Close to 85% cement makers across the world have pledged to reach net-zero by 2050, without carbon offsetting.
And their vow to cut emissions by 25% by 2030 could keep some five billion tonnes CO2 out of the atmosphere, reports the Guardian.
Making good on that promise would prove a significant gift to the planet, as the industry is currently responsible for about 8% of annual global emissions, more than the equivalent of any single country except China and the United States.
Spearheaded by the Global Cement and Concrete Association (GCCA), which represents 80% of the industry outside China, the announcement also has the support of about 20% of China’s concrete and cement companies.
The pledge comes after more than a decade of effort to curb emissions generated in cement making. Initially, the reductions will come courtesy of existing technologies. From 2030 to 2050, the industry plans to rely on carbon capture and storage technology for a third of its reductions, “which is not yet in widespread commercial use,” notes the Guardian.
Observing that “concrete is the second most used material in the world after water,” GCCA Chief Executive Thomas Guillot told the Guardian he hoped that other emissions-heavy industrial sectors would follow suit, with equivalent joint commitments to do their part to fight the climate crisis.
The need to cut emissions from cement and concrete is urgent, given that the market for both materials is forecast to nearly double to nearly C$795 billion by 2030.