“No time to lose”: UN urges concrete manufacturers to plan for net zero

Concrete (Sommersby/Dreamstime)
António Guterres, the UN secretary general, has called on cement makers to eliminate their carbon emissions by 2050.

Speaking at a meeting in Zürich, Guterres and Thomas Guillot, the chief executive of the Global Cement and Concrete Association (GCCA), called on companies to end the use of electricity generated from coal in cement production and to work with governments to speed up decarbonisation and meet the UN’s emission targets.

Guterres said: “Concrete and cement are not just fundamental to constructing roads, bridges and buildings. They are fundamental to building a better world. And we have no time to lose.

“World leaders have committed to limiting global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees. Science tells us that requires cutting global greenhouse emissions by almost half by 2030. That means taking a quantum leap in climate action – and slashing global emissions. Starting now.”

Guillot added: “I urge every manufacturer across the world who has not yet done so to join our pledge to eliminate emissions by 2050. I also implore all governments to work with our essential industry to deliver the policy framework that can create the favourable conditions to unlock the transition.”

Concrete is the world’s second most-used material after water, currently accounting for 7% of global carbon emissions.

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