Ecocem Ireland’s response to the Climate Action Plan 2021
Ecocem Ireland response to the Climate Action Plan 2021
In Ireland, approximately, five million tonnes of cement are produced annually. Every tonne of this cement emits almost one tonne of CO2.
One-third of these emissions come from the energy required for the cement manufacturing process. Two-thirds, however, come from the burning of limestone to produce clinker – an ingredient of cement.
It’s for this reason, it’s incredibly important that the Irish Government correctly identified clinker as “extremely carbon-intensive” in the Climate Action Plan, released this week.
The Climate Action Plan
The Climate Action Plan is the most progressive undertaking presented by the Government in addressing Ireland’s role and the impact of the long term climate crisis. The action to reduce carbon emissions by 51% by 2030 is bold, admirable, and should be achievable for every aspect of the industry.
For the cement and construction industries, the Plan contains several proposals to help decarbonise both industries, and in particular, strengthen the pathway towards low carbon, innovative technologies.
The key, however, is to ensure a low carbon transition in the cement and construction industries at an acceptable cost.
A sectoral breakdown of industry emissions, in the Climate Action Plan, shows that manufacturing combustion and process emissions from the mineral industry – and primarily cement manufacturing – account for the most significant share of emissions in this sector.
The Irish Green Building Council reports that the built environment sector accounts for around 22 million tonnes of CO2 in a standard year, equal to around 35% of all emissions produced in Ireland. 6.9 million tonnes (11%) of these emissions come from the embodied carbon of the materials themselves.
The National Development Plan, published in October, sets out ambitious infrastructure and residential projects that, while necessary to accommodate our growing population, will result in the embodied carbon increasing by 10% every year.
The programme of work to decrease embodied carbon in construction materials, included in the Climate Action Plan, is welcomed. The performance-based approach is key to accelerating innovative low-carbon technologies being adopted and endorsed by the construction industry.
Only by deploying the full spectrum of technical solutions, however, will we meaningfully accelerate decarbonisation of the construction sector. Fortunately, these solutions already exist.
The cement and construction industries are developing and deploying a range of emission reduction technologies. At Ecocem, we add a further dimension to these efforts.
For more than 20 years, we have been developing, manufacturing, and supplying low carbon cement and construction solutions, providing the lowest carbon cement ever used in Europe at scale. From Dublin’s Aviva Stadium to the Convention Centre, we have achieved a cumulative reduction in CO2 emissions of almost 14 million tonnes.
We are ready and able to play an important role in assisting Ireland to reduce our emissions – and our technology has the potential to reduce the carbon footprint of the cement industry by 50%, in line with the Government’s ambitions.