• European cement makers looking at further ways to reduce emissions to meet EC net-zero target

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      Patrick Lavery

      Combustion Industry News Editor

The Global Cement website has published a piece covering the situation that Cembureau, the European cement association, faces in respect to the European Green Deal. Before the Paris climate meeting in 2016, members of Cembureau committed to a goal of a 40% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from the production of cement from 1990 levels by 2030. In addition, a target was set for an 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. By 2015, members had already cut their emissions by 14% per tonne of cement produced from direct, indirect and transport sources, and great progress has been made since, with a 29% reduction now achieved. Further improvements through lower clinker factors, better production efficiency, the use of alternative fuels, and better transport efficiency are expected to produce something like a 35% reduction in emissions from 1990 levels; beyond that, carbon capture, utilisation and storage is the means to further emissions reductions. While these achievements are impressive and the plan sound, the European Commission’s Green Deal looks likely to demand of the cement industry deeper cuts than those planned – 50-55% by 2030, and 100%, at least after offsets, by 2050. With such good progress to date, it may on the surface seem reasonable to expect a 50% target to be achievable by 2030, but this will need introduction of quite a number of commercial-scale CCUS facilities within the next decade, up from the present zero. This will be a substantial challenge, and will require serious support and careful policy setting from the EC and its member states. For its part, Cembureau appears set on revising its previous planning with a view to looking at how additional reductions could be made. It will be highly interesting to see what revisions are made to Cembureau’s 2050 Low Carbon Roadmap, and how the organisation believes new targets can be achieved from a technical point of view.