Roughly half of the emission reductions needed to reach the 2050 climate goals rely on technologies in early development, demonstration or prototype phases, and accelerating innovation in this decade is critical to bring these to the market and make them cost-competitive.
To jumpstart this effort, the World Economic Forum, in partnership with US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry, announced the First Movers Coalition — a new platform for companies to make purchasing commitments that create new market demand for low carbon technologies.
The commitments aim to be collectively significant enough to commercialise decarbonisation technologies. The First Movers Coalition will create long-term impact by driving milestones this decade through investment into these technological solutions.
It will work across eight key sectors. Seven of these sectors — steel, cement, aluminum, chemicals, shipping, aviation, and trucking — account for more than a third of global carbon emissions, but do not have cost-competitive clean energy alternatives to fossil fuels.
The eighth, direct air capture, could reduce atmospheric carbon-dioxide levels to help achieve net-zero global emissions but also requires technological innovation to reach commercial viability.
The First Movers Coalition provides opportunities for a wide range of companies to make commitments, take action and build the clean and profitable supply chains of the future. It also brings together a range of civil society and expert organisations to build momentum, complement ongoing efforts and input into the design of the initiative.
World Economic Forum President Borge Brende said: “Technology has given us the tools to reduce our emissions and build a stronger and more inclusive economy of the future. For innovators and investors to play their part in tackling the climate crisis, they need clear market demand.
“The First Movers Coalition will leverage the collective purchasing power of leading companies and drive the need for these technologies. I call on business leaders to work with us and be the role models keeping our climate goals alive.”
Kerry said: “The First Movers Coalition is a platform for the world’s leading global companies to make purchasing commitments to create early markets for critical technologies needed to achieve net-zero by 2050.
“In this critical decade, we not only need to deploy as rapidly as possible existing clean energy technologies, such as wind turbines, solar panel, and battery storage, but also drive innovation for our long-term decarbonisation goals.”
In the first phase, commitments target new technologies and aim to create a market by 2030 that can be ramped up to achieve decarbonisation in 2050.