IPCC Fourth Assessment Report: Climate Change 2007
Climate Change 2007: Working Group III: Mitigation of Climate Change

7.1 Introduction

This chapter addresses past, ongoing, and short (to 2010) and medium-term (to 2030) future actions that can be taken to mitigate GHG emissions from the manufacturing and process industries.[2]

Globally, and in most countries, CO2 accounts for more than 90% of CO2-eq GHG emissions from the industrial sector (Price et al., 2006; US EPA, 2006b). These CO2 emissions arise from three sources: (1) the use of fossil fuels for energy, either directly by industry for heat and power generation or indirectly in the generation of purchased electricity and steam; (2) non-energy uses of fossil fuels in chemical processing and metal smelting; and (3) non-fossil fuel sources, for example cement and lime manufacture. Industrial processes also emit other GHGs, e.g.:

  • Nitrous oxide (N2O) is emitted as a byproduct of adipic acid, nitric acid and caprolactam production;
  • HFC-23 is emitted as a byproduct of HCFC-22 production, a refrigerant, and also used in fluoroplastics manufacture;
  • Perfluorocarbons (PFCs) are emitted as byproducts of aluminium smelting and in semiconductor manufacture;
  • Sulphur hexafluoride (SF6) is emitted in the manufacture, use and, decommissioning of gas insulated electrical switchgear, during the production of flat screen panels and semiconductors, from magnesium die casting and other industrial applications;
  • Methane (CH4) is emitted as a byproduct of some chemical processes; and
  • CH4 and N2O can be emitted by food industry waste streams.

Many GHG emission mitigation options have been developed for the industrial sector. They fall into three categories: operating procedures, sector-wide technologies and process-specific technologies. A sampling of these options is discussed in Sections 7.27.4. The short- and medium-term potential for and cost of all classes of options are discussed in Section 7.5, barriers to the application of these options are addressed in Section 7.6 and the implication of industrial mitigation for sustainable development is discussed in Section 7.7.

Section 7.8 discusses the sector’s vulnerability to climate change and options for adaptation. A number of policies have been designed either to encourage voluntary GHG emission reductions from the industrial sector or to mandate such reductions. Section 7.9 describes these policies and the experience gained to date. Co-benefits of reducing GHG emissions from the industrial sector are discussed in Section 7.10. Development of new technology is key to the cost-effective control of industrial GHG emissions. Section 7.11 discusses research, development, deployment and diffusion in the industrial sector and Section 7.12, the long-term (post-2030) technologies for GHG emissions reduction from the industrial sector. Section 7.13 summarizes gaps in knowledge.

  1. ^  For the purposes of this chapter, industry includes the food processing and paper and pulp industries, but the growing of food crops and trees is covered in Chapters 8 and 9 respectively. The production of biofuels is covered in Chapter 4. This chapter also discusses energy conversions, such as combined heat and power and coke ovens, and waste management that take place within industrial plants. These activities also take place in dedicated facilities, which are discussed in Chapters 4 and 10 respectively.