Energy use by industry accounted for 12% of Italy’s total GHG emissions in 2019, making it the fourth largest emitting sector, or third when process emissions are considered. However, emissions have been decreasing, falling by 35% between 2003 to 2019, though this is largely due to an overall decline in this sector due to economic downturns in 2009 and 2013. The production of iron and steel contributed roughly 20% of total industrial CO₂ emissions in 2019. Most 1.5°C compatible scenarios require similar emission reduction rates to be sustained over the coming decades to reduce direct CO₂ emissions from industry by 57-60% by 2030 and reach 80-93% by 2040. One scenario, the high energy demand scenario, would see a full decarbonisation of the sector by 2037.
Industry’s energy mix is currently 41% electricity and close to 35% fossil gas. Decarbonisation could be driven by a drastic reduction of fossil gas consumption and accelerated electrification to reach around 50% by 2030 and around 60% by 2040.
Process emissions, which accounted for 8% of the total GHG emissions in 2019, have decreased by 44% between 2006-2017. The continuation of this declining trend would align Italy’s industry sector with the 1.5°C scenarios, in combination with a rapid phase out of fossil gas. Failing such a rapid gas phase out, equivalent emissions reductions would need to be achieved with costly and unproven carbon dioxide removal technologies.