Cement constitutes a key product in the construction of buildings and infrastructure projects. However, the production of cement accounts for approximately 8% of global carbon dioxide emissions. These substantial carbon emissions are the result of quarrying, the large amounts of energy required to use kilns, and the chemical and thermal processes involved in cement production.

The emissions resulting from cement production will need to be reduced by 24% to meet the goals set under the Paris Agreement. This poses a challenge for the construction industry, given that production of cement is expected to increase as demand continues to grow in Asia and Africa.

One solution proposed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to tackle the projected rise in carbon emissions from cement is to improve energy efficiency and incorporate fuel switching in the production of cement. These solutions require the use of more energy efficient kilns and substituting fossil fuels for biomass or waste in the energy inputs required for cement production. 

Clyde & Co is running a virtual legal hackathon between 1 July and 4 August 2020 in partnership with The Chancery Lane Project. This post is part of a series of updates posted during the hackathon on business-relevant climate initiatives and innovative solutions to some of the challenges arising from climate change.