Noura Y. Mansouri Alma Alhusseini Noura T. Al-Saud Mashael S. Alshalan Maroua Benlahrech Yoshikazu Kobayashi Radia Sedaoui Masakazu Toyoda Liubov Yaroshenko
November 22, 2020 | Last updated: December 10, 2020
Tags: Circular Economy



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The key challenges can be summarized as follows:

  • The scale and capital intensity of the transport, building, power, and heavy industries make it hard to transform, given the need for reliable and safe sources, leading to a prolonged “carbon lock-in” inertia in the system (Smil 2010.
  • Greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) continue to increase, while solutions to address their residence time remains limited due to financial barriers to deployment (Friedmann, Ochu, and Brown 2020).
  • Varying national economic and social circumstances limit climate action, as some development areas are prioritized over others. Examples are choosing cheap, abundant, and reliable sources of energy that are carbon-intensive, heavily dependent on fossil fuel export revenues, or shifting away from high-energy costs and scarce natural resources towards renewables (Davis and Caldeira 2010).
  • Restarting economies following economic recessions has often been addressed by relaxed environmental regulations and less ambitious climate action.
  • Impasse on the issues under the Paris Agreement (finance and market mechanisms) while current nationally determined contributions (NDCs) are insufficient even in case of best compliance (UNEP 2019).
  • Generally, many NDCs mention “industry,” with fewer mentioning “heavy industries.” Therefore, concrete plans for industrial emissions reductions are rarely featured (Energy Transitions Commission 2018).
  • CCS (carbon capture and storage) and CCUS (carbon capture utilization and storage) technology deployment remains slow (Global CCS Institute 2018).