Ecocem Ireland has released a consultation document outlining a Carbon Reduction Roadmap for the cement and concrete sector at an industry event held in Dublin. The roadmap is a response to the Government’s request for input into formulating a national roadmap in 2014 which will bring Ireland into line with the EU target to reduce CO2 emissions by 85% and transition to a low-carbon economy by 2050.
The cement and concrete sector is failing to meet the EU2050 carbon roadmap targets. Emissions are far too high and will remain so with current technologies and existing national policies. Available green technology in underutilised and increased R&D will be necessary to prepare for radical technical innovation to ensure the sector’s survival in a carbon constrained world.
Donal O’Riain, Managing Director of Ecocem said: “The cement and concrete sector is the largest manufacturing source of CO2 emissions in Ireland. Innovation, new technologies and effective public policy are essential to change this and to help decarbonise this sector.”
He added: “Our aim with this consultation paper is to seek industry input into a final roadmap which will go to government in early-2014 with specific recommendations on how to achieve the low-cost transition to a low-carbon economy in Ireland, while creating new and sustainable jobs. Radical change is unavoidable, and the solution requires the participation of all stakeholders in the construction industry.”
The transition to a low-carbon cement and concrete industry will be a major source of new jobs in Ireland. Ecocem estimates 600 to 1,200 new jobs can result from the manufacture of low-carbon concrete for export markets within three to five years.
The environmental benefits will also be significant. Harmful environmental and health effects of emissions from cement manufacture in Ireland have been independently estimated at €140m, for 2012. Low-carbon cements could reduce this cost by up to 90%, according to a recent report by Stuttgart University.
R&D on new cement technology and carbon capture and storage will require highly skilled jobs and create new, valuable technical expertise. A cement/concrete sector that achieves its roadmap targets will reduce the impact of carbon compliance on the rest of the economy. Everyone stands to gain from the transition to a low-carbon cement and concrete sector in Ireland.