- Strengthening international collaboration to accelerate progress toward near-zero emission cement production by 2030 -

The cement and concrete industry is a major economic driver and a cornerstone of the global economy, but it also produces significant greenhouse gas emissions. While global action to deploy the technologies needed to fight climate change has increased, greater international cooperation is needed to get the world on track to meet climate goals.

The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, along with his counterpart, His Excellency Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology of the United Arab Emirates, set out the Cement and Concrete Breakthrough Priority Actions, a plan to drive the decarbonization of the global cement and concrete sector. This follows the launch of the Cement and Concrete Breakthrough initiative, co-led by Canada and the United Arab Emirates, at the 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) in December 2023.

The plan outlines a set of sector-specific actions that seek to build on important work under way and planned across the international landscape. The priority actions centre on five themes:

β€’ definitions, standards and certification
β€’ demand creation
β€’ collaboration, education, innovation and scale-up of existing technology
β€’ finance and investment, and relevant ecosystem
β€’ landscape coordination

These actions will help strengthen international collaboration on the decarbonization of the global cement and concrete sector, which accounts for approximately 7% of global greenhouse gas emissions. The proposed action areas will drive progress toward making near-zero emission cement the preferred choice in global markets by 2030.

In addition, as part of its $5.3 billion climate finance commitment, Environment and Climate Change Canada announces $8 million over three years (2023–2026) to help Thailand strengthen climate governance and decarbonize its cement and concrete sector, in line with its national climate targets under the Paris Agreement.

"International collaboration is key to making real progress toward the decarbonization of cement and concrete. These priority actions are backed by numerous governments, all working toward the common goal of achieving near-zero emission cement, a product vital to the growth of global economies. With the breakthrough initiative, we will help pave the way to achieving net-zero carbon cement and concrete while building a cleaner future for all."
– The Honourable FranΓ§ois-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

Quick facts

β€’ The Cement and Concrete Breakthrough is one of seven sectoral initiatives under the Breakthrough Agenda banner, which provides an international framework to scale and speed up the deployment of clean technologies and drive down costs across seven of the highest emitting industrial sectors responsible for over 60% of global emissions. These include power, road transport, steel, hydrogen, agriculture, buildings, and cement and concrete sectors. The Breakthrough Agenda was created by world leaders at COP26 and is backed by 57 governments around the globe.
β€’ The Priority International Actions for 2024–2025 under the Cement and Concrete Breakthrough are in response to the recommendations in the 2023 Breakthrough Agenda Report from the International Energy Agency, the International Renewable Energy Agency and the UN Climate Change High-Level Champions.
β€’ These priority actions have been developed collaboratively by countries leading and participating in initiatives under the Cement and Concrete Breakthrough. Progress made on these actions in 2024–2025 will be tracked, discussed through the Cement and Concrete Breakthrough dialogues co-led by Canada and the United Arab Emirates, and presented in the Breakthrough Agenda report.
β€’ The $8 million climate finance program in Thailand will be implemented by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). The project will help Thailand strengthen its climate governance to align sectoral action toward net-zero carbon concrete. Activities will be country-driven and will bring together public and private stakeholders to strengthen the implementation of net-zero policies and strategies, standards and practices, clean technologies, and South-South experience sharing.
β€’ Worldwide, the production of cementβ€”which is the key ingredient in concreteβ€”is a major source of greenhouse gas emissions, accounting for approximately 7% of total emissions globally and nearly one third of global industrial emissions. In November 2022, the Government of Canada and the Cement Association of Canada launched the Roadmap to Net-Zero Carbon Concrete by 2050, an initiative to drive the elimination of more than 15 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions cumulatively by 2030, followed by ongoing reductions of over 4 million tonnes annually, from the production of cement and concrete in Canada.

SOURCE: Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

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