Founder Donal O'Riain reflects on COP27 and how we can accelerate the decarbonisation of the cement industry.
COP27 starkly highlighted the need for a rapid response to the escalating climate crisis. While negotiators did, at least, manage to preserve the commitment made in Paris in 2015 to limit global warming to 1.5°C, it is clear is that we cannot wait until 2030 to start reducing emissions – and that is absolutely true for the cement sector, which is responsible for over 7% of all global carbon emissions but struggling to decarbonise as quickly as it needs to in order to align with the 1.5°C target.
Our new report, Cement: raising ambitions, reducing emissions delivers a conclusion that is unequivocal: the construction sector cannot afford to wait to transition to a low carbon environment. Fortunately, scalable solutions exist today that can decarbonise the cement industry by 50% by 2030 at minimal additional cost.
With the support of progressive industry partners, these innovative low-carbon cement technologies can play a crucial role in massively decreasing the CO2 footprint of the cement sector in the EU and within the next decade, turning the industry from a laggard into a leader. To do this we also need the right policy carrots and sticks in place –ranging from an ambitious reform of EU emissions trading rules and standardisation process to a smart approach to funding the scale-up of market ready low-carbon technologies.
Technology is no longer the issue; partnership, and enabling policy and regulation are what are needed now to accelerate the decarbonisation of the cement industry.
It is time to ACT.