Major cement and concrete manufacturers around the world have laid out a roadmap to achieving full decarbonization of their products by 2050, a target aligned with the Paris Agreement to limit global warming to 1.5°C.
The roadmap actions until 2030 will reduce the companies’ CO2 emissions by a quarter, according to a press release from the Global Cement and Concrete Association (GCCA).
The 25% cut by the GCCA members would prevent nearly 5 billion tons of carbon from entering the atmosphere compared to a business-as-usual scenario, which is equivalent to the CO2 emissions of almost 15 billion passenger flights from Paris to New York, the association said.
The GCCA also calls on governments and contractors to ensure the right policies and investments
The GCCA has also called on governments, designers, and contractors to ensure the right public policies and investments to support the global-scale transition of the industry. This should include the development of critical technologies such as carbon capture and storage, and reforms to public works procurement policy to encourage the use of low-carbon cement and concrete products.
UN chief calls on all cement companies to join the endeavor
Commenting on the GCCA’s announcement, UN Secretary-General António Guterres called on all cement companies to join this endeavor, noting that the transition cost should not be borne only by the first movers.
Cement production accounts for 7% of global CO2 emissions
Concrete is the most used building material on the planet, and the production of its key ingredient, cement, accounts for around 7% of global CO2 emissions. The GCCA members account for 80% of the global cement industry volume outside of China, while they also include several large Chinese manufacturers.