China, Global Cement Partner to Expand Industry Decarbonization

Construction project in China

(Credit: Unsplash)

by | Feb 2, 2024

China Cement Association (CCA) and the Global Cement and Concrete Association (GCCA) have signed a partnership pledge to work together on low-carbon development of the cement and concrete industry.

As a part of the agreement, a China cement carbon neutrality roadmap will be released later this year, providing guidelines for decarbonizing the whole cement value chain in China. The GCCA, which released its global net-zero roadmap in 2021, plans to assist with the new roadmap’s development, along with Sinoma International Engineering and the European Cement Research Academy.

Addition of China Key to Meeting Global Decarbonization Targets

The agreement covers cooperation between the organizations for the coming three years and reportedly expands the GCCA’s net-zero goals to a truly global level.

The CCA represents over 50% of the world’s cement production, while GCCA’s members account for 80% of cement production capacity outside of China. The cement industry currently accounts for about 8% of overall global emissions, making it a major contributor to the massive environmental impact of the built environment.

“The world needs leadership and collaboration like never before, especially on addressing the key issue of our time, climate change,” said Thomas Guillot, CEO of GCCA. “This agreement between the China industry and the global industry is a signal to the world that we stand ready to deliver the essential decarbonized building materials that our planet needs. Cement and concrete enable the key infrastructure, thriving and resilient communities, clean water, safe homes, and the shift to clean energy that are essential to a future sustainable world.”

China Experiences Rapid Industrialization, Cement Production

As China industrializes at an unprecedented rate, the country has become the largest producer and consumer of cement in the world.

According to an RMI report, cement production in China is expected to decrease within the next decade, but the country will need to implement several measures to ensure it meets its goal of net zero emissions from the sector. So far, most measures have included energy efficiency changes and equipment improvements. Going forward, key solutions will include the development of low-carbon cement varieties, using low-carbon energy sources for fuel and electricity, and implementing carbon capture and storage technologies.

According to the GCCA net-zero roadmap, 36% of emissions reductions will come from carbon capture and storage, making it the industry’s main strategy for decarbonization. Carbon capture and storage technologies are currently in the development phase and will need to scale rapidly in order to meet the level of carbon capture required by the cement industry and other hard-to-abate sectors.

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