Biden Trumpets Green Construction; Manufacturing promises. | So Good News
General Motors Starbucks and other major corporations have committed to using more green materials in construction and manufacturing. The White House said Thursday that it is a key part of the administration’s climate action plan.
The concrete industry alone accounts for 8 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, lagging behind other carbon intensive sectors in going green, advocates say. The White House is urging local governments and private companies to invest in cleaner concrete and steel.Green wire, October 19).
“President Biden has accelerated American manufacturing by adding nearly 700,000 manufacturing jobs so far during his administration,” the White House said in a statement, urging companies to rely on green products made in the United States.
Biden climate adviser Ali Zaidi and Environmental Quality Chair Brenda Mallory met with 20 state officials to reduce carbon concrete and steel. Half of the cement, which is the main ingredient in concrete, is ports, It goes to public works like highways and bridges.
The administration wants to use the government’s massive purchasing power to encourage the growth of low-carbon materials through its “Buy Clean” program.
The Department of Transportation said 25 states will receive the first highway “climate challenge grants” to support sustainable paving. The effort is part of the DOT’s “Carbon Reduction Plan,” which includes $6.4 billion for state and municipal governments over five years.
The less concrete push got a big boost from the Inflation Reduction Act, which allocated nearly $6 billion for a new Energy Department advanced industrial equipment deployment program. Lawmakers approved competitive subsidies for cement and steel plants to upgrade to produce cleaner materials.
Most of the emissions in concrete come from the production of cement by burning lime in kilns heated to 1,400 degrees Celsius, creating a chemical reaction that emits strong gases. Although there are ways to cut emissions by mixing other ingredients like glass and clay in the kiln. Advocates say the industry has been somewhat reluctant to initiate change.
One of the buyers of concrete is technology companies. Microsoft, Google and other real estate giants are exploring using lower-carbon products to build data centers, said Radhika Lalit, chief strategy officer at energy firm RMI.
Along with GM and Starbucks, 60 companies have pledged to cut greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030, the White House said. These include major construction companies Lehigh Hanson and Central Concrete. Facebook’s parent company Meta has also committed.
“Strong partners in the manufacturing sector are innovating and investing to advance the production of lower-carbon materials,” the White House said. “Together, we can grow clean manufacturing industries and reach zero net emissions.”