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Member companies of the Global Cement and Concrete Association have come together as leaders in the sector to commit to producing net zero concrete by 2050, in line with global climate targets – accelerating the CO2 reductions that we have already achieved. The GCCA 2050 Net Zero Roadmap sets out in detail how collectively, in collaboration with built environment stakeholders and policymakers, we will fully decarbonise the cement and concrete industry and provide net zero concrete for the world.
International Energy Agency (IEA); International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA); United Nations Climate Change High-Level Champions
The Breakthrough Agenda Report 2023 is an annual collaboration between theInternational Energy Agency (IEA), the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the United Nations Climate Change High-Level Champions, focused on supporting stronger international collaboration to drive faster reductions in global greenhouse gas emissions. This year’s report shows that current efforts on clean energy and sustainable solutions, while improving, are not yet delivering the levels of investment and deployment required to meet international climate goals. In response, it calls on governments to strengthen collaboration in key areas – such as standards and regulation, financial and technical assistance and market creation – to turbocharge the transition.
The 2023 edition, following the development of the Buildings Breakthrough, includes a Buildings chapter, developed in collaboration with GlobalABC and where five areas are identified as priorities for international collaboration to deliver near-zero emissions and resilient buildings: Standards and certification; Demand creation; Finance and investment; Research and deployment; and Knowledge and capacity-building.
The buildings and construction sector is by far the largest emitter of greenhouse gases, accounting for a staggering 37% of global emissions. The production and use of materials such as cement, steel, and aluminum have a significant carbon footprint.
Historically, much of the sector's progress has centered around reducing the "operational” carbon emissions of buildings – those emissions stemming from heating, cooling, and lighting. Projections suggest that these operational emissions will decrease from 75% to 50% of the sector's total emissions in the coming decades.
However, solutions to mitigate the buildings "embodied" carbon emissions – originating from the design, production, and deployment of materials such as cement, steel, and aluminum – have lagged. To effectively address this challenge, international action and collaboration must bring together all stakeholders from across the entire lifecycle of the buildings sector, both within informal and formal settings.
Building Materials and the Climate: Constructing a New Future, a report developed by UNEP, Yale Center for Ecosystems + Architecture in the framework of the Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction (GlobalABC), highlights the pressing need to establish innovative cooperation models to decarbonize building materials. These models are critical if we are to achieve the world's ambitious target of net zero emissions from the built environment sector by mid-century.
The report also pinpoints three overarching strategies which need to be implemented together to decarbonize building materials:
Avoid unnecessary extraction and production.
Shift to regenerative materials.
Improve decarbonization of conventional materials.
By implementing these strategies jointly, we can pave the way for a greener, more sustainable built environment, aligning with our global climate objectives.
WBCSD’s Roadmap to Nature Positive: Foundations for the built environment system is a step-by-step guidance with supporting material developed through extensive engagement with 8 companies, and Arcadis as lead consultant.
This guidance identifies five subsystems to describe the different characteristics of the built environment system: buildings, urban infrastructure, transport infrastructure, marine and coastal infrastructure, and a crosscutting subsystem covering upstream mining and extraction activities.
This Guidebook is a summary of circular economy concepts, built environment circular economy local-based case studies, and how circular economy concepts can be inte- grated into teaching and learning. This Guidebook is based on collaborations undertak- en for a research project by five universities: RMIT University, University of Peradeniya (UoP), Arabaev Kyrgyz State University (AKSU), TERI School of Advanced Studies (TERI- SAS), and Asian Institute of Technology (AIT).
The project was funded by United Nation University’s Promotion of Sustainability in Postgraduate Education and Research (ProSPER.Net) 2022-23.
The roadmap outlines the New Zealand cement and concrete industry’s commitment to achieve net-zero concrete production by 2050. The roadmap sets targets for a 44% reduction in direct and electricity-related greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, aligning with global standards.
The roadmap also showcases the industry’s efforts and innovations to reduce emissions and enhance the sustainability of concrete, and it aims to support the New Zealand government’s climate change goals and contribute to the global net zero movement.