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Editorial comment

Hello dear readers – welcome to January 2022. The holiday season has drawn to a close, and it’s time to brush off the mince pie crumbs, consign what remains of the festive fare to the darkest corners of the freezer, and at least try to stick to any New Year’s Resolutions that may have mistakenly been made in front of other people.

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In my Comment last month, I noted that the closing weeks of a year were the perfect time to take stock and reflect upon what had come to pass over the 12 months prior. Now, some weeks on, having crossed the boundary into a new year and with 365 days of possibilities ahead, it’s only natural to think about the future. If the theme of last month was to look back, then now is the time to look forward.

In the Economist’s ‘The World Ahead 2022’ supplement, forecasters polled by the firm Good Judgement overwhelmingly (90%) predicted that global GDP would rise by somewhere between 3 – 6% in 2022. If accurate, this would be positive news for economies still labouring under the strain of the costs imposed by the pandemic.

On the topic of predictions, this very issue of World Cement includes an executive summary of IA Cement’s forecast for the global cement sector in 2022. Starting on p.15, this summary provides an outline for what each of the world’s key cement producing regions can likely expect in 2022; it paints a broadly positive picture with most regions expecting to see growth despite the emergence of the omicron COVID-19 variant. China, however, is predicted to see a decline in cement consumption of up to 3% as the debt problems of the Evergrande Group weigh heavily across the whole construction sector.

After the somewhat anti-climactic conclusion of the COP26 meeting in November last year, one could almost be forgiven for thinking that climate change had fallen from the agenda somewhat. However, that’s unlikely to be the case for the cement sector – IA Cement’s summary also notes that new carbon taxes are set to maintain an industry focus on emissions reduction – particularly for the major international players.

Many key players in the cement sector have announced net-zero strategies over the last couple of years, however, targets alone won’t result in change. Legislative incentives to reduce emissions (such as the taxes mentioned above) are one route, but the rapid development and application of new technologies will also be key to meeting climate change goals. Indeed, US Climate Change Envoy, John Kerry, stated in May last year that: “50% of the reductions we have to make to get to net-zero are going to come from technologies that we don’t yet have.”

To find out more about what the cement sector is doing to meet its climate change goals, be sure to register for free to attend EnviroTech 2022, coming up on 16 – 17th March 2022 ( Featuring keynote presentations from CEMEX and The GCCA, World Cement will once again be hosting this interactive online conference to share the latest information on new technologies, processes, and strategies for reaching net-zero.

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