French Cement Industry Commits to Halving CO2 Emissions by 2030

The French cement industry, including major players like Eqiom, Heidelberg Materials, Holcim, and Vicat, has pledged to significantly reduce CO2 emissions, aiming for a 50% reduction by 2030 and nearing complete decarbonization by 2050.

French Cement Industry Commits to Halving CO2 Emissions by 2030
Photo by Dan Meyers / Unsplash

In a decisive move towards environmental sustainability, the French cement industry has embarked on an ambitious journey to drastically reduce its carbon footprint. The industry, responsible for emitting 10.4 Mt of CO2 annually and accounting for 2.8% of France's emissions, has long been scrutinized for its environmental impact. Recognizing the urgent need for change, major cement manufacturers such as Eqiom, Heidelberg Materials, Holcim, and Vicat have committed to halving their CO2 emissions by 2030 compared to 1990 levels, with goals to approach near-total decarbonization by 2050.

This commitment comes in response to the French government's call for the 50 most significant industrial CO2 emitters to significantly reduce their emissions. The cement industry's strategy focuses on two main emission sources: thermal energy for kilns and the decarbonation of limestone in clinker production, which together constitute the bulk of the sector's carbon emissions.

To achieve these ambitious targets, the industry is leveraging a variety of known and innovative measures: substituting fossil fuels with alternative fuels like used oils, plastics, and non-recyclable wood; reducing clinker content through the addition of cementitious compounds; and advancing circular economy practices. A promising avenue for addressing "fatal" emissions is carbon capture and storage (CCS) or utilization technologies. Despite the high costs associated with CCS, the industry is exploring financial support mechanisms, including potential funding from the European Union, to make these solutions viable.

The French cement industry's commitment to decarbonization is a significant step towards aligning with global climate goals and the national strategy for carbon neutrality. By investing in cleaner production methods and embracing the circular economy, the sector aims to not only reduce its environmental impact but also contribute to the sustainable development of the construction industry.

Source: Le Moniteur