At current levels of emissions, there is a 50% chance the planet will reach the 1.5℃ global average temperature rise in just nine years.
The energy-intensive process of producing cement and concrete contributes significantly to global warming while depleting resources. Much more sustainable alternatives are being developed.
Concrete is responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions than aviation.
Jung Getty via Getty Images
Cement is responsible for more than 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Its emissions doubled over the past two decades, and demand is still rising fast.
Residents of rural areas depend on social interactions to give directions.
Peter Titmuss/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
While many people rely on written signage to find their way around, oral language plays a significant role in giving directions in rural areas.
Coal is the dirtiest fuel source – eliminating it is a priority for tackling climate change.
Electric vehicles and renewable energy will only get the country so far.
AP Photos/Evan Vucci
To cut enough greenhouse gas emissions, the world will need technologies that are still being developed, particularly for industries that are tough to clean up, like cement, steel and shipping.
Bendable concrete created at the University of Michigan allows for thinner structures with less need for steel reinforcement.
Joseph Xu/University of Michigan College of Engineering
Researchers are developing ways to lock captured CO2 into cement. It could help rebuild America’s crumbling infrastructure and deal with climate change at the same time.
DmytroPerov / shutterstock
Using sustainable cement would shift Earth Overshoot Day back by 10 days.
Workers in an assembly line.
A large free trade area could hinder the development of manufacturing, which countries need for economic growth.
If the cement industry were a country, it would be the
third-largest emitter of CO₂ in the world.
The cement needed to make concrete – the most widely used man-made material – is a major source of global emissions. Researchers are working on a green replacement that could transform the sector.
Air conditioning requires energy, and contributes to global warming – here are five ways of cooling which won’t cost the planet.
The world needs more affordable housing with a lower environmental impact. The stabilised supermud brick could be the answer.
Could a secret ingredient make crumbling concrete a thing of the past?
Adding a bit of fungus to the initial ingredient list might be one way to endow concrete with the ability to fill in any bits of damage that occur, without the need for human intervention.
Franco visits Barcelona in 1942. Carlos Pérez de Rozas
Devoting all energies to fight over an imaginary border deflects attention from the real issues.
With some tweaks to the recipe, cement and concrete can be made kinder to the planet.
Cement has a huge greenhouse footprint, largely because the chemical process by which it is made releases carbon dioxide. But there are several different ways for cement to green up its act.
Has carbon capture and storage been tarnished by its association with the coal industry?
Peabody Energy/Wikimedia Commons
Carbon capture and storage gets a bad rap from its associations with ‘clean coal’. But the technology could prove vital in cutting emissions from other industries like steel, cement and chemicals.
Illustration of pressure sensing bacteria in soils from the ‘Computational Colloids Project’.
Carolina Ramirez-Figuroa, Luis Hernan and Martyn Dade-Robertson
Bacteria can produce their own ‘buildings’ so scientists are genetically engineering them to build ours.
Can you ever have too much cement?
The world’s biggest cement producers Lafarge and Holcim have announced plans to merge. In an industry with strong economies of scale that already pumps out more cement than the world needs, consolidation…