Global Net-Zero Policies Colliding With Economic Realities In The Indian Cement Industry

London, 15 December 2023 - The World Cement Association's (WCA) Founder and Director, Emir Adiguzel, delivered a grounbreaking keynote speech at the 14th Cement EXPO by delving into the complex interplay between globally announced net-zero policies, emission targets, and economic realities facing emerging markets in the cement industry.

Mr. Adiguzel began by extending a warm welcome to all attendees, emphasizing the event as a hub for innovation and shared commitment within the cement industry. The speech focused on the global production of approximately 4 billion tons of cement, and highlighted concrete as the secon most used material in the world after water. 

With a spotlight on India, one of the world's largest cement producers, Mr. Adiguzel acknowledges the pivotal role the industry plays in the nation's development, serving as the backbone for critical infrastructure projects.

Despite being a catalyst for economic growth, the Indian cement industry faces challenges aligning with globally announced net-zero policies while meeting the rising demand for cement in the country.

In addition, Mr. Adiguzel addressed the pressing issue of carbon emissions, noting that cement production contributes to 7% of global carbon emissions, and currently, there is no fully proven technology to eliminate these emissions without imposing significant capital costs on the industry. This dilemma has led to European Multinational cement companies divesting from the cement business to reduce their carbon footprint.

The speech underscored India's position as the most promising country for long-term demand in construction materials, particularly high-quality cement and concrete. It emphasized that India cannot compromise growth in building new homes, offices, and infrastructure for the sake of net-zero policies at this stage.

While expressing confidence in the Indian Cement Industry's efforts to reduce carbon emissions and adopt sustainable practices, Mr. Adiguzel recognized unexploited areas for improvement, such as turning urban waste into fuel and recycling construction and demolition waste. Furthermore, he addressed the urgent need for a lower-carbon society and called for the evolution of national regulatory frameworks to support innovative solutions while minimizing costs for end customers. The spotlight was also on the global funding distribution for new technologies, highlighting the disproportionate burden on emerging markets like India.

“The World Cement Association emerged as a key player in the global cement landscape, and we invite all industry stakeholders to join as the largest independent network of cement producers. We recognize the Indian cement industry’s power to drive sustainable development, job creation, and a greener future for India and the world. The industry has great potential to become a Net Zero CO2 sector by 2050 through environmentally friendly technologies,” said Emir Adiguzel, WCA’s Founder and Director.