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Agora Industry

Agora Industry develops scientifically sound and politically feasible strategies for a successful pathway to a climate-neutral industry. In doing so, our interdisciplinary and international team works in close exchange with stakeholders.

Our mission

Industry is responsible for approximately one-fifth of global greenhouse gas emissions. The share of emissions is even higher – approximately 40 percent – if one includes power and heat generation by industry. The subsectors steel, cement and chemicals are the largest emitters, responsible for almost two-thirds of industrial emissions. The climate-neutral transformation of industry is thus essential for reaching mid-century climate targets. Agora Industry’s mission is to support this transformation with robust, evidence-based analysis and relevant policy recommendations.

Given the long operational lifespan of production plants for basic materials – which can extend to half a century – the next major investments by industrial companies must be compatible with climate neutrality. Yet to foster sustainable investment, a mix of policy instruments is needed, including well-designed regulation; targeted tax and subsidy policy; and intelligent market incentives. To this end, Agora Industry develops strategies and policy instruments geared to encouraging transformation as early as the mid-2020s – a crucial step on the path to a climate-neutral economy.

In our work for the transformation and within our organisation we are guided by the principles of transparency, independence and mutual respect. To ensure a productive and secure workplace free of discrimination, Agora Industry as part of the Agora Think Tanks has committed itself in its “Code of Conduct” to take decisive action against any kind of harassment, discrimination and violence. Furthermore, Agora aims for gender diversity. Therefore, we actively support the equal representation of women in all our events and panels. Find out more about our concrete goals here. You can also find our current report on gender representation at events here.

Our work

The industrial transformation towards climate neutrality has important implications for global supply chains. Production processes need to be altered and industry needs to be provided with clean energy and climate-neutral supplies of raw material. Against this backdrop, Agora Industry develops solutions for encouraging the efficient use of energy and resources along the value-creation chain at the national, European and global level. This includes working towards the development of global markets for climate-friendly products and the closing of material loops.

Agora Industry collaborates with a range of stakeholders, including companies, civil society, researchers, policymakers and trade unions. Our diverse, interdisciplinary team has wide ranging scientific, economic and policy expertise. As part of the Agora Think Tanks, Agora Industry works closely with Agora Energiewende, Agora Agriculture and with our partner think tank Agora Verkehrswende, enabling a holistic, cross-sectoral view of the necessary steps to a climate neutral industry sector.

The name “Agora” refers to the marketplace in ancient Greece, which served as the political and economic centre in the Athenian democracy and a place dedicated to mutual exchange. We see our name as a mandate to engage in intensive dialogue with key stakeholders involved in the transition to climate neutrality. Agora's Councils regularly bring together leading stakeholders from politics, science, business and civil society to exchange ideas on current energy, climate and industrial policy issues, and discuss our research findings.

Our structure

Agora Industry emerged from the think tank Agora Energiewende in 2021 with the aim of strengthening and expanding the work on climate-neutral industry and is part of the Agora Think Tanks. Together, Agora Industry, Agora Energiewende, Agora Agrar and their sister organization Agora Verkehrswende represent the key sectors for the transition to climate neutrality - agriculture, industry, electricity, heat and transport.

The think tanks Agora Industry, Agora Energiewende and Agora Agriculture are part of the non-profit Agora Think Tanks gGmbH. Executive Directors Markus Steigenberger and Frauke Thies are responsible for its management. The shareholders are Matthias Buck, Dr. Harald Grethe, Dr. Jahel Mielke, Simon Müller, Frank Peter, Markus Steigenberger and Frauke Thies. Since June 2021, management is also overseen by a supervisory board, which through its members represents various sections of society and geographies.

Our funding

The non-profit legal entity of the Agora Think Tanks, Agora Think Tanks gGmbH, is funded by grants from private foundations and public institutions and does not conduct commissioned research. In order to ensure their independence, the Agora Think Tanks gGmbH also strive for a financing structure that is as diverse as possible and do not accept financial support from companies. In addition, Agora Think Tanks gGmbH receive funding from the Federal Republic of Germany to carry out international project work. 

In the financial year 2022, Agora Industry received 3,048,560 EUR in earmarked donations and grants. Approximately 73 percent of these grants came from private foundations and 27 percent came from government donors.

More details regarding the funding of Industry can be found in the PDF document below.