Four leading experts explored the pathway to carbon neutrality in the cement and concrete industry at a side event to COP25 in Madrid.

The panel discussion entitled “Cement and concrete: the path to carbon neutrality by 2050” was moderated by Galo Gutierrez, general director of the Spanish Ministry of Industry, trade and tourism, and featured:

  • Koen Coppenholle, chief executive of Cembureau, the European cement association.
  • Claude Lorea, cement director of the Global Cement and Concrete Association (GCCA).
  • Maria José García, executive director of the Inter-American Cement Federation (FICEM).
  • Victor Hugo García Brosa, president of the Spanish Cement Manufacturers Association (OFICEMEN).

The event built upon existing roadmaps to carbon neutrality by several regional cement associations, including Cembureau, whose 5C approach formed the basis for the panel discussion. The 5C framework is structured around the key elements of the cement and concrete value chain: clinker, cement, concrete, construction and the built environment, and (re)carbonation.  

The 5C approach. Graphic Courtesy of GCCA.

“Cembureau and its members invite governments to engage with our sector on a full-value chain approach to decarburization – as outlined in our 5C campaign – on the crucial role of the cement industry in the circular economy, and on innovation projects that are instrumental to lowering our emissions,” said Coppenholle.

“In Latin America and the Caribbean, the industry and FICEM are developing roadmaps for a low-carbon economy, adhering to the global guidelines of the cement industry, being the main key topics, to reduce Clinker Factor and increase co-processing,” explained José García. “However, our industry, due to the high climate vulnerability of the region, focuses its efforts on adaptation, promoting resilient and sustainable construction.”

Commenting on the event, Benjamin Sporton, GCCA chief executive, said, “The GCCA, its members and affiliates are committed to driving action on sustainability in the cement and concrete industry that supports the global effort to mitigate the extent and impact of climate change. We were pleased to take part in this vital discussion and look forward to exploring further with our partners how we, as an industry, can work towards carbon neutrality.”

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