Pressures: emissions

5.2.3 Industrial

Industry includes both manufacturing and mining sectors. The industrial sector emits air pollutants, GHGs, ODSs and PBTs, providing opportunities for multi-pollutant controls. Emissions and emission controls are often industry and process specific, or even regionally specific for some industries.

Nearly two-thirds of historic CO2 and CH4 emissions can be attributed to 90 investor- or government-owned businesses involved in the production of fossil fuels and cement (Heede 2014). Global emissions from industry increased for all pollutants between 1990 and 2014, except for SO2 (Figure 5.3), due to decreases in Europe’s and North America’s emissions being smaller than increases in other continents. Global SO2 industrial emissions declined by 26 per cent from 1990 to 1999, due to the decrease in European and North American emissions, and increased after 1999, due to a considerable increase in China’s (up to 2012 and reduced thereafter; Zheng et al. 2018) and other Asian countries’ emissions (Hoesly et al. 2018).

The creation of many new industrial products, nanomaterials and chemicals poses a considerable challenge in terms of regulation and control. Their emissions are often neither regulated nor quantified, leading to unknown effects on the environment and health.

Technological innovation, technology transfer and tighter emission regulations to improve energy efficiency in manufacturing and mining sectors are key to reducing emissions. Examples include cleaner brick kiln technology, piloted in Asia and Latin America (Maithel et al. 2012; Center for Human Rights and Environment 2015); cleaner technologies and approaches to reduce or eliminate mercury use in ASGM piloted in several countries (United States Environmental Protection Agency [US EPA] 2018a); and Perform-Achieve-Trade schemes for energy intensive industry in India (Kumar and Agarwala 2013; Bhandari and Shrimali 2018).