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CEMBUREAU release statement on Sandbag study

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World Cement,

CEMBUREAU has released an official reaction to the Sandbag study on ETS and the cement sector:

“CEMBUREAU has taken note of the report published by Sandbag, focusing on cement and the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU-ETSii). In this regard, we partly share the views of Sandbag such as the need for innovation funding to stimulate breakthrough technologies, a closer alignment between allocation and production in the form of a dynamic allocation and a stronger recognition of the role of alternative fuel and raw material use in emission reductions, with the inclusion of a landfill ban on recoverable and recyclable raw materials.”

“CEMBUREAU deplores, however, that despite interaction with the Association, the Sandbag report still contains a number of factual errors and wrong numbers but will be happy to engage with Sandbag on this point. The allegations that the ETS has incentivised overproduction are based on thin air and do not acknowledge the strides the cement sector has made through investments in the reduction of its CO2 emissions. The ever recurring mantra on overallocation ignores that the cement industry has always called for an allocation closer to production and will continue to do so. Moreover, the cement industry in Europe has been one of the hardest hit by the economic crisis with returns on capital below the cost of capital and suffering from a severe slowdown in the construction market.”

“On some of the other substantive issues raised in the Sandbag report, CEMBUREAU is keen to point out that the cement industry has an established track record in reducing the clinker content of cement, whereby it constantly seeks to balance environmental benefits with care for the technical and durability performance requirements of our products, also taking into account the local availability of raw materials that can substitute clinker. The cement industry is further engaged in the research and development of novel cements but is indeed more realistic than Sandbag as to significant market uptake of these developments which needs to be factored in when designing climate change policies.”

“CEMBUREAU also draws attention to the fact that cement is at the start of a supply chain that provides a durable, energy-efficient and low carbon product, concrete, that is essential for building the houses, schools, hospitals and infrastructure of tomorrow. Current concrete technology allows energy consumption in houses to be reduced by 75% and life cycle context thinking is essential to bring these benefits to the front stage.”

“As to the ETS reform, CEMBUREAU disagrees with the concept of a tiered approach as suggested by Sandbag. As a cement sector, we have always called for a revision of the auctioning/free allowance shares so as to allow the best performers to receive full free allocation, in line with the European Council Conclusions of 23 October 2014. A tiered approach risks introducing unclear and unverifiable criteria to distinguish between sectors, and may therefore be discriminatory and open to legal challenge.”

Adapted from press release by Joseph Green

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