Evaluation and mitigation of cement CO2 emissions: projection of emission scenarios toward 2030 in China and proposal of the roadmap to a low-carbon world by 2050

  • Junxiao Wei
  • Kuang CenEmail author
  • Yuanbo Geng
Original Article


Much attention is being paid toward reducing the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions associated with China’s cement production. However, as part of China’s international commitment to reduce carbon intensity, the inter-annual changes and driving forces behind CO2 emissions must be determined for the 2001–2015 period, along with the projection of the cement-related CO2 emissions until 2030. The objective of this article is to analyze the CO2 emission factors (EFs) and CO2 emissions from 2001 to 2015, project CO2 emission scenarios of China’s cement industry until 2030, and propose a low-carbon roadmap for the global cement industry by 2050 based on a series of practical reduction measurements performed by China. The results of our study indicate that CO2 EFs in 2015 were 55.36% lower than those in 2001, but CO2 emissions were 72.90% higher than those in 2001. The main reason for the decreasing total active CO2 EFs are policies enacted by the Chinese government regarding the removal of excess capacity and elimination of backward capacity as well as the technological innovation and ongoing annual reductions in the clinker-to-cement ratio (C/CR). Meanwhile, the driving force behind the increased cement-related CO2 emissions was the substantial growth in cement output. Scenarios regarding CO2 emissions by 2030 show an uncertainty regarding CO2 emissions, ranging between 3.51 and 11.70%, and CO2 EFs are expected to be 59–69% lower than those in 2005. CO2 emissions from the global cement industry from 2020 to 2050 based on CO2 capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS); utilization of alternative raw materials (ARMs) and alternative fossil fuels (AFFs); and technological innovation account for 39.3, 29.3, 24.7, and 6.7% of the CO2 reduction capability, respectively. It is possible to reduce ~ 1524 Mt of CO2, and the global optimal emissions by 2050 are ~ 2082 Mt of CO2.


CO2 emission CO2 reduction Cement Emission factor (EF) 



This study was supported by the Strategic Priority Research Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (no. XDA05010400). And the authors gratefully acknowledge the significant contribution of Shi Jingjing, Tian Zhaoxue, Mu Yue, and Wang Song. The authors are also grateful to all anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments and suggestions.


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.China University of Geosciences (Beijing)BeijingChina
  2. 2.Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources ResearchChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

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