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European cement and carbon pricing regulatory risk

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World Cement,

New research by InfluenceMap finds that the European cement industry is not disclosing the financial risks it would face in response to a meaningful price on carbon, while continuing to undermine regulations that would enable such a price.

These findings will be debated by InfluenceMap and CEMBUREAU at an event hosted by Carbon Market Watch on 30 November in Brussels. This comes a year after the signing of the Paris Agreement and ahead of a crucial vote on the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) in the European Parliament on 8 December.

Cement production accounts for 5% of total global greenhouse gas emissions and evidence suggests that even with a low price on carbon effectively implemented the profits of the sector would collapse. The sector appears to have responded to this threat by shaping the EU ETS to suit its existing GHG intensive industrial practices through intense policy engagement in Brussels.

InfluenceMap's analysis of corporate engagement with climate policy shows that, out of 15 industrial sectors, cement is the most negatively engaged apart from oil and gas.

Agnes Brandt, Senior EU Policy Officer, Carbon Market Watch commented, “Thanks to the overgenerous free allocation of pollution permits, the cement sector has made 5 billion euros in windfall profits from the EU ETS. So it’s no wonder that they are lobbying hard to block any meaningful reform. When high carbon industry gets a free pass to pollute, low-carbon technologies cannot get a foothold in the market. Policymakers must ensure that cement companies pay for their pollution in order to unlock the huge potential for emission cuts in this sector.”

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