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CEMBUREAU's Opinion

Competitiveness of the European construction industry: CEMBUREAU will take action

On 31 July 2012, the European Commission outlined its “Strategy for the sustainable competitiveness of the construction sector and its enterprises”. The Communication acknowledges the economic importance of the construction sector which can significantly influence the development of the overall economy.

With the right regulatory framework, we can play a pioneering role in construction

In its recently published Activity Report for 2012, CEMBUREAU highlights that the world’s cement production in 2012 was estimated at 3.6bn tonnes which is a 3% increase compared to 2011. China experienced a year-on-year increase of +3.6% and now represents 59.3% of global cement production. Without taking into account China, global cement production increased by 1.8% which represented a further slowdown compared to the 2.8% growth rate registered in 2011.

Global Mercury Partnership: delivering actions on mercury

CEMBUREAU’s priorities focus on the need to maintain a competitive environment in which the industry can innovate, both in terms of its processes as its products. Another priority that deserves highlighting, is the strong attention for the potential impact of cement industry’s activities on people’s health and the environment. It is in this respect that CEMBUREAU is an active participant together with the Cement Sustainability Initiative (CSI) to the Global Mercury Partnership through the Cement Manufacture Partnership set up under the auspices of UNEP. The goal of the Global Mercury Partnership is to protect human health and the global environment from the release of mercury by minimizing global, anthropogenic mercury releases to air, water and land.

CEMBUREAU launches roadmap to low carbon future

On 26 September 2013, CEMBUREAU launched its roadmap for a low-carbon European concrete and cement sector in 2050 at an event in the European Parliament kindly hosted by Mr. Karl-Heinz Florenz, Member of the European Parliament. With this document, CEMBUREAU responds to the European Commission’s objective of achieving an 80% CO2 emission reduction by 2050 and clarifies what the cement industry’s contribution can be to achieve that goal. The Roadmap is based on 5 parallel routes that can each contribute to lowering emissions related to cement and concrete production.

Signs of recovery in Europe but we all need to focus on growth, innovation and jobs!

On 5 November 2013, the European Commission published its economic forecast for the Autumn of 2013. The Commission shows itself confident that the structural reforms undertaken in Europe have created the basis for recovery and it sees increasing signs that the European economy has reached a turning point. While real GDP growth is still estimated to be at 0.0 % in the EU in 2013, it is forecast to gather pace in 2014 with a 1.4% increase and in 2015 with an estimated 1.9% growth.

Competitiveness: the words are there, time for action / timing gets tight for carbon leakage decision

At its meeting of 2 December 2013, the Council struck the right cord when it comes to promoting competitiveness of the European industry. The Council Conclusions echo our continued plea for an ambitious and active industrial policy as a key element of Europe’s recovery strategy, emphasize the importance of providing a stable and predictable regulatory framework, express concern about the high costs of energy on industrial competitiveness and acknowledge the contribution that all industrial sectors can make to the European economy. It is precisely within such competitive environment that the cement industry can contribute to growth and jobs and help building the society of tomorrow.

Economic quarterly report Q3 2013

Latest quarterly real GDP data (Q3 2013) continued to reveal a weak macroeconomic picture in the EU. Actual figures for the first three quarters of the year seem fully consistent with latest EU and IMF forecasts.

This month @ CEMBUREAU

Earlier this month CEMBUREAU contributed to discussions regarding the Draft Guidelines for Environmental and Energy Aid for 2014-2020. In this regard, our views were expressed in a response to a Commission Consultation. In our response, we underlined a series of issues, relating to green certificates, reductions/exemptions from environmental taxes, as well as aid intensity and cumulative burden

Concrete: the backbone of sustainable construction

March was an important month for our work in the field of sustainable construction, culminating in a Stakeholders’ Debate on 27 March on how we can tackle the challenges for the future. This is just the first building block of an exciting new campaign at EU level: The Concrete Initiative! For us, as representatives of the concrete industry, the primary goal is to engage with key stakeholders at EU level on what is needed to achieve sustainable construction, what do we have to offer, and what policy framework is required.

Resource efficiency: one route towards a low-carbon cement sector

“Resource efficiency” is a concept which is increasingly being asked of diverse types of resources. These resources include traditional raw materials, such as fuels, minerals and metals, but also food, soil, water, air, biodiversity and ecosystems. The main goal behind this concept is to increase production, whilst at the same time using less of these resources. Resource efficiency therefore has to be applied throughout the production value chain, from exploration, extraction and use, through to re-use and recycling/recovery.