The World Cement Association (WCA) has released a climate change manifesto designed to help the industry cut its greenhouse gas emissions in line with the Paris Agreement’s goal of keeping average global temperature rises ‘well below’ 2C.
The WCA Climate Change Action plan outlines measures to help its members develop climate protection strategies and embrace best practices.
With full details to be announced in December the group says the action plan will focus on five key areas – transparency, optimal use of cement products, adoption of waste co-processing practices, new technologies and rewarding best practices.
Cement remains a crucial material for the global construction industry, but its production requires significant amounts of energy to heat the kilns, largely from fossil fuels such as coal, natural gas or oil. It is estimated the cement sector accounts for around 5% of the world’s total carbon dioxide emissions and engineers have repeatedly warned that decarbonising the sector remains a daunting technical challenge.
WCA president Zhi Ping Song said the trade body’s members – which represent more than one billion tonnes of annual cement production globally – were ready to “step forward to lead the cement industry towards low carbon production and a carbon neutral built environment”.
“We aim to provide a framework that will enable all cement companies, including smaller ones and those in developing markets, to embrace best practice by granting them access to shared knowledge and support,” he said.
A core element of the Action Plan will focus on improving transparency over the sectior’s greenhouse gas emissions by developing tools for members to better monitor and report their emissions within the next two years.
WCA said improved data would enable members to effectively assess the carbon footprint of their products and participate in a ‘getting the numbers right’ global database of CO2 and energy information.
Moreover, WCA said it would advocate building standards and codes to encourage low carbon solutions in the construction industry, with a goal of reducing average material use and enhancing the quality and durability of buildings.
The plan will also see an internal knowledge exchange platform set up to accelerate adoption of waste co-processing practices and boost innovation across the sector.
WCA estimates 50% of technologies required to achieve the 2°C scenario are still yet to be developed.