High Level Thematic Plenary – Industry Integration
The manufacturing sector has been hit hard by the pandemic, which has caused economic downturns, and sharp drops in demand, supply chain disruptions, slower production, and contraction in investments. In the face of these monumental challenges, governments around the world have moved to put in place economic recovery policies in the form of stimulus packages in order to “build back better” and mitigate the economic fallout from the pandemic. Yet, as the pandemic continues, the global health crisis is also tipping towards becoming a dual economic and social crisis that threatens to reverberate long after the worst of the health crisis has subsided. Women and girls have been hit particularly hard by the crisis, which has only served to exacerbate the discrimination and inequalities they often faced prior to the onset of the pandemic. In this regard, the High-Level Plenary on ‘Industry Integration’ will delve into the need to harness the “build back better” momentum, to channel renewable energy/sustainable investments, green finance instruments, and direct recovery efforts to build capacity across industrial value chains and to create pathways to energy efficient industrialization that also serve to address social inequalities.
Many challenges exist to achieving an energy efficient industry. While industrial players are increasingly driving progress by actively engaging in sustainable energy related ventures, there is a need to scale up these efforts. Technological innovation and commercialization require greater attention in order to shift industrial heat production and feedstock to alternatives, such as green hydrogen and large-scale Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage (CCUS), and hydrogen. Panel 1 on “Winning the ‘Race to Zero’” will ex- amine the significant role energy intensive industries can play in creating positive multiplier effects towards achieving a climate-neutral economy, increasing energy security, and creating sustainable green jobs for everyone.
The industrial sector has embraced emerging innovations to spur recovery and drive progress enabled by the digital revolution. Panel 2 on ‘The Digital Revolution’ will examine how the pandemic reinforced digitalization as a critical enabler to transform markets, spur innovation and accelerate the integration of safe sustainable energy in industrial value chains. Panelists will draw on recent case studies in which advanced energy management systems, artificial intelligence, and data-driven process optimization were harnessed to boost productivity across the value chain.