The President of the World Cement Association (WCA), Song Zhiping, presents his plans for a decarbonization of the global cement industry and takes another step in promoting a sustainable development of the sector.
In a keynote speech at the World Bank’s Energy and New Climate Economy Plenary in Washington DC on 5 March 2019, Mr. Song outlined five measures that will lead the cement industry towards low-carbon production and a carbon-neutral built environment:
- The use of alternative raw materials and fuels to reduce the generation of carbon dioxide
- The use of waste heat recovery systems and clean energy such as solar and wind power to cut the consumption of fossil energy
- Innovation and management optimization in process, technology and equipment to lower the energy consumption per unit production
- The adoption of carbon capture technology to recycle CO2
- The promotion of using high-grade cement, special cement, ready-mix concrete and cement products to reduce cement production and cut carbon intensity
“Since its foundation, the WCA has been standing at the forefront of the efforts to tackle climate change. With our 72 members from 38 countries, representing an annual cement capacity of over 1 billion tons, we have the potential to affect the transformation of the industry to a low carbon economy,” says Song Zhiping, President of the WCA. “I urge all stakeholders to take action and adopt de-carbonization measures.”
In 2018, 4.1 billion tons of cement were produced worldwide, generating 2.5 billion tons of carbon dioxide, Mr. Song explained in his speech with the title “World Cement Industry Dedicated to Seeking Low-Carbon Development Paths”. The President of the WCA, who is also Chairman of the China National Building Material Company, outlined that cement is an indispensable and fundamental material, having made massive contributions to the development of human society. However, cement has a big impact on the environment as great amounts of CO2 are emitted during its production.
To help WCA members mitigate CO2 emissions and to develop climate protection strategies WCA held its first Global Climate Change Forum in Paris last year, resulting in the publication of the WCA Climate Change Action Plan. This framework enables all cement companies, including smaller firms and those in developing markets, to embrace best practice by granting them access to shared knowledge and support and is the association’s manifesto for delivering its contribution to the objectives of the Paris Agreement to keep the global temperature rise well below two degrees.