Carbon Neutrality

In brief

In its Green Deal published December 2019, the European Union sets out its ambition for Europe to be the first climate neutral continent by 2050. 

The European Climate Law turns this political commitment into legal obligations and triggers investment. Crucially, it includes the intermediate target of an at least 55% net reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 As part of these efforts, the European Union reviewed the key pieces of legislation (such as the EU Emission Trading Scheme), and also created new instruments such as the EU Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism 

The EU will provide financial support and technical assistance to help people, businesses and regions that are most affected by the move towards the green economy. This is called the Just Transition Mechanism and will help mobilise at least €100 billion over the period 2021-2027 in the most affected regions. 

Our view

In May 2020, CEMBUREAU responded to the EU's Green Deal with its Carbon Neutrality Roadmap 2050, setting out the European cement industry’s ambition to reach net zero emissions along the cement and concrete value chain by 2050.  

The Roadmap looks at how CO2 emissions can be reduced by acting at each stage of the value chain – clinker, cement, concrete, construction and (re)carbonation – to achieve zero net emissions by 2050. It quantifies the role of each technology in providing CO2 emissions savings, making concrete political and technical recommendations to support this objective. 

To get there, the sector will need decisive political action from the EU in some key areas, including: 

  • The development of a pan-European CO2 transportation and storage network; 
  • Decisive action on circular economy to support the use of non-recyclable waste and biomass waste in cement production. But also support the recycling of concrete and demolition waste in the cement and concrete industry; 
  • Ambitious policies to reduce European building’s CO2 footprint, based on a life-cycle approach, that incentivise the market uptake of low-carbon cements; 
  • A level playing field on carbon, regulatory certainty and an ambitious industrial transformation agenda. 

We believe that innovation is key in achieving carbon neutrality in our processes, business methods and products. In line with the goals set out in our Roadmap, our industry is developing low-carbon technologies ranging from carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS), circular use of waste, 3D printing, to recarbonation. CEMBUREAU has developed an interactive map showcasing the current decarbonisation projects across Europe. 

By 2030, CEMBUREAU aspires to be in line with the Paris Agreement’s two degrees scenario, reducing CO2 emissions by 30% for cement and 40% down the value chain. 

Full Report & Executive summary
2050 Carbon Neutrality Roadmap
Innovation Projects
Press Release
Green Deal Industrial Plan – CEMBUREAU reaction
Position Paper
Time to act: Strengthening the EU’s leadership on green technologies and decarbonising the cement industry
Position Paper
Response to the public consultation for the EU climate ambition for 2030