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Transition to fossil-free industries: technology pathways and policies

Co-hosted by EASME, the initiative IN4climate.NRW and REINVENT.

Location: Brussels, Belgium


The objective of this event is to look beyond specific sectors and explore the coevolution of steel, plastics, and other sectors and the new interdependencies that may develop when moving to a fossil-free and closed-carbon loop economy. Based on the current understanding of technologies, systems and institutions the aim is to explore future interactions between sectors, identify knowledge gaps and assess what implications this may have for policy-making, society and future research. 

The event brought REINVENT together with national as well as regional initiatives related to the decarbonisation of energy intensive industry sectors.

Technology pathways and roadmaps are emerging in sectors such as steel, plastics, paper and cement. The role of electrification, circular and biogenic carbon utilisation, CCS and new interdependencies between sectors are salient features of such pathways. We will take stock of the current understanding of future options and strategies and based on this explore the implications for future policy-making, research and society at large.


Innovative technology pathways and decarbonisation roadmaps for energy-intensive industries are key elements of a future long-term EU strategy for a climate-neutral economy and for the reindustrialisation of Europe. During the workshop entitled "Transition to fossil-free industries: technology paths and policies" on 18 March 2018 in Brussels, 73 representatives from different industries, national and EU policy institutions, scientific and environmental organisations discussed the decarbonisation potential of different sectors and the opportunities that can arise from cross-sectoral interactions. The event brought together EU-funded projects and national and regional initiatives related to decarbonisation of energy-intensive industrial sectors. In three sessions, insights and findings on electrification and hydrogen, circular economy and biogenic carbon economy and carbon utilisation were presented and intensively discussed. 

Participants agreed that decarbonisation pathways are urgently needed at EU and international level, for which a common climate and industrial policy in Europe is required. Technically, the role of hydrogen and circular economy and the associated technologies, infrastructure investments and value chains were highlighted. It was widely shared that the focus for implementing these is on establishing further cross-industry solutions, overcoming traditional industry boundaries 

The workshop was co-organised by the EU-funded project REINVENT (Realising Innovation in Transitions for Decarbonisation) with EASME and the initiative IN4climate.NRW. A poster exhibition on the first results of the REINVENT project was also held in the foyer of the venue.

A report on the workshop is available here.

The presentations are available here.

An article about the event is also available on the European Commission’s website.