His Excellency Dr Satyendra Prasad, Fiji’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the UN announced the start of the Blue Concrete Initiative at a side event of the Moana Blue Pacific Pavilion at the Conference of Parties (COP27)climate summit in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt.
The program will provide the groundwork for the introduction of low-carbon cement to Fiji, as well as ensure that important concrete inputs such as aggregate are acquired in a sustainable and resilient manner.
Dr Satyendra Prasad, Head of Fiji’s Delegation to COP27, said, “The Blue Concrete Initiative shows that the government of Fiji is committed to making climate action a top priority while also supporting the creation of innovative domestic value chains that make use of our resources and create jobs.”
We hope to set an example that will inspire bigger polluters to come up with new ideas and take action to cut emissions in the supply chains for concrete and infrastructure.
Cement and concrete are the most common building materials in the world, and cement is one of the main causes of global climate change. It is responsible for about 7–8% of all CO2 emissions caused by humans. Still, cement and concrete are very important for building infrastructure and adapting to climate change.
Fiji’s imports of clinker, one of the main raw materials for cement, are some of the most expensive in the world. This slows down development and makes it harder to adapt to the effects of climate change because there isn’t a reliable and affordable supply of materials to build coastal infrastructure and homes that can withstand natural disasters.
Professor Daniel Franks, the Deputy of Research at the Sustainable Minerals Institute at the University of Queensland, which is a key partner of the Initiative, said
The Blue Concrete Initiative will assist Fiji and the Pacific receive low-carbon concrete technology, provide a reliable and economical source of concrete for infrastructure, and make regional supply chains more secure. Also it will 0make sure that key concrete ingredients like cosy aggregate, limestone, and gypsum are sourced in a way that is in line with the Blue Pacific’s values.
Fiji is a major source of cement for many Small Island Developing States in the Pacific, and the project is expected to help with climate change adaptation and mitigation efforts in the area.
Limestone Calcined Clay Cement (LC3)-based low-carbon concrete could cut Fiji’s annual carbon emissions by 4%, save a lot of money on infrastructure costs, and create more jobs in the cement and minerals industries.
Concrete made with LC3 is also more durable and resistant to high chloride environments than other types of cement. This makes it a good choice for coastal infrastructures like roads, bridges, and seawalls.
According to Dr Soumen Maity from TARA, the technology application partner and regional leader for LC3 in the Asia-Pacific region, “Compared to Ordinary Portland Cement, LC3 employs local resources, requires less energy, and releases up to 40% less CO2.”
The Initiative is the result of a partnership between the Fiji Ministry of Lands and, the University of Queensland’s Sustainable Minerals Institute, Mineral Resources, Technology and Action for Rural Advancement, the Pacific Community, the ACP-EU Development Minerals Program, which is run by UNDP, and the Indian Institute of Technology.
The Fijian government is asking development partners to help get the money needed to put this important Initiative into action. The first part of the plan will last for three years.