With a total of almost 7 Gt CO2, hard-to-abate industries account for 20% of global energy-related emissions today. In the absence of mitigation efforts, these would increase to over 9 Gt CO2 by 2040 and represent 23% of global energy-related emissions. Decarbonizing industry constitutes both a significant challenge and a key opportunity for industrial competitiveness. The ETC’s preliminary findings indicate that reaching zero carbon emissions for these sectors (steel, cement, and plastics) is in the realm of technical feasibility and could be achieved at a manageable cost to the economy.

This second round of consultation papers covers:

  • Reaching zero carbon emissions from steel
  • Reaching zero carbon emissions from cement
  • Reaching zero carbon emissions from plastics

To download these papers, please use the sign-up form on this page.

Please note that the analysis and conclusions presented in these papers are still being refined and should therefore be treated as being “work in progress”. The members of the Commission and the institutions with which they are affiliated have not been asked to formally endorse these papers.

We warmly welcome your feedback on the papers until 31st August 2018. Please send comments, questions and requests for follow-ups to We are particularly interested in feedback on the feasibility and cost of different decarbonization options, and on the recommendations to policymakers, industries, businesses and investors. This feedback will be integrated in the final report to be published in November 2018.


The ETC is focusing its analytical and influencing efforts in 2018 on those sectors which are likely to be harder to decarbonize, including heavy industry and heavy-duty transport. The Commission has set out to engage with a broad group of stakeholders as part of a thorough consultation process which will feed into a final report to be launched in November 2018.

Besides the release of the above papers on hard-to-abate industries, the ETC will release 2 other sets of consultation papers.

  • 3 consultation papers covering heavy-duty transport: heavy road transport, aviation, and shipping (released in June 2018: more here)
  • 3 consultation papers covering key cross-cutting technologies: electricity and hydrogen, bio-based products, and carbon capture (released in July 2018: more here)

All consultation papers will form the basis of a series of targeted stakeholder engagement with industry players and civil society in order to refine our analysis and conclusions.


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