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UK cement sector plans to cut GHG emissions by 81% by 2050

World Cement,

The UK’s Mineral Products Association (MPA) has become the first national cement industry body to release its greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction plans. The report reveals the actions that the cement industry, as well as others, needs to carry out in order to exceed the UK Government’s ambition of lowering GHG emissions by 80%. The published plans aim to cut emissions by 81% by 2050, against the Kyoto Protocol baseline in 1990. Although cement producers are capable of carrying out many of the proposed measures, assistance will be needed from others, including from the Government. If help is not provided for measures such as the decarbonisation of the electricity sector and carbon capture and storage, then the MPA predicts that it will only be able to limit GHG emissions by 62%.

The plan includes the following elements:

  • Greater plant efficiency.
  • Lower carbon cements that contain less ‘embodied’ CO2.
  • Reducing the amount of cement clinker in finished cements and replacing them with lower carbon substitutes.
  • Increased use of waste derived fuels in place of traditional fossil fuels.
  • Use of carbon neutral biomass fuels.
  • Lower transport emissions.
  • Decarbonisation of the electricity sector.
  • Carbon capture and storage when technically and financially possible.

Executive Director of the MPA, Dr Pal Chana, said, “We have recently heard calls from the European and UK Parliaments for industrial sectors to come forward with their GHG reduction plans out to 2050. I am delighted to say that the UK cement industry was well ahead of these initiatives and has been working on its own plans. The document we are publishing today shows that by building on the considerable efforts we have already made and by capitalising on breakthrough technology in carbon capture and storage as and when it becomes available and economically viable, we believe we can deliver significant GHG reductions. Ours is a small contribution towards what has to be a global vision, but we want to participate fully in this effort and have shown what can be achieved with a combined effort from industry and others.”

Adapted from press release by Louise Fordham.

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