The Cement Association of Canada (CAC) commends the Wynne Government for its 'comprehensive and thoughtful' discussion paper on climate change, Ontario's Climate Change 2015, released yesterday by the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change.
The CAC agrees that how to plan, build and power our communities to transition to a low-carbon and resilient economy needs to be rethought.
"As a sector that plays a significant role in providing solutions for buildings, transportation and energy, the cement and concrete industry is strongly supportive of integrated approaches to climate change mitigation and adaptation", says Bruno Roux, Chairman of the CAC and President and CEO of Lafarge Canada Inc (Eastern Canada). "We welcome the Government of Ontario's broad and holistic view of the challenges and opportunities that exist to reduce GHGs and build a more resilient society."
The CAC is supportive of balanced regulation that integrates economic and environmental considerations, allowing the industry to compete in both its domestic and export markets while reducing GHGs.
"It is encouraging to see Premier Wynne's Government taking a leadership role to address the global threat of climate change", says Michael McSweeney, President and CEO of the CAC. "We are eager to do our part to further reduce GHGs, including through the proposed new regulation enabling the use of low-carbon fuels in our sector while maintaining cross-border competitiveness, and we look forward to working with the Government to ensure the full environmental impacts are factored into key decisions in such areas as transportation, buildings and energy production."
The cement and concrete industry has made significant progress in reducing its own carbon footprint, lowering its GHG intensity by almost 15 per cent in the last twenty years while delivering sustainable solutions for above and below ground infrastructure. The sector is working to lower emissions even further with examples highlighted by the CAC including:
- Ontario has recently proposed a new regulation to enable the sector to increase the use of low-carbon fuels in cement kilns, a measure that is supported both by industry and several prominent environmental and health organisations. Once in place, this regulation will help the cement sector further reduce GHG emissions by up to 400,000tpa
- The industry recently introduced a new lower-carbon cement called Contempra, which further reduces GHGs by 10 per cent compared to regular cement while preserving concrete's high standards for strength and durability.
- Concrete highways can increase fuel efficiency by up to seven per cent – a potentially significant contribution to reducing GHGs in the transportation sector.
- Similarly, for the buildings sector, concrete's thermal mass can facilitate energy efficiency improvements of up to 80 per cent when twinned with smart energy technologies and design.