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UN Asks Cement and Concrete Industry to Take Three Steps to Cut Carbon Emissions

The global push for sustainability and combating climate change has reached a crucial juncture, with the United Nations (UN) calling for urgent action from the cement and concrete industry. At the recent Global Cement and Concrete Association (GCCA) address, UN Secretary-General António Guterres put forth three essential steps for the concrete and cement industry to take to curb carbon emissions from the industry-

  1. Completely end the use of coal-fired power in cement production
  2. Work with governments to develop policies and regulations to speed up decarbonization
  3. Set up ambitious emission reduction plans which will be in line with the UN’s guidelines

Source: GCCA – Global Cement and Concrete Association on YouTube.

In recent years, the global concern over climate change and environmental sustainability has reached new heights. As the world acknowledges the urgent need to reduce carbon emissions and transition towards greener practices, it becomes crucial to engage industries in taking proactive steps toward a sustainable future.

Why the cement and concrete industry?

The construction industry is responsible for around 40% of global CO2 emissions each year. Firms are taking steps to decarbonize and make building environments more sustainable. Within this industry, the concrete and cement industry specifically contribute to 7% of global carbon emissions, and this call to action by Guterres will play a critical role in limiting global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees by 2030.

He says cement and concrete are “fundamental to building a better world” and to limit global temperature rise, there is a need to cut “global greenhouse emissions by almost half by 2030.”

Addressing the assembly, GCCA Chief Executive, Thomas Guillot, said “We applaud all the action our members are taking to implement carbon-cutting measures and the latest data shows emissions are coming down. But many challenges remain, which we must overcome, if we are to achieve net zero, including enabling policies and regulations from governments across the world, which often don’t yet exist.”

“So today, I urge every manufacturer across the world, who has not yet done so, to join our pledge to eliminate emissions by 2050, But I also implore all governments to work with our essential industry, to deliver the policy framework that can create the favorable conditions to unlock the transition,” he added.

Sustainability is on everyone’s agenda nowadays. The Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) industry is using all the tools – Artificial Intelligence (AI), remote mapping, Building Information Modeling (BIM), green building practices, and modern design tools to change the way project workflows are approached. Through digitization and the adoption of these innovative technologies, the AEC industry is not only fostering mindful and sustainable practices but also yielding positive outcomes for businesses. This digital revolution is reshaping project methodologies, enabling more efficient resource utilization, and fostering environmentally conscious decision-making.

The cement and concrete industry will play a significant role in advancing sustainable construction practices. Recently, we explored the potential of permeable concrete as a viable solution for efficient stormwater management and its application in creating sustainable and resilient infrastructure. Although it has certain limitations, ongoing technological advancements hold promise in addressing these challenges and pushing the boundaries of its capabilities. By leveraging innovation, the industry can overcome these limitations and further contribute to the development of sustainable and resilient built environments.

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