COP21: Cement industry targets emissions cuts of 20-25% by 2030

At the COP21 climate summit in Paris, the cement industry launched an action plan aimed at reducing carbon emissions by 1Gt by 2030 compared to business as usual.

The cement companies belong to the Cement Sustainability Initiative (CSI) of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD). The cement action plan is part of WBCSD’s Low Carbon Technology Partnerships initiative (LCTPi) to accelerate the deployment of low carbon solutions

Cement production accounts for approximately 5% of worldwide man-made CO2 emissions. The CSI companies have identified the barriers the industry faces, what needs to be done, by whom and when.

The Low Carbon Technology Partnerships Cement action plan identifies a range of actions that tackle emissions of the sector, including expanding the use of alternative fuels and cement components, developing new low carbon cements, looking into avoided emissions in the use phase of concrete as a sustainable building material and exploring novelties in the production process.

The LCTPi  initiative is a pioneering business collaboration to scale up the development and deployment of low carbon technologies. Among the member companies, 86 have made 94 endorsements and are ready to move to implementation.

 “These business measures can only achieve their full potential if backed by the right policy frameworks and financial incentives. We count on the support of policymakers worldwide and the financial community in removing the barriers to scale up,” commented Peter Bakker, President & CEO of WBCSD.

“This collective effort by the cement industry to mitigate its emissions is highly encouraging and showcases the importance of leadership and collaboration in making the transition to a low carbon economy.”

The LCTPi on Cement has gathered CEO commitment from 16 cement companies around the world.

Engaging the whole cement sector, it notes, would be delivering an additional reduction of close to 1 Gt of CO2 by 2030, which is about the same amount of total CO2 emissions of Germany in 2013.

In many cases, the technologies are already available, but there are either political barriers that need to be removed or financial incentives to be put in place in order to scale up investment in implementing existing and developing breakthrough technologies required to deliver meaningful reduction targets.

“Since 2001 the cement sector has demonstrated its ability to make progress on mitigating its impact on climate change. The LCTPi provides additional opportunities to accelerate these efforts and widen engagement through actions by all members of the industry, together with other stakeholders, to overcome barriers and achieve performance matching the best in the sector” said Eric Olsen, CEO of LafargeHolcim.

Engaging the building and infrastructure value chains to reduce cement’s footprint will further contribute to the use of concrete as a sustainable and resilient construction solution.

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December 9, 2015
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