Cement and concrete are integral to our modern civilization. They are the most consumed construction materials, owing to their abundant resource availability, good workability, longlasting durability, and versatility. In 2019, their production, transport, use, and demolition was estimated to account for roughly 9-10% of global energy-related CO2 emissions, including carbonate decomposition, fuel combustion, and electricity use. At the same time, their emissions-intensive manufacturing processes have been slow to change, making the cement and concrete sector one of the world’s most difficult-to-abate sources of CO2 emissions.
To achieve the “well below 2 degrees” vision of the Paris Agreement, it is imperative that the industrial sector reaches net-zero emissions by mid-century. For the cement and concrete cycle, reaching this goal will require a broader portfolio of low-carbon levers, extending from conventional production-side measures (e.g., cement plant technology options and clinker substitution) to emerging production-side measures (e.g., lower-carbon cement chemistries, carbon capture and sequestration, and carbon utilization) to emerging demand-side measures (e.g., material efficiency strategies and end-of-life options).