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European Commission lets low-carbon cements down with proposed ETS benchmark reforms

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

Illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on Euractiv or enjoy below:

🗞️ Driving the news: The EU's Emission Trading System (ETS) is under scrutiny due to the proposed Free Allocation Regulation (FAR), which risks diluting progress in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, particularly for the cement industry, one of the world's most carbon-intensive sectors

🔭 The context: The EU ETS, designed to make major polluters accountable, faces challenges in effectively curbing emissions from cement production
• The cement industry, responsible for significant CO2 emissions, could benefit from adopting low-carbon alternatives to Portland clinker, but current ETS benchmarks favor high-carbon production

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: Reforming the ETS benchmarks to promote low-carbon cement solutions is critical for the decarbonization of the cement industry and to meet broader climate goals
• The current system's focus on high-carbon clinker production discourages the shift to environmentally friendly alternatives

⏭️ What's next: The upcoming revision of the FAR for 2026-2030 offers a crucial opportunity to adjust benchmarks to include low-carbon binders
• However, the lack of substantial changes in the current proposals could result in a lost decade for climate action in the cement industry

💬 One quote: "The industry must be incentivised to decarbonise – and the ETS should be one of the tools to make that happen" (Euractiv editorial team)

📈 One stat: The European cement industry emits a staggering 104 megatonnes of CO2 annually, equal to the yearly emissions of Belgium.

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