During a New York Climate Week event, the Global Cement and Concrete Association (GCCA), Portland Cement Association (PCA), and Federación Interamericana del Cemento (FICEM) showcased the progress made in decarbonizing the cement and concrete sector since the launch of the industry Net Zero Roadmap in October 2021. The event also marked the next steps in the journey to accelerate progress as quickly as possible.
Selwin Hart, the Special Advisor to the Secretary General of the United Nations for Climate Action and Just Transition, delivered a keynote speech at the event, which focused on the critical role of concrete in achieving a sustainable and resilient built environment. The progress made over the past 12 months was also highlighted, including the transition from global pledges to local action.
The GCCA has already launched its Net Zero Accelerator programs in Egypt, Colombia, India, and Thailand in 2022 to support the Global South in reaching the net-zero commitment. Industry experts called for greater investment and deployment in technologies and innovations like Carbon Capture and Storage (CCUS) and green procurement, as well as greater collaboration with policymakers to ensure that policy levers and market conditions enable low-carbon concrete to be investable and competitive.
Concrete is the second most used material on earth after water and has shaped the modern world. The GCCA, PCA, and FICEM are committed to accelerating progress by prioritizing innovation to achieve future targets. Earlier this year, the GCCA announced the first group of startups to be backed by world-leading cement companies in the first-ever Innovandi Open Challenge to explore new technologies for decarbonizing the cement and concrete industry.
During the New York Climate Week event, Selwin Hart emphasized the urgent need for action and urged the industry to be champions of net-zero credibility by bringing their entire industry and supply chain on board. Thomas Guillot, GCCA’s Chief Executive, emphasized the importance of continuing the shift to local action to take material steps towards net-zero concrete. Mike Ireland, President and CEO of PCA, stressed the importance of collaboration and innovation in achieving carbon neutrality.
The industry outlined the global commitment to a local action program at the event, highlighting progress in the USA and around the world, as well as examining the key challenges in achieving a greener concrete future. These factors include investment and financing, innovation, policy levers, and government commitment.
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