HeidelbergCement participates in 22nd UN Climate Conference
From 7 until 18 November 2016, delegates from around 200 countries attended the 22nd UN Climate Conference (Conference of the Parties, COP22) in Marrakech (Morocco). The purpose of the conference was to follow up on the Paris Climate Agreement, and together develop policies and solutions to counter the negative impacts of climate change. HeidelbergCement participated with a delegation of three experts, foremost among them Managing Board member Hakan Gurdal.
In all, 20,000 delegates, as well as roughly 30,000 representatives of civil society, participated in the Climate Conference. A series of thematic days covered specific issues, including: Energy, Transport, Oceans, Cities, Forests, Industry & Business, and Agriculture. The discussions are part of a clear effort to support reduction of greenhouse gas emissions through sub-national and civil society actions.
Hakan Gurdal participated in a panel discussion on “Climate investment in Emerging Markets”. As Managing Board member responsible for the Africa-Eastern Mediterranean Basin Group area, he elucidated the challenges of the cement industry in this specific region. “In emerging markets like Africa, both industrial transformation and population growth will increase the need for concrete as a building material. The cement industry is therefore considered a key player, and is tasked with delivering innovative, low-carbon solutions via products and production processes,” he said. “We stand ready to fulfill this role.”
By viewing waste and by-products as a resource, HeidelbergCement already minimises the use of natural raw materials, and offers solutions for sustainable waste management. At the Kattameya plant in Egypt, we've installed state-of-the-art technology in order to produce Refuse-Derived Fuel (RDF) from municipal solid waste. By doing so, we were able to replace an average of up to 8.3% of required fossil fuel in Egypt in 2015, and as much as 16% in Morocco. “The use of alternative fuels like RDF offers a development opportunity in Africa,” continued Hakan Gurdal. “It promotes industrial progress while minimising the carbon footprint.”
The HeidelbergCement delegation also included Jan Theulen, Director Alternative Resources, and Manuela Ojan, Public Affairs Manager. Jan Theulen presented our pioneering research & development activities relating to Carbon Capture and Utilisation in the area of cement, e.g. for the production of biofuels from carbon dioxide emissions. Manuela Ojan introduced the Cement Technology Roadmap on carbon reduction, as developed by the Cement Sustainability Initiative (CSI) and the International Energy Agency (IEA).