas.

It emits 6 billion tonnes of CO2 per year, more than a sixth of the emissions of the global energy system.

"It will be impossible to achieve carbon neutrality without drastically reducing emissions from heavy industry and the G7 economies have both a responsibility and an opportunity to take a leading role", underlined the executive director of the IEA , Fatih Birol.

The zero CO2 emissions scenario in 2050 by sector AFP

However, this objective comes up against a major obstacle: the technologies intended to reduce emissions in the sectors concerned are still not very advanced, at the prototype or demonstrator stage.

Strong competition on international markets also leaves companies with little financial leeway to invest.

To respond to these difficulties, the IEA made ten recommendations to the G7.

It suggests first of all establishing by 2025, in each member country, a roadmap to give the industry clear milestones and objectives on the path to decarbonization.

Then, it proposes to finance a portfolio of technological demonstrators, with at least two or three low-emission production methods in both the steel and cement sectors.

IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol in November 2021 in Glasgow Daniel LEAL AFP/Archives

Another avenue: encourage demand for products in a more virtuous way, with, for example, long-term public contracts or "carbon contract for difference" mechanisms, making it possible to bridge the profitability differential with products that are more harmful to the environment. climate.

The IEA also encourages putting the cement sector on the menu for the next COP27 in November in Egypt, after discussions deemed fruitful on steel at COP26 in Glasgow.

© 2022 AFP