Mineral Products Association welcomes Government plans for carbon border adjustment mechanism
THE Mineral Products Association (MPA) has welcomed the plans announced yesterday by Chancellor Jeremy Hunt to level the carbon cost playing field between UK cement production and imports, by introducing a carbon border adjustment mechanism (CBAM) by 2027.
The UK cement and concrete sector – represented by the MPA – provides a secure, domestic supply of essential materials to build the infrastructure needed for a low carbon future and makes a vital contribution to UK gross value added (GVA), supporting skilled jobs across the country.
However, higher energy and historically higher carbon costs compared with international competitors are undermining UK cement production and contributing to an increasing share of the UK cement market being supplied from other countries without a need to account for their carbon impact.
The MPA has been calling for a CBAM covering cement as a method of equalizing carbon costs between domestic producers and importers. It says that maintaining the competitiveness of UK plants is essential to ensure a reliable source of domestically produced cement and avoid the vagaries of the international trading markets, and that a well-designed, watertight CBAM can help level the playing field with international competitors.
Alongside the CBAM, the MPA says it is vital that energy-intensive industrial sites, like those in the cement sector, are supported by enabling Government policy and business models for carbon capture, use, and storage, to decarbonize and grow the market for domestically produced low-carbon products.
A UK CBAM has also become more urgent following the establishment of the EU CBAM, which is due to start charging in 2026. This creates a risk of significant volumes of imports, that currently go into the EU from non-EU producers without effective carbon pricing, being diverted to the UK unless a similar mechanism is put in place.
Dr Diana Casey, the MPA’s executive director for energy and climate change, said: ‘Cement is essential to our everyday lives. We cannot take its supply for granted and neither can we put ourselves at risk of unstable international trading markets. That is why this commitment to a UK CBAM is so important.
‘Levelling the carbon cost between domestic production and imports will help the UK attract the investment required to decarbonize and ensure our long-term security of supply. The Government’s commitment to bring in the UK CBAM by 2027 is very welcome and ideally it should be introduced in 2026 to align with the EU scheme. This is the only way to prevent any detrimental impact of the EU CBAM on UK industry.’
She added: ‘As well as a CBAM on cement, the MPA would be interested in exploring a CBAM on lime. However, the challenge for the lime sector is ensuring that lime exports can compete in international markets.’