20 June 2024

New partnership agreed between the United Nations Industrial Development Organization and the GCCA to drive industry decarbonisation around the globe

A ground-breaking agreement has been signed by the UN’s Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) and the Global Cement and Concrete Association (GCCA) to work together on decarbonising the cement and concrete industry, with a strong focus on the Global South.

UNIDO supports its 172 Member States with economic and industrial development, in line with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). With its long-standing experience in renewable energy projects and the application of clean energy technologies in industry, UNIDO successfully collaborates with a wide range of partners globally supporting industries on their pathway to net-zero emissions.

The GCCA is the cement and concrete industry’s main membership body, representing 80% of cement production outside of China, as well as a number of leading Chinese manufacturers. It is leading the industry’s decarbonization work, with its members, through delivery of the GCCA 2050 Net Zero Concrete Roadmap.

Cement and concrete are essential materials, vital for modern infrastructure, used for homes, hospitals, bridges, tunnels, roads and so much more. But their manufacture and wide use (concrete is the most used material on earth after water) account for around 7% of the world’s CO2 emissions.

The two organizations have agreed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), which will see them working together on key sustainability and decarbonization issues.

Speaking at the signing ceremony in Austria, Gerd Müller, Director General of UNIDO, said:

“Cement and concrete are a vital part of resilient infrastructure development.  Decarbonizing the cement and concrete sectors worldwide is essential to reducing CO2 emissions and tackling climate change. The GCCA and its members are leading the way on doing so for this important global industry. Our UNIDO Member States face a number of technical, market-related and policy hurdles that make decarbonization commitments even more challenging. That is why I am very glad to sign this Memorandum of Understanding with the GCCA and start a new phase of closer cooperation that will help our Member States overcome those challenges.”

Thomas Guillot, GCCA CEO, said:

“Through our Net Zero Roadmap and the accelerator programme we have put in place, we are already working with policymakers, governments and industry to overcome procurement and resourcing challenges across the global south. Having this ground-breaking agreement with UNIDO is a natural progression which we hope will fast-track progress in a meaningful way.”

The partnership agreement includes pledges to:

  • provide recommendations for decision-makers to create the right market environments for the development of low and near zero emissions cement and concrete
  • develop innovative technological solutions to help meet net zero commitments
  • organise joint international industry and government events
  • jointly author and publish documents, recommendations and research tools
  • identify promising companies and innovative solutions and showcase these at relevant events and in publications

Media enquiries should be directed to:

Paul Adeleke

Communications and Policy Director