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Pathways to decarbonisation

High-emitting and hard-to-abate industries are responsible for the majority of greenhouse gas emissions, which makes them priority industries for decarbonisation. This collection of insights, developed by Deloitte’s leading global industry specialists, provides possible pathways to decarbonisation for high-impact sectors. 

High-impact sectors and the road to net-zero

Decarbonisation has become an urgent priority for governments, investors, regulators, businesses and society at large. With the world at risk of failing to meet its Paris Agreement commitments—and surpassing the two-degree Celsius warming threshold—many businesses have set aggressive net-zero commitments. Companies from high-emitting and hard-to-abate sectors play a crucial role in this effort—from their own value chains to helping reduce Scope 3 emissions of other industries.

These high-emitting and hard-to-abate industries—which include power, steel, chemicals, automotive, food and heavy road transport—account for approximately 82% of total global C0eq emissions (figure 1). While their decarbonisation efforts are pivotal to hitting Paris Agreement targets, these companies are also burdened with long asset lifespans, high energy dependency and complex electrification requirements. As a result, possible pathways to decarbonisation may involve massive technology investments, business model evolutions, cross-collaboration—and the adoption of an entirely new business mindset. 

Building on feedback from clients, public sector teams and the scientific community, these perspectives are designed to help leaders explore new modes of thinking, spark important conversations and identify viable decarbonisation pathways for their organisations.

Each of the sector perspectives offers a foundational starting point for leaders who would like to better understand the challenges, levers, policy and regulatory landscape across regions, success factors, stakeholders and the enormous potential of clean hydrogen—and includes links to in-depth reports to explore more.