The Leadership Group for Industry Transition (LeadIT) was launched by India and Sweden in association with the World Economic Forum (WEF). LeadIT plays a pioneering role in fostering global partnerships and has emerged as a beacon of leadership, bringing together industry pioneers, experts, and stakeholders to foster collaboration and drive meaningful change. Read here to learn more.
Phase II has been developed on three pillars, which are:
- A global forum for dialogue;
- Technology transfer and co-development;
- Industry Transitions Platform
What is meant by Industry transition?
Industry transition refers to shifting from established and traditional industrial practices to more sustainable, resilient, and innovative models.
This transformation is driven by various factors, including technological advancements, changes in consumer preferences, environmental concerns, and evolving regulatory landscapes.
Industry transition is often seen as a necessary response to global challenges such as climate change, resource depletion, and social inequality. The key aspects of industry transition are:
- Environmental Impact: Industry transition aims to reduce the environmental footprint of industrial activities, including carbon emissions, pollution, and resource consumption.
- Circular Economy: Transitioning towards a circular economy involves minimizing waste, recycling materials, and promoting sustainable production and consumption practices.
- Digitalization: Embracing digital technologies such as artificial intelligence, Internet of Things (IoT), and data analytics to optimize processes, improve efficiency, and enable new business models.
- Clean Technologies: Adoption of clean and renewable technologies, such as solar and wind energy, electric vehicles, and sustainable manufacturing processes.
- Diversification: Industry transition may involve diversifying product offerings and markets to enhance economic resilience and reduce dependence on specific sectors.
- Innovation Ecosystems: Encouraging innovation through collaboration with research institutions, startups, and other industry players to foster a dynamic and adaptive business environment.
- Labor Practices: Emphasis on fair labor practices, worker well-being, and inclusive employment policies.
- Community Engagement: Engaging with local communities and addressing social concerns related to industrial activities, such as job displacement and community impacts.
- Emission Standards: Compliance with environmental regulations and adherence to emission standards set by governmental bodies.
- Corporate Governance: Adhering to ethical business practices, transparency, and accountability in corporate governance.
Global Supply Chains:
- Resilience and Localization: Evaluating and reconfiguring global supply chains to enhance resilience, reduce risks, and consider localization or regionalization.
- Sustainable Sourcing: Ensuring that raw materials are sourced sustainably, considering environmental and social aspects.
- Shift in Preferences: Responding to changing consumer preferences for sustainable and ethically produced products.
- Corporate Branding: Building and maintaining a positive corporate image through environmentally conscious practices and social responsibility.
- Policy Support: Governments are crucial in facilitating industry transition through policy frameworks, incentives, and regulatory measures that encourage sustainable practices.
- Green Financing: Access to green financing and investment opportunities to support the transition to more sustainable business models.
Collaboration and Partnerships:
- Stakeholder Engagement: Engaging with various stakeholders, including government bodies, non-governmental organizations, and local communities.
- Industry Alliances: Collaborating with industry peers to share best practices, address common challenges, and drive collective action towards sustainability.
Leadership Group for Industry Transition (LeadIT)
- It was launched by the governments of Sweden and India at the UN Climate Action Summit in September 2019 and is supported by the World Economic Forum.
- LeadIT members subscribe to the notion that energy-intensive industries can and must progress on low-carbon pathways, aiming to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
- 38 LeadIT members have committed to action to achieve the Paris Agreement.
LeadIT fosters collaboration between decision-makers in the public and private sectors to create conducive policies and share best practices to accelerate industry transition.
A successful transition for hard-to-abate sectors requires:
- A level playing field globally
- Finance for implementation
- Accountability across value chains
- Low-carbon technology diffusion and scale-up
- Enabling infrastructure
To accelerate this, the forum fosters collaboration between decision-makers in the public and private sectors to enable the needed policy environment, finance flows, and exchange of best practices by:
- Convening and participating in high-level dialogues to set the international agenda to align on actions for net-zero
- Holding regular meetings between private and public decarbonization experts
- Support road mapping processes with science-based tools and workshops
- Track plans and investments to decarbonize heavy industry sectors
- Carry out analysis that informs policymaking
LeadIT phase 2 (2024-26)
Despite the spotlight on industry transition, the ambition and implementation gaps to achieve the Paris Agreement goals continue to grow especially when considering 2030 as an interim milestone.
- Progress has been too slow on the enabling conditions for a global transition (e.g. access to clean power, technology, and finance; stronger demand signals; credible policy frameworks, etc.).
- There continues to be a strong need for a just and equitable industry transition in line with the principle of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities.
- As a result, LeadIT will be fostering dialogue and strengthened partnerships in areas where transition challenges remain unaddressed and work alongside those countries and companies seeking trusted partners to help design, enhance, and implement industry transition.
Strategic direction for the next phase of LeadIT
LeadIT’s strategic direction will be driven by the following vision for 2030 and the means of achieving this vision within the next phase of LeadIT.
By 2030, the industry is aligned with the Paris Agreement, accelerating pathways toward a just and equitable industrial transition and net-zero emissions by 2050.
Drive the development of policy and regulatory frameworks that support an inclusive, just, and equitable industry transition by fostering public-private partnerships, mobilizing resources, and supporting knowledge-sharing, that accelerate pathways to net-zero industry emissions by 2050.
To achieve the stated vision and mission, the work of LeadIT until the end of 2026 will advance under three pillars of activities.
- Global Forum for a just and equitable industry transition:
- LeadIT will continue to secure a space for dialogue between governments and industry at the annual Leadership Summit and find additional opportunities at high-level events.
- In addition, this pillar focuses on continuing LeadIT’s engagement and alignment with multilateral groups (e.g. UN Climate Action; UNFCCC COP presidencies; etc.); equipping members by sharing knowledge; and monitoring the pace of the transition.
- Technology transfer and co-development:
- Promote facilitation of business-to-business technology transfer, demonstration, and co-development among LeadIT members (e.g. shared patents, R&D incubators, technical guidelines, etc.), as well as building up national institutional capacity for innovation.
- Where appropriate, activities under this pillar will be supported by research institutes and build on existing innovation partnerships.
- Industry transition partnerships for coordinated multilateral assistance:
- The LeadIT Secretariat will support LeadIT members wishing to establish industry transition partnerships.
- These partnerships will provide bespoke and targeted support for emerging markets and developing economies pursuing green industrial transitions by mapping, coordinating, aggregating, and strengthening the technical and financial international assistance on offer.
- Ultimately, the partnerships seek to improve the effectiveness of international assistance to deliver the enabling conditions that can build a pipeline of bankable low-carbon industrial projects.
To fulfill the vision and mission of the next phase of LeadIT, all members commit to the following:
- Support industry transitions
- Demonstrate commitment to bold and ambitious emissions reductions in line with the Paris Agreement.
- Subscribe to the LeadIT mission and vision.
- Engage in industry transitions
- Engage in one or more of LeadIT’s three pillars and associated activities
- Contribute to the annual Leadership Summit at the Ministerial or CEO level, and regular LeadIT activities (e.g. meetings, workshops, seminars, etc.)
- Actively engage with the LeadIT Secretariat and LeadIT members to share information about members’ activities on industry transition
- Promote industry transitions
- Demonstrate commitment to engaging with governments and firms across value chains to support policy, innovation, and technology measures that will deliver emissions reductions.
- Provide updates on progress at key milestones (e.g. COPs, UN summits, etc.).
The low-carbon transition of emission-intensive industries, which was considered unfeasible when LeadIT was established in 2019, is now being brought to reality by companies and governments.
This has coincided with a significant shift in the global industrial policy landscape as industry transition climbs higher on the international agenda. LeadIT members have launched, supported, and contributed to the multitude of initiatives tackling many of the challenges to industry transition.
In doing so, LeadIT’s original mission to build momentum on industry transition has been achieved.
-Article by Swathi Satish