China: pandemic to peak carbon

Published 02 March 2021

China’s forthcoming 14th Five-Year Plan commits the country to ‘peak carbon’, but what consequences will this have for the world’s largest cement producer? Previous restructuring efforts have transformed the industry by modernising equipment, improving environmental performance and industry profitability. Continued deep restructuring will be necessary to keep pace with President Xi’s vision of modern China.

By modernising equipment and improving its environmental performance,

China’s 3.8bnta cement industry plans to reach peak carbon by 2025

After decades of uninterrupted annual growth, China’s cement demand reached a record high in 2014 at 2.466bnt – accounting for an immense 55 per cent of global output. Over the following period coinciding with China’s 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-20), annual demand remained high at 2.3-2.4bnt, as large-scale investment into the country’s vast infrastructure and housing projects continued.

Under the forthcoming 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25), China’s Communist Party will reset the country’s economic policy objectives. The main policy objectives point to an intensification of existing trends towards sustainable economic performance with greater environmental focus:

• replacing high-speed growth with high-quality growth
• rebalancing its economy with supply-side structural reform
• expanding domestic demand, while continuing to support international export markets
• driving modernisation through innovation and technological advancements
• promoting high-end, intelligent and green production.

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