March 2009 - For some three years, the cement industry has been working hard to build a sectoral approach to reduce its CO2 emissions worldwide. The CSIi (the Cement Sustainability Initiative) is the pioneer in that respect and its leadership is being followed by a broader constituency of regional cement associations including CEMBUREAU in Europe.
The first step was to establish the WBCSDi-CSI Protocol as a recognised international reference on the data to be collected and data analysis. CEMBUREAU adopted the Protocol in 2003 and is trying to have it standardised as part of the CEN standardisation programme to measure CO2 emissions from energy-intensive industries.
Second came the GNRi (Getting the Numbers Right) project in 2007 CEMBUREAU joined this exercise and CO2 emissions as well as related data were collected from 93% of EU cement industry production for the years 1990, 2000, 2005, and 2006 … an exercise that will go on in the future. GNR is proving a very useful tool in Europe in order to collect data allowing the development of a benchmark for allocation of allowances to the cement industry in the ETSi.
The EU ETS makes explicit reference to sectoral approaches and these are becoming the focal point of international attention in the context of the current attempt to negotiate within UNFCCC, an international agreement on climate change as a follow-up to the Kyoto Protocol. The so-called “Warsaw process” was already described in November 2008 Eurobrief. The steel and aluminum industries are involved in a similar process.
The concept of a sectoral approach itself is clearly gaining ground but the contents remain blurred and open to interpretation depending, inter alia, on the degree of development of the country and its regulatory framework. In some countries, the sectoral approach is viewed as a method to facilitate technology transfers - this is clearly the case in China and India. In other corners, this approach is seen as a way to develop KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) which should be used as international standards as, for example, in Japan. In Europe, where carbon constraints are real, sectoral approaches offer the hope that an international level playing field can be established as soon as possible.
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