CAC Remarks at the January 25 Pembina Institute 2018 unGALA

2018 Pembina UnGALA, January 25, 2018

Remarks by Michael McSweeney, President and CEO,                                  Cement Association of Canada


Check Against Delivery

Madame Lieutenant Governor, Premier Wynne, Pembina Executive Director Glen Murray and distinguished guests.

It is an honour to be your presenting sponsor tonight and to say a few words prior to introducing our keynote speaker.

I wanted to share with you that, as a top Energy Intensive Trade Exposed sector in Canada, we believe that carbon pricing is the cornerstone of effective climate policy. In Ontario, as well in Alberta, we have been active participants in the design of two different approaches to carbon pricing that both got it right when it comes to incentivizing reductions in GHGs, while protecting industry competitiveness. Thank you, Premiers Wynne and Notley, Ministers Ballard and Phillips and of course, former Minister Murray, for your combined leadership on carbon pricing.

Despite these important actions by Federal and Provincial governments, Canada is expected to fall 30-69 Mega Tonnes short of its 2030 goals. Our industry is one that, with many simple and no-cost regulatory changes today, can generate over 4 Mega Tonnes of direct emissions reductions towards closing this gap. Simple changes like using a lower carbon cement, switching from fossil fuels to zero or low carbon alternatives that replace coal. Again, we are thankful for the leadership of Premier Wynne and her team in clearing a path of regulatory and technology support to help our Ontario facilities achieve that goal.

More exciting, but less understood or appreciated, is the role that concrete will play in the emerging and game-changing class of technologies known as CO2 Utilization. Concrete is a critical source and sink for captured carbon. By virtue of the sheer volume of concrete consumed every year – more than any other material on earth with the exception of water – our sector will be pivotal in developing, scaling and commercialising CO2U technologies. A recent report by CO2 Sciences, chaired by tonight’s keynote speaker, found that CO2U could provide $1.1 trillion in new market value, and reduce global greenhouse gas emissions by 15%, by the year 2030. These technologies have the potential to usher carbon neutral or even carbon positive concrete into the market in Canada and globally, avoiding some  11 Mega Tonnes of CO2 in Canada alone.

Companies like Solidia Technologies, Pond Biofuels and Carbon Cure are already demonstrating Canada’s potential prowess in this space.

To succeed, these technologies and the broader CO2U ecosystem need and deserve government investment and support. But one critically important ingredient for success that is almost always overlooked in Canada is public procurement.

As major purchasers of goods and services, governments must also shape procurement decisions to favour zero or low-carbon products.  Integrating what we call a “three screen approach”: Lifecycle Cost Analysis, a climate lens review and using best available technology approach can reduce GHGs across the economy  and ensure local jobs are kept and increased.

We applaud the work of the Wynne Government and Minister Bob Chiarelli in particular for taking the first step on implementing Life Cycle Analysis for infrastructure dollars beginning in 2019.

It is now my pleasure to introduce our keynote speaker, Mr. Bernard David, Chairman of CO2 Sciences Inc.

Mr. David has been hugely influential in the area of sustainability and clean energy technology for over 15 years. He is currently a Commissioner of the Energy Transitions Commission, a diverse group of global leaders from corporate, government, academic and non-profit backgrounds that focus on the evolution of energy systems. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of several low carbon technology companies.

As a former senior adviser for the Environmental Protection Agency, Mr. David helped to create the Partnership on Technology Innovation and the Environment with the goal of accelerating the development, adoption, deployment, scale-up, and export of technologies for energy, water, and materials that protect health and the environment.

A renown author, speaker and advocator on how we need to think differently about CO2, Bernard is a great speaker for Pembina to have at this time as our Province and Country grapples with how to fight our society’s greatest challenge.

Ladies and Gentlemen, please give a traditional Pembina welcome to Bernard David.