Special focus on industry—transformation through technological innovation


One of the main challenges in reaching net-zero stems from the difficulty of eliminating, or even significantly reducing, industrial sector emissions as this sector, outside of fossil fuel production, has already decarbonized a significant portion of its activities. This chapter outlines some of the strategies that could be followed and how they apply to some heavy-emitting industries.


  • Results from the modelling of specific industrial subsectors and applications show that a mix of strategies, including technological innovation, fuel switching, product switching, and emission capture, is required to reach net-zero targets.
  • While some production reductions are necessary to add to these transformations if net-zero targets are to be met, innovation, either through the development of new technologies and processes or through a better integration of heat production and consumption systems, is essential to maintain the highest level of production.
  • While carbon capture allows for significant emission reductions, it cannot be scaled down to cover small emitting units and all industrial processes. As a result, although it is important, its role is limited, even beyond cost or storage considerations.
  • The design of effective strategies and policies to reach net-zero for the industrial sector (outside of energy production) needs to find common threads among the challenges faced by many subsectors of varying sizes and needs, as well as go beyond energy efficiency objectives.