Urgent action in three key areas could save around 900 million t of CO2 annually by 2030.
On November 10th, 2021, Ian Riley, World Cement Association CEO spoke at the Sustainable Innovation Forum (SIF), part of COP26, to outline three key actions governments around the world can take right now that will significantly accelerate the cement and concrete industry’s progress towards net zero and beyond. For an industry that contributes around 7% to global carbon emissions, the need to decarbonise quickly is critical if worldwide efforts to reduce and reverse global heating are to succeed.
Riley told delegates at COP26 that not only is a net-zero cement industry achievable, new technologies for carbon-negative concrete are emerging that can remove CO2 that is already in the atmosphere.
But for this to happen, governments around the world need to take action in three key areas, to encourage faster adoption of low-carbon technologies:
Promote a market for low-carbon concrete by encouraging its use in publicly-funded building projects
Review and update product standards to allow low-carbon concrete to be used in a wider range of applications
Create the right market incentives for developing and using low-carbon cement and concrete technologies, via carbon pricing, subsidies or other economic mechanisms
If governments around the world respond to the WCA’s call and take action now, annual emissions of CO2 from cement and concrete could be reduced by 30%, or 900 million t per year by 2030.
“The pathways to net zero will be different for every cement plant. However, there are a few key measures which governments can adopt that will have a rapid and lasting impact on the pace of global uptake of all these measures,” explained Ian Riley.
“These measures can be implemented at low cost and will stimulate innovation and rapid scaling of new technologies. For governments looking for effective measures they can take today that will help deliver major and lasting emissions reductions in the next decade, the cement and concrete industry is a great place to start,” he added.