C.S.I: a sectoral approach to accelerate reductions in CO2 emissions

2 July 2008

W.B.C.S.D.'s Cement Sustainability Initiative Urges G8 Leaders to Adopt Sectoral Approaches to Accelerate Reductions in Carbon Emissions

The W.B.C.S.D.'s Cement Sustainability Initiative (C.S.I.), currently co-chaired by Lafarge and Taiheiyo Cement, today called on G8 members and the U.N.F.C.C.C. to accelerate the creation of a policy framework that will allow the development of effective sectoral approaches.

At a meeting in Paris, Mr Bruno Lafont, Chairman and C.E.O. of Lafarge, was joined by the President of the W.B.C.S.D. Mr Bjorn Stigson in encouraging the concept of sectoral approaches to be tabled at next week's G8 Summit.

"While discussions are underway to reach a global climate agreement, complementary sectoral approaches could be put into place under which key industry players could work together to accelerate CO2 reductions." explained Mr Stigson.

The cement sector is well placed to adopt a sectoral approach on CO2 emissions, thanks to a CO2 measuring and reporting protocol developed in 2002 by the W.B.C.S.D.'s Cement Sustainability Initiative (C.S.I.). This protocol is now being used by 80% of the world's cement industry.

"As an industry, we are leading in the adoption of tools that can be used to target climate change. Member companies of the C.S.I. have set voluntary individual CO2 reduction targets which are delivering encouraging results and we have today announced a significant drop in emissions per tonne of cement produced by our members." said Mr Lafont.

Figures released by the C.S.I. show that the average net specific emissions per tonne of cement of its 18 members have fallen from over 760kg CO2/tonne in 1990 to 670kg in 2007. This reduction equates to CO2 savings in 2007 of over 70 million tonnes, compared to 1990 performance.

"These results are encouraging and show that reducing CO intensity in cement is possible. To go further, we are calling on G8 members and the U.N.F.C.C.C. to accelerate the creation of the necessary policy framework for effective sectoral approaches," commented Mr Lafont.

As part of its work on identifying actions that cement manufacturers can take to improve the sustainability of their industry, the C.S.I. developed the first global cement database, charting CO2 and energy, with independently verified data. It is the accurate collection of data of this type that will prove crucial in the successful application of sectoral approaches by industry.

"There are a number of benefits with sectoral approaches." said Mr Stigson. "They offer a way of mobilizing emerging economies in CO2 mitigation. This is important when we consider that 80% of emissions in the cement sector come from developing regions. Sectoral approaches also enable a small number of key industry players, or indeed countries, to become engaged quickly."

Cement is strategic for any country's development. The amount of cement consumed continues to rise as emerging countries pursue their legitimate economic development goals and their populations become more urbanized. However, by demonstrating that emissions per tonne have been reduced, and designing a model for sectoral approaches that can be transferred to other industries, the C.S.I. is hopeful that sectoral approaches will be recognised by G8 as viable and complementary to a global climate agreement.


Notes to Editors

The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (W.B.C.S.D.) is a C.E.O.-led membership based organization of over 200 leading global corporations. Its purpose is to advocate the business and broader societal benefits of sustainable development.

The Cement Sustainability Initiative (C.S.I.) was created in 1999 to explore what sustainable development means for the cement industry and identify and undertake joint and individual actions to improve the sustainability of the cement industry. The C.S.I. today has 18 members, with operations in more than 100 countries worldwide.

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