House of Lords written question – answered on 21st March 2007.

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Photo of Lord Lewis of Newnham Lord Lewis of Newnham Crossbench

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What assessment they have made of the amount of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases emitted in the production of one tonne of cement; and what is the estimated total emission of carbon dioxide in the production of cement in the United Kingdom and the European Union.

Photo of Lord Rooker Lord Rooker Minister of State (Sustainable Farming and Food), Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) (Sustainable Farming and Food), The Minister of State, Northern Ireland Office

The UK calculates emissions from cement production as part of the greenhouse gas inventory. Emissions occur both from fuel combustion in the cement sector to provide heat for the calcination process, and from the calcination process itself.

Emissions of CO2 in 2004 from fuel combustion in the cement industry amounted to 4,661.6 thousand tonnes and emissions associated with the cement production process were 5,455.7 thousand tonnes. This equates to a total emission of 10,117 thousand tonnes of CO2. Total clinker (the main raw material for making cement) production was 10,813 thousand tonnes—emissions of carbon dioxide from the UK cement industry in 2004 were therefore approximately 0.94 tonnes per tonne of clinker produced.

Comparable emissions from fuel combustion are not available for the EC or for other European countries, since these are reported combined with other sectors as "other industry".

Emissions associated with the calcination process, however, are available. The table below contains emissions of CO2 for a number of European countries, together with the amount of clinker produced, wherever this is available. The total report in the EC greenhouse gas inventory is also included in the table. The fourth column contains the "IEF" (implied emission factor)—this is the amount of CO2 emitted (thousand tonnes, kt) per thousand tonnes (kt) of clinker produced. This value is slightly lower for the UK than elsewhere.

Clinker produced (kt) CO2 emission (kt) IEF (kt/kt)
Austria 3120 1754 0.56
Belgium 5201 2837 0.55
Czech Republic 3017 1661 0.55
Denmark 2861 1539 0.54
Estonia 698 369 0.53
EC - 83946 -
Finland 1064 560 0.53
France 17157 9007 0.53
Germany 26281 13929 0.53
Greece 11755 6382 0.54
Ireland 4283 2290 0.53
Italy 33049 17846 0.54
Latvia - 144 -
Lithuania 633 330 0.52
Luxembourg - 445 -
Netherlands 804 446 0.55
Norway 1324 726 0.55
Poland 9621 5070 0.53
Portugal 6980 3538 0.51
Slovakia 2271 1195 0.53
Slovenia 898 486 0.54
Spain 30798 16631 0.54
Sweden 2385 1284 0.54
UK 10813 5456 0.50

Other greenhouse gases are not emitted as part of the production process, only as a result of the associated fuel combustion. Emissions of methane and N2O are small—0.54 thousand tonnes and 0.17 thousand tonnes in 2004, respectively.

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