Plans for the UK concrete and cement industry to become net carbon negative by 2050 have been revealed by UK Concrete, part of the Mineral Products Association (MPA).
The organisation’s strategy document, Roadmap to Beyond Net Zero sets out the potential carbon savings that might be achieved via decarbonised electricity and transport networks, fuel switching and greater use of low-carbon cements and concretes as well as carbon capture, usage or storage (CCUS) technology for cement manufacture.
MPA chief executive Nigel Jackson said: “Concrete, and the aggregates and cement used to make it, are essential materials for our economy and our way of life. New homes, schools, hospitals, workplaces, roads and railways, as well as the infrastructure that provides us with clean water, sanitation and energy all depend on these materials.
“We have already made significant progress to reduce carbon emissions but are under no illusion about the scale of the net zero challenge. Achieving this will require the wholesale decarbonisation of all aspects of concrete and cement production, supply and use. The concrete and cement industry as one sector alone cannot deliver net zero and we will only be able to go beyond net zero with concerted support from government, as well as with significant changes across the wider construction, energy and transportation sectors.
“Critically, our roadmap will be delivered without offsetting emissions or offshoring production facilities. We believe that net zero should be achieved by reducing emissions from the construction materials manufactured in the UK, rather than by ‘carbon leakage’ where UK production is replaced with imports that simply moves the emissions responsibility abroad. The aim should be to retain jobs and economic value in the UK whilst ensuring that the UK takes responsibility for the emissions it creates.”