For Immediate Release -- Updated
SACRAMENTO – Governor Gavin Newsom today signed landmark legislation by Senator Josh Becker that will make California the first state to directly target greenhouse gas emissions from cement. Senate Bill 596 also is the first bill in any California sector to focus on achieving net-zero emissions.
“California is now the leader in driving decarbonization of the cement industry – a crucial material in the built environment, but one that accounts for 7% of all global greenhouse gas emissions and is one of the most challenging industries to decarbonize,” said Senator Becker, vice chair of the Legislature’s Committee on Climate Change Policies and chair of the Senate Subcommittee on the Clean Energy Future. SB 596 is the centerpiece of the senator’s climate action portfolio this year.
In California, greenhouse gas emissions from the production of cement – the “glue” that holds concrete together – contribute about 8 million metric tons of CO2 each year, equivalent to about 1.7 million cars. Cement production is the second-largest industrial source of GHG emissions in the state, behind only the oil and gas sector.
In response, SB 596 requires that a comprehensive strategy be created to achieve net-zero emission cement used in California as soon as possible, but not later than 2045.
“This legislation becomes law,” Senator Becker said, “thanks to the help of the climate and environmental action advocates at the NRDC, which partnered with me on the bill, and with support from the California Nevada Cement Association, which shared key input on the industry’s efforts to reduce carbon emissions from cement and was a willing partner in helping to craft SB 596 as it advanced in the Legislature.”
“This new law will lead the way nationally to address emissions from cement production,” said Alex Jackson, a senior attorney at NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council). “With Senator Becker’s leadership on SB 596, California is poised to develop a model strategy to shrink cement’s huge carbon footprint while continuing to grow our economy and protect public health.”
California Nevada Cement Association Executive Thomas Tietz said: “We believe SB 596 establishes a regulatory framework, with the proper checks and balances, to allow the state and the cement industry to succeed in our common goal of lowering carbon emissions in our economy and reaching carbon neutrality in 2045. The California cement manufactures are committed to, and the industry has adopted, a goal of reaching carbon neutrality by 2045.”
Regional climate action groups also mobilized around SB 596.
“Senator Becker’s focus on cement is putting California in the lead nationally on our critical need to reduce emissions from this significant source,” said Janet Cox, legislation director for 350 Silicon Valley. “California is big enough, and our infrastructure needs are great enough, that we can influence both other states’ policies and the cement industry nationally. 350 Silicon Valley is thrilled that the Governor has signed SB 596 into law."
SB 596 is the first bill by Senator Becker focusing on the cement and concrete industry. He is already working on his follow-up bill, SB 778, that would add low-carbon concrete to the state’s Buy Clean law in order to help drive demand for the low-carbon cement produced under SB 596, which takes effect January 1, 2022.
Media Contact: Leslie Guevarra, email@example.com, 415-298-3404
Sent 3:30 pm; updated 4:15 pm on September 23, 2021.