Bernard Mathieu opens 13th fib PhD Symposium in Civil Engineering with a keynote lecture “Concrete in a carbon-neutral economy: an existential challenge!”

For the 13th edition of its International PhD Symposium in Civil Engineering, the International Federation for Structural Concrete – Fédération Internationale du Béton (fib) organized an online event for PhD students to share scientific thoughts and findings with the international research community from all over the world.

It was a great opportunity for Bernard Mathieu, as keynote speaker, to highlight the importance and the challenges of concrete in a carbon-neutral economy.

Here are the main take-aways of his online introduction speech:

Climate change is striking and even harder and more rapidly than many expected.

The direct CO2 intensity of cement production increased by 0,6% between 2012 and 2017. In average, the production of 1 tonne of cementitious product emits ca. 640 kg of CO2eq.

To get on track with the Sustainable Development Scenario of the International Energy Agency, a 0.7% annual decline is necessary by 2030.

There is a growing pressure from investors, public opinion, talents, customers for a higher transparency and real improvement of “climate performance”

The investment challenge: it is estimated that the cement industry only has one (to maximum two) round(s) of investment before 2050. 

Validated technologies will help achieve 50% of the emission reductions we need in a “2 degrees” scenario. The remaining “technology gap” requires massive efforts in innovation!

The EU Green Deal is a real game changer thanks to consistent set of EU regulations ensuring a managed transition towards a carbon neutral, circular and competitive economy.

Unprecedented innovation efforts are taking place in the sector: CCU/CCS, new clinker types, new clinker substitutes, joint efforts along the value chain.

Concrete will transform itself to adapt to a carbon neutral economy.  But it will remain the safe, reliable, durable, resilient, and versatile building material which can best fulfil the needs and the creativity of todays’s and tomorrow’s architects.


Click here to read more about the fib Symposium (26-28th August 2020)

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