Paris Accord prompts cement companies’ low-carbon production method audit

A new report from the World Business Council for Sustainable Development’s Cement Sustainability Initiative (CSI) focuses on technology availability and the need to scale up research and development that can help the cement industry mitigate its greenhouse gas emissions. In light of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Paris Agreement’s entry into force, CSI effected an in-depth review of its original technology papers from 2009, when the sector issued the first ever low-carbon technology roadmap in partnership with the International Energy Agency (IEA).

Posted at, the just-published 2017 technology review presents 52 individual papers on existing technologies for which the latest development and implementation status is reviewed, plus seven additional summary papers describing technological developments that can further enhance carbon dioxide emissions mitigation in cement production or downstream activities. The latter include “New binding materials: long-term perspective for application in the cement industry”; “Carbon capture and use: Long-term perspective for application in the cement industry”; “Increased cement performance by optimized particle size distribution”; “Further reduction of clinker content in cement by use of natural calcined pozzolans”; and, “Cements based on carbonates or on carbonation of calcium silicates.”

The report also includes an assessment of possible implementation levels, plus technologies’ challenges and costs in 2030 and 2050 scenarios. The European Cement Research Academy supported CSI with the technology paper review. In addition, a thorough stakeholder consultation process involving experts from various cement companies, researchers and international organizations, has analyzed the outputs and ensured the analysis reflects the most up-to-date knowledge.

The new technology papers will be a major source of information for the global cement industry. CSI is currently working with IEA to update their joint global cement technology roadmap using these papers. Beyond quantification of the contribution of a portfolio of technologies and strategies to mitigate CO2 emissions in the least-cost pathways, the roadmap will also identify the major opportunities, barriers and measures facing the industry, as well as financial partners and policy makers.

“The publication of these revised and new technical papers is a major step in the implementation of commitments made by the cement sector in Paris through the Cement Low Carbon Technology Partnerships initiative. [It] demonstrates that the business is more than ever focused on supporting the implementation of the Paris Agreement,” said CSI Managing Director Philippe Fonta, referencing the December 2015 accord from which the United States, per President Donald Trump, is withdrawing.