GCCA looks to Roadmap implementation at COP26

GCCA looks to Roadmap implementation at COP26
05 November 2021

At the COP26 meeting yesterday, the Global Cement and Concrete Association (GCCA) held a webinar session entitled ‘From Global Commitment to Local Action – Implementing the Cement and Concrete Net Zero Roadmap’. 

Introduced by Thomas Guillot, GCCA Executive Chief, the webinar aimed to see how the industry could move forward with the global roadmap to reduce CO2 emissions. He stressed how the industry needs to engage with policymakers and stakeholders around carbon pricing, the circular economy, support for innovation, such as carbon capture technologies, and the demand for low-carbon products.

Harold Freidle, Co-Lead Innovation and Special Projects of the UN Climate Action Champions, added that policymaker frameworks, financial support and collaboration are essential drivers to decarbonise faster.

Meanwhile, Magali Anderson, Holcim's Chief Sustainability and Innovation Officer, said: “We will succeed as we all want to succeed but we also need the right policies to be put in place. We are used to that as an industry and in the last 30 years we have already recused our industry CO2 emissions by 20  per cent.” She added that the next decade will be important to make efficiencies along the full value chain and that “the true challenge of the decade will be to really make CCUS technology work.”

Vicente Saiso Alva, Cemex Head of Global Sustainability, added that the industry now needs policymakers to make low-carbon cement manufacture investible, to stimulate demand for low-carbon products and to create the infrastructure for circular economy to reuse the captured carbon. 

Attendees also listened to Stuart Wilson, from the Scottish Government Policy Lead-Decarbonisation of Energy-Intensive Industries, who recognised Scotland will need ways to incentivise decarbonisation of hard-to-abate industries that will require energy efficiencies, electrification, fuel switching, CCUS and hydrogen to replace fossil fuels. Further adding: "We must also be creative and review consumption patterns of products to encourage safer economies." 

A further cement industry perspective was given by Michael McSweeney, president and CEO, Cement Association of Canada, who commented that while the industry knows how to get to net zero fundamentally being a solutions-orientated industry, even if the journey remains challenging. He considered it is not only a matter of technology investment or process changes, “It’s a matter of policy, procedural and even cultural changes in government and across the construction value chain,” he stressed. 

A UK perspective was also presented by Dr Richard Leese, Director, MPA Cement, Industrial Policy, Energy and Climate Change, Mineral Products Association (MPA), who pointed out that the MPA had completed a two-year test programme for a multi-component cement that has a 60 per cent less CO2 footprint than the current CEMI leading cement, adding that a demonstration wall has been built of the low-carbon cements as part of the HS2 High-Speed Rail project.  

Fuel switching is also in the UK net zero strategy using biomass, hydrogen and electrical energy. A GBP3.2m government-funded project has now resulted in a hydrogen and biomass main burner project at Hanson UK and a trial of hydrogen and electrical plasma energy in the calciner at CRH's Tarmac plant. Proof of concept has been achieved on the main burner project with a fuel mix of 47 per cent hydrogen, 12 per cent mean bone meal and 41 per cent glycerine.

Published under Cement News