COP 27 host Egypt among first to benefit from major new carbon-cutting programme from the Global Cement and Concrete Association
Efforts to build a cleaner, greener cement and concrete industry received a major boost this week with the launch of a series of programmes designed to help producers in Egypt, India, Thailand, and Colombia slash their carbon emissions.
Cement and concrete manufacture accounts for around seven per cent of CO2 emissions globally and the sector’s emissions are expected to keep rising in the coming years as demand from building and infractructure projects continue to soar. However, many of the industry’s leading players have set net zero targets in recent years, while the Global Cement and Concrete Association (GCCA) has published an overarching 2050 Net Zero Global Industry Roadmap.
This week the GCCA looked to build on its roadmap with the launch of a series of Net Zero Accelerator initiatives to identify the barriers to decarbonisation in a number of key markets and recommend actions that can help accelerate emissions reduction efforts.
The Accelerators will work to encourage government policies that can help curb emissions across the sector, such as measures to boost recycling rates for building materials, harness waste feedstocks as an alternative to fossil fuels, and promote wider circular economy practices. The initiative will also identify lighthouse projects that could help fully eliminate emissions from concrete and cement production over the coming decades, such as carbon capture utilisation and storage technologies or hydrogen projects.
Egypt has been chosen among the first countries to benefit from the new Accelerator programme, reflecting its status as host country for COP27. India, Thailand, and Colombia will also stage new Accelerator initiatives, with the countries together represent approximately 10 per cent of global cement and concrete production.
The GCCA said it would expand the programme to other countries in the future.
Thomas Guillot, GCCA chief executive, said: “Last year our industry made a breakthrough net zero global commitment. This is the next logical step as we move our focus from a global roadmap to driving decisive local action.
“Concrete will continue to be the world’s most used building material for decades to come, meaning global cooperation between governments and industry is crucial to ensuring net zero targets are met. Our Net Zero Accelerators will offer collaboration and support to a number of target countries to help them decarbonise and align with the global roadmap.”
The GCCA said the accelerator programme would comprises three elements. Firstly, net zero national roadmaps aim to set out emissions forecasts for the industry and highlight potential reduction measures, policy needs, and industry commitments. Secondly, the programme aims to identify and fund large scale carbon cutting ‘Lighthouse’ projects, while the final element of the programme aims to co-ordinate policy dialogues with national governments to help accelerate the transition to greener technologies.
Responding to the announcement Dr Mahmoud Mohieldin, COP 27 UNFCCC high-level champion of Egypt, said: “Much of the infrastructure the world needs to overcome our major global challenges – such as alleviating poverty, the need for clean water and energy, and safe, affordable housing – is yet to be built.
“Cement and concrete will play a critical role in delivering a healthier, more resilient, zero carbon world as the industry moves to rapidly and fully decarbonise. As such, we are pleased to support the Net Zero Accelerator initiative, helping developing countries achieve their decarbonisation targets, as we work to support all industries and countries with their climate ambitions to help build a more sustainable future for all.”
The GCCA said its first wave of Lighthouse Projects and a new tranche of phase two Accelerators will be announced later this year.