The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment hosted the Cement and Concrete Decarbonisation Workshop event today to tackle the critical contributors to the UAE’s carbon footprint. Embodied emissions, associated with the manufacturing, transportation, and construction of building materials, account for 10% of the country’s total CO2 emissions.
The Cement and Concrete Decarbonisation Workshop was organised by the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, in light of the UAE’s Year of Sustainability 2023 and the COP28 conference later this year, to create a comprehensive model for carbon removal across various vital sectors.
The workshop marks the first time experts across the supply chain – including developers, consultants, cement and concrete producers, project buyers, and government officials convene to share their ambitions for achieving a net-zero roadmap. Over 100 participants attended the one-day event, which was held at the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment.
His Excellency Eng Essa Al Hashmi, Assistant Under-Secretary for Sustainable Communities and Acting Assistant Under-Secretary for Green Development and Climate Change at the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, emphasised the critical importance of reducing carbon emissions to enable the UAE to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. This aligns the UAE’s climate commitments and its efforts to help the world limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
HE Essa Al Hashmi said, “This year, the UAE will host the 28th Conference of Parties (COP28), which is a global platform aimed at addressing the urgent issue of climate change. As such, we must ensure that the UAE is at the forefront of decarbonisation efforts across all sectors. Through this workshop and other efforts, we seek to build an integrated mechanism that brings together all stakeholders to work on carbon removal from various vital sectors, in order to have a tangible impact on the sustainability of those sectors in the future and not to cause further climate and environmental effects.”
Achieving net-zero emissions will require significant efforts from all sectors, including the construction and real estate industries. The event highlighted the importance of adopting low-carbon technologies and processes, as well as investing in research and development to create innovative solutions that can reduce the carbon footprint of the cement and concrete sector.
In her opening speech, Muna Alamoodi, Director of Climate Change Department at the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment commended all stakeholders in the supply chain, from cement producers, concrete manufacturers, designers, developers, and the government, for their efforts to mitigate embodied emissions.
She also urged the private sector to explore many options, including low-carbon cement, process optimisation, fuel diversification, distributed generation, and generating new demand for green products. He invited participants to join the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment’s climate pledge.
Furthermore, Alamoodi highlighted the role all stakeholders can and must play in expediting the transition to decarbonisation.
Alamoodi said: “Whether it is promoting sustainable building practices, specifying low-carbon materials, policy and regulatory interventions, or others, we all have a part to play. We need your support in understanding these options and how we can accelerate decarbonisation across the value chain.”
Later in the day, participants from related industries were divided into groups for breakout sessions to discuss and identify practical solutions for decarbonising embodied CO2 in buildings and infrastructures. Participants then suggested a cement and concrete decarbonisation roadmap for COP28.
The cement and concrete industries are crucial pillars of the UAE’s economy, and the participants agreed it is crucial that the sector to work on developing and introducing environmentally-friendly products that reduce environmental impact and pave the way for a more sustainable future. Future cities require the use of sustainable cement and concrete in building materials, through the collaboration of all stakeholders in the supply chain to achieve this goal.