Steel, cement, and chemicals are the toughest climate puzzle

Volts podcast: Rebecca Dell on decarbonizing heavy industry

For most of the carbon-intensive sectors of the economy — electricity, transportation, buildings — we have a pretty good sense of how to eliminate carbon emissions. None of those sectors will be easy to decarbonize. Every one is an enormous practical challenge. But in each case, the basic path to zero is clear, and it mostly involves switching out fossil-fueled machines with machines that generate or run on clean electricity.

Then there’s that other wedge on the pie chart, the one that gets less attention: industry. Manufacturing, mining, construction, and waste processing are responsible for about a third of global carbon emissions (about a quarter of US emissions).

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