Cement producers back CO2 strategy

A cement industry group has backed a strategy to cut greenhouse gases in a way that it says will not slow a building boom in poor countries, Reuters reported. The Cement Sustainability Initiative envisions a system for monitoring, reporting and verifying carbon dioxide (CO2) that aims -- amid regional and global regulations, caps and curbs -- to share technology and best practice for reducing emissions.

The 18-member CSI represents companies producing about 30% of the world’s cement, a sector responsible for about 5% of the global CO2 emissions linked to climate change. Given the rapid urbanisation in developing nations, the cement sector is expected to double its capacity by 2030. In producing emissions, it is well ahead of other manufacturing sectors except steel and refineries.

“CO2 emissions might be reduced by as much as 25%, compared to a situation where there are no commitments to carbon reduction,” said CSI programme director Howard Klee. The group’s approach, he added, would help to win the support of poor countries, which have rejected any absolute cap on emissions.

He added: “It is critical to get developing countries involved, because that’s where 80% of cement is made and that is projected to increase to 90% by 2030. Just because Europe is about to cut emissions, that isn’t going to prompt India, for example, to do the same.”

A CSI study indicated that the sectoral approach would have a greater impact on emissions than relying solely on regional initiatives or loose global targets. The comparison was based on the cement industry improving efficiency by nearly 20% between 2012 and 2030.

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