2 reports chart path to slash CO2 from chemicals industry 

By Clare Fieseler | 07/09/2024 06:49 AM EDT

The U.K.’s Royal Society and a collaboration of city governments and companies examined how to cut emissions from one of the most energy-intensive sectors.

An ear of corn.

The chemicals industry could lower its emissions by using raw materials like corn and carbon dioxide rather than fossil fuels, according to a new report. Sean Gallup/AFP via Getty Images

Two new reports are outlining how the global chemicals industry — which historically has been one of the most difficult to decarbonize — can slash emissions.

The road maps come as the Biden administration is funneling money to low-carbon projects in the chemicals sector.

The first report released by the World Wildlife Fund outlines a plan backed by city governments and companies identifying five options to decarbonize the global industry, including using “clean” hydrogen and electric equipment to power factories. The second blueprint, touted this summer from the world’s oldest scientific academy — the U.K.’s Royal Society — calls for the industry to “defossilize” by moving away from using fossil fuels as raw materials, or feedstocks.


Alternative feedstocks “can act as sources of carbon required for primary chemical building blocks, further intermediate chemicals and ultimately downstream consumer products,” said the Royal Society report.