24 September 2021

Cement and concrete becomes first global essential industry accelerator for UN’s global Race to Zero

(London: 24 September) – As part of New York Climate Week, the Global Cement and Concrete Association (GCCA) has today announced that it will become an accelerator of the United Nations (UN) backed Race to Zero campaign – which campaigns for accelerating the halving of global emissions by 2030 and pledging to reach net zero by 2050.

The GCCA, which represents 80% of the international concrete and cement industry outside China and some of the leading Chinese manufacturers, has become the first association that represents a global essential industry to join the campaign as an accelerator. GCCA members that have already pledged to join Race to Zero through its partner initiative Business Ambition for 1.5C include Cementos Argos, CEMEX, Dalmia Cement, GCC, HeidelbergCement, Holcim, and Votorantim Cimentos, who operate across the world.

The announcement comes ahead of the planned launch of GCCA’s roadmap to carbon-neutral concrete in October 2021, during which it will detail plans to achieve net zero concrete globally by 2050. 

Launched in June last year by the UN High Level Climate Action Champions, Nigel Topping and Gonzalo Munoz, the Race to Zero campaign rallies non-state actors – including companies, cities, regions, financial, educational, and healthcare institutions – to take rigorous and immediate action to halve global emissions by 2030 and deliver a healthier, fairer zero carbon world in time. All members are committed to the same overarching goal: reducing emissions across all scopes swiftly and fairly in line with the Paris Agreement, with transparent action plans and robust near-term targets.

By helping to accelerate the Race to Zero, GCCA reinforces its commitment to helping its global members and the wider sector reach net zero by 2050 and is leading the way in the transition to more sustainable practices among heavy industries.

Nigel Topping, UN High Level Climate Action Champion, said: “I’m delighted to welcome the GCCA as a new Accelerator to the Race to Zero campaign. As we move toward COP, we really need to see a gear shift across all industries from ambition to implementation in the race to a zero carbon world. With the cement and concrete sector having achieved a breakthrough ambition earlier this week, the GCCA can play a critical role in continuing to accelerate the industry’s progress towards its fair share of halving global emissions by 2030. We need to see action now to ensure the health and prosperity of people and planet for now and future generations.”

Thomas Guillot, GCCA Chief Executive said: “Cement and concrete are crucial to the development of society and the economy, so it’s vital that we find ways to ensure their long-term sustainability. Global cooperation is the only way to achieve this and the upcoming GCCA 2050 Roadmap will set out how the concrete and cement industry worldwide will unite to deliver net zero concrete.

“By helping to accelerate the Race to Zero campaign, we are reinforcing our commitment to act as a catalyst to help achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, while also leading the way for other heavy industries to do the same.”


About GCCA

Launched in January 2018, the Global Cement and Concrete Association (GCCA) is dedicated to developing and strengthening the sector’s contribution to sustainable construction. The GCCA aims to foster innovation throughout the construction value chain in collaboration with industry associations as well as architects, engineers, and innovators. In this way, the association demonstrates how concrete solutions can meet global construction challenges and sustainable development goals while showcasing responsible industrial leadership in the manufacture and use of cement and concrete. The GCCA is headquartered in London, England. It complements and supports the work done by associations at the national and regional levels.

About Race to Zero

Race to Zero is the international campaign for a healthy, resilient, zero-carbon recovery. Led by the UNFCCC Champions for Climate Action, it aims to bring together net zero commitments from cities, businesses and investors across the climate action community in the run up to COP26. Race to Zero collaborates with multiple international networks and initiatives, which have independently been mobilizing net-zero commitments. All of them require their participants to meet the Race to Zero’s minimum criteria. For a full list of partners see here.

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Paul Adeleke

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