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WCA President urges cement industry to adopt decarbonisation measures

Published by , Editorial Assistant
World Cement,

The president of the World Cement Association (WCA), Song Zhiping, has presented his plans for the decarbonisation of the global cement industry, taking another step in promoting the sustainable development of the sector.

In a keynote speech at the World Bank’s Energy and New Climate Economy Plenary in Washington DC on 5 March 2019, Zhiping outlined five measures that will lead the cement industry towards low-carbon production and a carbon-neutral built environment. These include the following:

  • The use of alternative raw materials and fuels to reduce the generation of CO2.
  • The use of waste heat recovery systems and clean energy, such as solar and wind power, to cut the consumption of fossil energy.
  • Innovation and management optimisation in process, technology, and equipment to lower the energy consumption per unit production.
  • The adoption of carbon capture technology to recycle CO2.
  • The promotion of using high-grade cement, special cement, ready-mixed concrete, and cement products to reduce cement production and cut carbon intensity.

Zhiping’s speech was entitled ‘world cement industry dedicated to seeking low-carbon development paths’. He explained that, in 2018, 4.1 billion t of cement was produced worldwide, generating 2.5 billion t of CO2. Zhiping, who is Chairman of the China National Building Material Co., as well as President of the WCA, outlined that cement is an indispensable and fundamental material that has made massive contributions to the development of human society. However, cement has a big impact on the environment and great amounts of CO2 is emitted during its production.

To help its members mitigate CO2 emissions and develop climate protection strategies, the WCA held its first Global Climate Change Forum in Paris in 2018. This resulted in the publication of the WCA Climate Change Action Plan. This framework enables all cement companies, including smaller firms and those in developing markets, to embrace best practice by granting them access to shared knowledge and support. It is the association’s manifesto for delivering its contribution to the objectives of the Paris Agreement, to keep the global temperature rise well below 2°.

“Since its foundation, the WCA has been standing at the forefront of the efforts to tackle climate change,” said Zhiping. “With our 72 members from 38 countries, representing an annual cement capacity of over 1 billion t, we have the potential to affect the transformation of the industry to a low carbon economy. I urge all stakeholders to take action and adopt decarbonisation measures.”

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Cement news 2018