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The cement and concrete cycle accounts for around 10% of global energy-related CO2 emissions. Reaching the goals of the Paris Agreement will require reducing these emissions to near zero by mid-century—a goal that has heretofore appeared elusive due to growing demand, energy- and carbon-intensive production processes, long-lived process technologies, and lack of rapidly-scalable material substitutes. However, a number of emerging innovations in materials science, carbon capture and utilization, and materials efficiency may offer new pathways for decarbonizing this “hard to abate” source of emissions. This presentation will review the innovation landscape across the cement and concrete cycle, present new systems-oriented decarbonization pathways these innovations may enable, and discuss stakeholder actions and policy options for accelerating their adoption.
Dr. Eric Masanet
Eric Masanet is Professor and Mellichamp Chair in Sustainability Science for Emerging Technologies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. His research develops energy and materials systems models to identify technology and policy pathways for decarbonizing industrial systems. From 2015-2017, he led the Energy Demand Technology Unit at the International Energy Agency in Paris, where he oversaw energy analyses of the global industrial, transport, and building sectors. He is currently a Lead Author of Chapter 5 (Demand) for Working Group III of the IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Report and a member of the Research Advisory Board at the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE). He is also the former Editor in Chief of Resources, Conservation, and Recycling, the leading peer-reviewed journal on sustainable resource systems. He holds a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley.