April 1, 2022

Top cement, concrete firms launch first wave of Net Zero Accelerators

categories : real estate

The Global Cement and Concrete Association (GCCA) has launched a series of Net Zero Accelerator initiatives to help national cement and concrete industries decarbonise in line with the GCCA’s 2050 Net Zero Global Industry Roadmap.

The first wave of Accelerators will launch in Egypt, which later this year will be the host country for COP27, as well as in India, Thailand and Colombia. These countries combined represent approximately 10% of global cement and concrete production.

Concrete, a local and durable material, is fundamental to overcoming sustainable development challenges which many parts of the world are facing, such as population growth, increasing urbanisation and the need for more resilient infrastructure and communities in the face of a rapidly changing climate.

Globally, cement and concrete manufacture accounts for around 7% of CO2 emissions. The global plan to eliminate these emissions by 2050 requires all parts of the world to accelerate the reductions in CO2 emissions.

The Accelerator program will identify the barriers to decarbonisation in target countries and recommend key actions. This includes encouraging government policies that can have an immediate impact, such as better recycling, the use of waste as an alternative to fossil fuels, and other circular economy practices. It will also include identifying lighthouse projects that can fully eliminate emissions over the next decades, such as carbon capture utilisation and storage technologies.

GCCA Chief Executive Thomas Guillot 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,' explained Guillot.

'I’m proud to launch the first phase of the Accelerator program to assist these nations in embracing greener technologies and work towards a more sustainable future together. I now call on more partners around the world to join us and be part of this movement,' he added.

The accelerator programme comprises three elements – net zero national roadmaps including emissions forecasts, reduction levers, policy needs and the industry commitment; ii. identification and funding exploration for large scale carbon cutting ‘Lighthouse’ Projects; and iii. policy dialogues with national governments to help accelerate the transition.

The GCCA is partnering with the cement and concrete industry on the ground and will work closely with policymakers, designers, and the construction sector to help overcome procurement and resourcing challenges, as well as demonstrate the business case for greener technologies to be used on a wider scale.

The Accelerators will help align Phase 1 countries’ cement and concrete industries with the GCCA’s 2050 Net Zero Roadmap, which marked the biggest global commitment by a heavy industry to decarbonise when it was launched last year.

The Roadmap sets out a path to fully decarbonise by 2050, a target aligned with the Paris Agreement to limit global warming to 1.5°C. The roadmap actions between now and 2030, to reduce concrete related emissions by 25%, will prevent almost 5 billion tonnes of carbon from entering the atmosphere compared to a business-as-usual scenario.

Lighthouse Projects and a new tranche of phase two Accelerators will be announced later this year.

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,' noted Mohieldin.

'The full and willing participation of a sector which accounts for 7-8% of global CO2 emissions is critical to contribute to the goal of the 2015 Paris Climate Change Agreement to limit global warming well below 2°C degrees and as close as possible to 1.5°C,' he added.

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