World Cement Association aligns climate action strategy with 2C trajectory

Global non-profit World Cement Association (WCA) has released a climate action strategy targeting carbon emissions and waste management, in a drive to help the industry align with the Paris Agreement's goal of limiting the global temperature increase below 2C.

Cement is one of the world's carbon-heavy industries, accounting for 6% of global CO2 emissions

Cement is one of the world's carbon-heavy industries, accounting for 6% of global CO2 emissions

Announced at a WCA event in London on Sunday (22 October), the strategy focuses on five key areas – encouraging transparency, ensuring optimal use of cement products, adopting waste co-processing practices, developing new green technologies and rewarding best practices.

While the full details of the strategy have not yet been unveiled, the WCA has confirmed that the transparency aspect will involve the organisation developing new tools and methodologies to help key players in the industry monitor and report on their CO2 emissions.

The WCA will advocate for product standards and building regulations that encourage low-carbon solutions, while requiring its members to enhance their efforts in informing, educating and training concrete producers and users on resource efficiency.

“Together with all our members, we step forward to lead the cement industry towards low-carbon production and a carbon-neutral built environment,” WCA president Zhi Ping Song said.

“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.”

Cement is the second most polluting industry after steelmaking, according to the CDP. The sector notably accounts for 6% of global CO2 emissions.

Rewarding innovation

The WCA said in a statement that the five aspects of the new strategy were identified as priorities for the industry during its global climate change forum in Paris earlier this year.

The non-profit explained that the green technologies pillar was added after its own research concluded that 50% of the innovations required to achieve the 2C scenario are still yet to be developed. Under this pillar, WCA members will be encouraged to share knowledge, ideas and best practice with their competitors to spur green innovation.

The WCA Climate Programme’s director Bernard Mathieu said the strategy would also help the group to reward best practice by enabling it to develop of a process of recognition for the most innovative low-carbon products and solutions developed by its members.

"As a global organisation, we believe that reducing greenhouse gas emissions and tackling climate change effectively requires a joint effort," Mathieu said.

"With a membership base representing more than one billion tons of annual cement production capacity, the WCA and its members have the capacity to affect change in pursuing the necessary transition to a low carbon economy at a global level."

The WCA strategy is due to be published in full in December. 

Sarah George


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