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Industry-specific roadmap from IEA for cement industry

World Cement,

A roadmap published today by the International Energy Agency (IEA) and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) calls for strong national policies to activate known CO2 mitigation actions that the sector can take now, plus a call to action to develop commercially-viable carbon capture and storage technologies as a method for further reducing global CO2 emissions from the cement industry. The Cement Technology Roadmap is the first report of its type to cover a whole industry sector; the result of 12 months of collaboration between the IEA and the WBCSD’s Cement Sustainability Initiative (CSI).

The cement industry has already made significant progress in reducing CO2 emissions through the use of alternative fuels, improved energy efficiency and clinker substitution. However, these technologies must be more broadly applied to realise their full potential.  In addition, it recommends urgent action to develop and demonstrate carbon capture and storage technologies for this sector; outlining the long-term policies and financial requirements needed to support the R&D required.

Cement is a key material needed to build societies’ infrastructure. The report acknowledges that, although cement production accounts for around 5% of global man-made CO2 emissions, there is no viable substitute; and reduction in demand is not a realistic option in view of the world’s continued population growth and increasing rate of urbanisation. The report states that, given the right policy frameworks at global, national and local levels, the cement industry could reduce its emissions by 18% by 2050 compared with 2005.  However, carbon capture and storage will need to be implemented, if this target is to be met.

The roadmap was, produced as a response to requests from ministers at the G8 Summit in June 2008. The IEA was asked to prepare a series of roadmaps to advance innovative energy technologies including carbon capture and storage, nuclear power, wind energy and solar power. In addition, the IEA began to examine ways in which some industries were already adopting process efficiencies to reduce CO2 emissions. The cement industry was chosen as the first example.  It is hoped by the IEA and WBCSD that the new roadmap will accelerate the uptake of advanced clean energy technologies, thereby helping to address the global challenges of energy security, climate change and sustainable development.

'Technology roadmaps can help industry, academic and research groups, civil society, and governments to identify and prioritise strategic R&D and investment needed to achieve technology development goals,' stated Tom Kerr senior energy analyst at the IEA.

'Taking the concept forward and examining an entire industry has been both challenging and rewarding. Focusing on cement, this first industry-specific roadmap highlights a potential path towards significant reductions in future CO2 emissions,' he concluded.

Dr Howard Klee, the program director for the CSI said: 'This joint effort by the IEA and CSI shows the value of a substantive partnership to expand on the progress already made by the cement industry.  There is more that can and will be done but, as the IEA’s roadmap clearly shows, future large cuts in emissions require not only the development of carbon capture and storage technologies but also a clear policy framework in which industry can operate.'

The full roadmap is available at:

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