Members of the Cement Sustainability Initiative (CSI) under the Geneva-based World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) concur with formal adoption of the United Nations-crafted Paris Agreement, under which signatory countries pursue long-term greenhouse gas emissions reduction measures. A threshold crossed earlier this fall—where more than 50 percent of signatories took official action toward commitments affirmed at the December 2015 Conference of Parties in Paris—triggered last month’s commencement of GHG management protocols.
|Posted at www.wbcsd.org, the new Low Carbon Technology Partnership Initiatives report shares first year results from 165 participating companies in eight working groups defined by business sector or mission—cement and energy efficiency in buildings among them. Leading the charge in the former is LafargeHolcim Ltd.
“The cement sector has been working collectively since 1999 on measuring and reporting its CO2 emissions while developing solutions for mitigation and adaptation through the [Initiative],” says CSI and Cemex S.A.B. de C.V. Chairman Fernando Gonzalez. “We welcome the entry into force of the Paris Agreement that sets the long awaited regulatory framework to scale-up the implementation of these solutions and encourages further cooperation between private companies, policy makers and the financial community.”
“The agreement sets a framework for reporting CO2 emissions that looks fully compatible with what the CSI has developed 10 years ago, including the independent verification,” adds CSI Managing Director Philippe Fonta.
Cemex, Argos, CRH, GCC, HeidelbergCement, Titan, Votorantim Cimentos and fellow CSI members developed a common energy and CO2 emissions reporting method based on WBCSD- and World Resources Institute-referenced greenhouse gas protocol. Initiative members follow the common methodology in their reporting to a centralized database dubbed Getting the Numbers Right; managed by an independent third party for antitrust considerations, it represents the most comprehensive CO2 emissions database to date of any single industrial sector. The trend across a decade of CSI member reporting demonstrates the industry’s continuous CO2 emissions reduction.
Getting the Numbers Right provides a baseline of emissions to inform low-carbon technology roadmaps, including one developed by CSI in partnership with the International Energy Agency, plus future market mechanisms tied to the Paris Agreement. CSI is now working on extending tools and guidelines to additional cement companies to build on members’ leading initiatives and scale up implementation of current carbon reduction solutions. Global adoption of CSI targets and measures could see the cement sector cut total CO2 emissions 20-25 percent by 2030. That reduction would represent upward of 1 gigaton, equivalent to the annual emissions of a country like Germany.
CSI members convene this month in Madrid for its annual forum to share achievements the cement sector reached in the first year after the Paris agreement was adopted and weigh the next milestones of a global action plan covering energy efficiency; use of alternative fuels; reducing clinker-to-cement ratios; identifying and measuring the avoided emissions throughout the value chain by using sustainable concrete; development of new cements and concrete; plus, carbon capture and utilization or storage opportunities.
JUSTICE, FTC OFFICIALS REVISIT INTERNATIONAL ANTITRUST GUIDELINES
The U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division and Federal Trade Commission are reviewing comments from the past month on their proposed “Antitrust Guidelines for International Enforcement and Cooperation.” Officials seek to update the 1995 “Antitrust Enforcement Guidelines for International Operations” and provide guidance to businesses engaged in international activities on questions that concern the agencies’ international enforcement policy plus related investigative tools and cooperation with foreign authorities. The proposed guidelines reflect what the Justice Department calls “the growing importance of antitrust enforcement in a globalized economy and the agencies’ commitment to cooperating with foreign authorities on both policy and investigative matters.”
“The Antitrust Enforcement Guidelines for International Operations have long been an important reflection of the department’s application of the antitrust laws to businesses engaged in international operations,” says Acting Assistant Attorney General Renata Hesse, in charge the Justice Antitrust Division. “Since the Guidelines were last updated in 1995, globalization has increased dramatically, as has international antitrust enforcement and the level of cooperation between the department and international counterparts. Because of this evolution in practice and developments in the law over the intervening 21 years, this update is long overdue.”
“With the continued expansion of cross-border commerce around the world, the agencies’ international antitrust enforcement policies and practices are becoming more important in protecting U.S. consumers and businesses,” adds FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez. “The revisions we are proposing are designed to ensure that the guidelines are up-to-date and transparent.”
The proposed revisions restructure the previous guidelines and focus on the questions of greatest significance to users; they describe the current practices and methods of analysis the agencies employ when determining whether to initiate and how to conduct investigations of, or enforcement actions against, conduct with an international dimension. In particular, the revisions:
- Add a chapter on international cooperation, which addresses the agencies’ investigative tools, confidentiality safeguards, legal basis for cooperation, types of information exchanged, and waivers of confidentiality, remedies and special considerations in criminal investigations;
- Update the discussion of the application of U.S. antitrust law to conduct involving foreign commerce, the Foreign Trade Antitrust Improvements Act, foreign sovereign immunity and compulsion, the act of state doctrine and petitioning of sovereigns, in light of developments in both the law and the agencies’ practice; and,
- Provide revised illustrative examples focused on the types of issues most commonly encountered.
The commission vote approving issuance of the proposed updated Antitrust Guidelines for International Enforcement and Cooperation for the November public comment period was 3-0. The agencies especially invited comments on the proposed update from attorneys, economists, academics, consumer groups, and the business community.