GCCA agrees decarbonisation deal with UN body

A ground-breaking agreement has been signed by the UN’s Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) and the Global Cement & Concrete Association (GCCA).

The deal commits the two organisations to work together on decarbonising the cement and concrete industry, with a strong focus on the Global South.

UNIDO supports its 172 member states with economic and industrial development, in line with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

With its long-standing experience in renewable energy projects and the application of clean energy technologies in industry, the UN body collaborates with a wide range of partners globally supporting industries on their pathway to net-zero emissions.

The GCCA is the cement and concrete industry’s main membership body, representing 80% of cement production outside of China, as well as a number of leading Chinese manufacturers. It is leading the industry’s decarbonisation work, with its members, through delivery of the GCCA 2050 Net Zero Concrete Roadmap.

Speaking at the signing ceremony in Austria, Gerd Müller, director general of UNIDO, said: “Cement and concrete are a vital part of resilient infrastructure development. Decarbonising the cement and concrete sectors worldwide is essential to reducing CO2 emissions and tackling climate change.

“The GCCA and its members are leading the way on doing so for this important global industry. Our UNIDO member states face a number of technical, market-related and policy hurdles that make decarbonisation commitments even more challenging. That is why I am very glad to sign this Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the GCCA and start a new phase of closer cooperation that will help our member states overcome those challenges.”

Thomas Guillot, the GCCA’s chief executive, added: “Through our Net Zero Roadmap and the accelerator programme we have put in place, we are already working with policymakers, governments and industry to overcome procurement and resourcing challenges across the global south. Having this ground-breaking agreement with UNIDO is a natural progression which we hope will fast-track progress in a meaningful way.”

Cement and concrete are essential materials, vital for modern infrastructure, used for homes, hospitals, bridges, tunnels, roads and so much more. But their manufacture and wide use (concrete is the most used material on earth after water) account for around 7% of the world’s CO2 emissions.

The MoU signed by the two organisations includes pledges to:

  • Provide recommendations for decision-makers to create the right market environments for the development of low and near zero emissions cement and concrete
  • Develop innovative technological solutions to help meet net zero commitments
  • Organise joint international industry and government events
  • Jointly author and publish documents, recommendations and research tools
  • Identify promising companies and innovative solutions and showcase these at relevant events and in publications

Main image: Thomas Guillot, chief executive of the GCCA, and Gerd Müller, director general of UNIDO

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