Cement industry expected to join national carbon trading market

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At a seminar on dual carbon goals and carbon asset management last week, Song Zhiping, chairman of the World Cement Association (WCA), delivered a speech and predicted that the cement industry would be included in the national carbon trading market next year.

He recalled his experience of attending COP21 in Paris seven years ago, emphasizing that China would continue to learn from the EU when it came to developing its own carbon market.

“After years of development, the EU carbon allowance price has reached the current average of more than 60 euros ($59) per ton, and was almost 100 euros in August, which is greatly encouraging for us,” Song said.

Taking the frequent floods, droughts, high temperatures and cold weather seen in China in recent years as examples, he pointed out that the frequent occurrence of extreme weather impacts everyone’s life and threatens the survival of human beings.

“On the other hand, government officials, entrepreneurs, and all sectors of society are no longer divided, and there is now a consistent attitude towards environmental issues.” He pointed out the positive side, and explained that carbon trading in China has developed as follows:

  • Step 1: years of regional carbon trading pilot;
  • Step 2: the opening of the national carbon trading market, and the power industry taking the lead in participating in trading;
  • Step 3: steel, petrochemical, cement and other industries with greater difficulties in reducing emissions being allowed to enter the market in the future.

Given that China is the biggest producer of cement, with annual sales of more than 2 billion tons, more than half of global sales, and that the global cement industry emits 2.4 billion tons of carbon every year — accounting for 7 percent of all industrial emissions, emission reduction in this sector is urgent.

WCA has done a lot to pave the way for the cement industry’s entry to the carbon market, such as introducing AI and promoting digital transformation and low-carbon technologies. And Song says that he feels confident about the coming year.