Thai Minister of Industry underscores value of global cooperation in journey towards net-zero

by Helena Morgan
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At the Global Cement and Concrete Association’s (GCCA) 2024 CEO gathering and leaders conference in Bangkok, Thailand’s Minister of Industry Pimphattra Wichaikul expressed the country’s staunch commitment to decarbonising the concrete industry and emphasised the importance of multidisciplinary collaboration when pursuing innovation.

GCCA’s conference brings together 200 CEOs and leaders from globally renowned cement and concrete manufacturers vowing to decarbonise the industry. Cement and concrete are essential materials in the construction of modern infrastructure, however, they account for seven percent of the world’s CO2 emissions. GCCA aims to achieve net-zero emissions for concrete and cement by 2050 – a feat that Wichaikul believes will come down to inspiring leadership and policy.

“The key to success is innovation, cross-sectorial cooperation, strong leadership with clear targets and international collaboration to drive policy and implementation,” says Wichaikul.

Wichaikul confirms Thailand’s devoted decarbonisation efforts. “Thailand is one of the first countries in the world with a credible national roadmap for delivering on the cement industry’s net zero commitment,” she says.

The conference, which runs from 3 – 7 June, will feature workshops and discussions led by the newly launched Cement Breakthrough initiative, in addition to an address from Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne. CEOs and leaders will also discuss efficient concrete use in the built environment.

Materials responsible for sustainable and durable communities

GCCA president and CEO of Cemex Fernando González is regularly quoted as saying the 2020s are the “decade to deliver” on decarbonisation and sustainable industry practices – the judicious selection of materials is an effective way to ensure delivery.

“We know the importance of the role our materials play in building sustainable and resilient communities, as well as the infrastructure that our changing world will need in the following years,” he says.

“We are already delivering the goal of building a more sustainable industry – and by working with governments, policymakers, built environment experts and other key players, we have the opportunity to accelerate our progress.”

Including all countries in the net-zero journey

The plight towards net zero requires investment and interest from every corner of the globe, therefore GCCA is working with the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) to support countries with underdeveloped economies.

Success and promise are already noted via the global development of lower carbon materials and manufacturing processes that involve alternative fuels and carbon capture.

GCCA’s CEO Thomas Guillot says policy and procurement issues are the major challenges facing the decarbonisation journey and can be remedied via global cooperation and initiatives such as UNIDO.

“We welcome the support of organisations like Cement Breakthrough and UNIDO – especially in the Global South – and the efforts of governments to work with us to overcome these issues,” he says.

“Only by working together will we be able to deliver on our global commitment to net-zero concrete.”

Parkable a key player in sustainable modernisation of the built environment.

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