UK Concrete and cement industry launches 'Roadmap to beyond Net Zero'

UK Concrete and cement industry launches 'Roadmap to beyond Net Zero'
06 October 2020

The UK concrete and cement industry has launched a roadmap to become net negative by 2050, removing more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere than it emits each year. 

The UK Concrete, part of the Mineral Products Association (MPA), has identified that net zero can be met through decarbonised electricity and transport networks, fuel switching, greater use of low-carbon cements and concretes as well as carbon capture, usage or storage (CCUS) technology for cement manufacture. 

The 'Road Map to beyond Net Zero' calculates the potential of each technology and the carbon savings which can be achieved. CCUS technology is vital to delivering net zero manufacturing and, according to the roadmap, will deliver 61 per cent of the required carbon savings. 

A net negative industry by 2050 will be achieved by using the natural, in-use properties of concrete which include its ability to absorb carbon dioxide during use, and the benefit of using the thermal properties of concrete in buildings and structures to reduce operational emissions. 

The industry is now calling on government for a robust financial support model including for the capital and operational costs of carbon capture by no later than 2021. This would ensure the technology can be developed, deployed and become an investable proposition in the 2030s. 

Nigel Jackson, CEO of the MPA, commented: "We have already made significant progress to reduce carbon emissions but are under no illusion about the scale of the net zero challenge. Achieving this will require the wholesale decarbonisation of all aspects of concrete and cement production, supply and use. The concrete and cement industry as one sector alone cannot deliver net zero and we will only be able to go beyond net zero with concerted support from Government, as well as with significant changes across the wider construction, energy and transportation sectors.

"Critically, our roadmap will be delivered without offsetting emissions or offshoring production facilities. We believe that net zero should be achieved by reducing emissions from the construction materials manufactured in the UK, rather than by 'carbon leakage' where UK production is replaced with imports that simply moves the emissions responsibility abroad. The aim should be to retain jobs and economic value in the UK whilst ensuring that the UK takes responsibility for the emissions it creates."

Published under Cement News