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WWF works to sustain the natural world for the benefit of people and wildlife, collaborating with partners from local to global levels in nearly 100 countries.
The Renewable Thermal Collaborative (RTC) is the global coalition for companies, institutions, and governments committed to scaling up renewable energy for their thermal footprint, dramatically cutting carbon emissions. RTC members recognize the growing demand and need for renewable thermal energy solutions and the urgent need to meet this demand in a manner that delivers sustainable, cost-competitive options at scale.
As a coalition, the RTC offers value to members by providing “power in numbers.” The RTC is the only place to focus on renewable thermal energy solutions and where large thermal energy users come together collaboratively to understand the problems in the market, learn from each other, and overcome these barriers to renewable thermal energy solutions.
Industrial thermal energy creates 12.5% of greenhouse gas pollution in the United States. This is the next largest source behind transportation and electricity and more than the entire US agricultural sector. Globally, thermal energy is 50% of final energy use and contributes 39% of greenhouse gas emissions from energy-related sources. Without addressing these industrial thermal energy emissions, we have no way to keep global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
Unlike the transportation and power sectors—where renewable electricity, electric vehicles, and new mobility strategies reflect important progress over the past two decades—the industrial sector lags significantly behind. Today, renewable thermal energy solutions remain largely unavailable or cost-effective. These include sustainable, waste-derived biomass, biogas (including landfill gas), renewable natural gas (or biomethane), and renewable sources such as geothermal, industrial electrification, green hydrogen, and solar thermal. Policy support and investment are badly needed to bring these solutions to scale. Policy support and investment are badly needed to bring these solutions to scale.
Our bold proposal vision is to slash industrial thermal energy emissions by 30% by increasing industrial renewable thermal energy use by 20% by 2026 and 150% by 2030. The RTC approach builds upon the buyer-driven model of our successful Clean Energy Buyer’s Alliance, which WWF helped spin-off into a new trade association in 2019. Our bold vision is to slash industrial thermal energy emissions by 30%.
Over the next five years, the RTC will expand its initiatives to accelerate the deployment of renewable thermal solutions through four strategic levers:
Decarbonizing industrial heat will require significant changes in technologies, markets, business practices, and policies. This shift will create broader societal impacts beyond the companies sourcing thermal energy. To successfully drive a renewable thermal energy transition that works for people, the RTC will:
WWF won $10 million through the Lever for Change 2030 Challenge, a public competition to award funding to the most impactful and durable solution to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the buildings, industry, and/or transportation sectors in the US by 2030. The competition is supported by an anonymous donor and is administered by Lever for Change, a nonprofit affiliate of the MacArthur Foundation.