PATHWAYS TO NET ZERO
A binding agent in concrete: a mix of cement, aggregates and water that is a basic construction material
11Mt of CO2eq (Process emissions about 60%, energy use emissions about 30%, with the remainder from transport and operations). Approximately 1.5% of Canadian emissions.
Options for decarbonization
Switch from fossil fuel to net zero energy supply, carbon capture and storage, low carbon cement mixes and alternative cement chemistries, reduction in demand/efficient use
Stage of transition
Decarbonisation technologies are capital intensive, some are immature, while others face regulatory policy barriers. Weak demand for low carbon cement and high building sector sensitivity to material prices; cumbersome codes and standards processes slow to adopt innovations; competitiveness concerns
Job creation while developing and implementing new technologies, reduction in air pollution and associated health risks; climate adaptation/resilience applications
Cement production in Canada is dominated by multinational parent companies; international collaboration can accelerate decarbonization
Priorities for action
Public investment in demonstration and commercial applications of viable low carbon cement technologies; government procurement of low carbon cement and support for material-efficient design; movement to performance based codes and standards; research and development on novel technologies.
Alternative cement chemistries; alternative building materials
Indicators of progress
Per cent change in GHG emissions from cement manufacture; market penetration of low carbon cement