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Thursday, June 20, 2024

Government and industry partnership in focus as global leaders meet in Bangkok to advance cement and concrete net zero mission

Thailand’s Minister of Industry, Pimphattra Wichaikul has opened a major international conference, attended by 200 CEOs and leaders from the world’s leading cement and concrete manufacturers, focused on decarbonising the industry. The event, being held in Bangkok, has been organised by the Global Cement and Concrete Association (GCCA), which is the industry’s leading membership association supporting its work to reach net zero.

Her Excellency Ms Pimphattra Wichaikul, Thailand’s Minister of Industry said: “The irreplaceable nature of the cement and concrete industry to Thailand and the world is clear – providing modern infrastructure, as well as our homes, hospitals, offices and so much more.

“Thailand is one of the first countries in the word with a credible national roadmap for delivering on the cement industry’s net zero commitments. Key to success is innovation, cross-sectorial cooperation, strong leadership with clear targets and international collaboration to drive policy and implementation.”

The Minister of Industry was also joined by Dr. Nattapol Rangsitpol, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Industry of Thailand.

Fernando González, CEO of Cemex and President of the GCCA said: “As leaders of this essential global industry, we know the importance of the role our materials play in building sustainable and resilient communities, as well as the infrastructure that our changing world will need in the following years. We have strong commitments and are already delivering the goal of building a more sustainable industry, and by working with governments, policymakers, built environment experts and other key players we have the opportunity to accelerate our progress in this important ‘decade to deliver’.”

The industry. However, cannot reach Net Zero without the support and engagement of countries across the Global South. As part of its decarbonisation agenda, the GCCA is working closely with the UN’s Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), which supports countries in economic and industrial development. To coincide with the conference in Bangkok, UNIDO is unveiling a new package of investment, technical and other support, to help Thailand decarbonise its own cement industry.

Delivering enabling policies to underpin the transition is a major focus of the conference and the recently launched Cement Breakthrough initiative is also participating in the conference with workshops and deep-dives on policy taking place, along with a key address from the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry. His Excellency, Omar Ahmed Suwaina Al Suwaidi, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), is representing the Breakthrough Co-chairs governments at the conference.

At a global level, the industry is cutting emissions through the development of new lower carbon materials, manufacturing processes involving the use of alternative fuels, and innovative technologies including carbon capture, in line with the GCCA Net Zero Roadmap. The roadmap advocates better design and more efficient use of concrete in the built environment. Progress on all these initiatives are key topics for discussion at the Bangkok leaders’ conference.

Thomas Guillot, the GCCA’s CEO said: “Despite our industry’s efforts, challenges remain if we are to reach our shared goal of net zero concrete, including policy and procurement issues. We welcome the support of organisations like Cement Breakthrough and UNIDO, especially in the Global South, and the efforts of the Thai, and other governments, to work with us to overcome these issues. Only by working together will we be able to deliver on our global commitment to deliver net-zero concrete.”

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