• While there have been several bills introduced in California recently to reduce emissions from cement, only one has been signed into law. Senate Bill 596 (SB 596), passed in September 2021, requires the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to develop a strategy for the cement industry to reduce emissions by 40 percent below the 2019 average levels by the end of 2035 and to achieve net-zero emissions by 2045.58
  • The state of California is able to use various policy levers to promote the development and use of green concrete and cement technologies, ranging from regulatory and purchasing powers to financial incentives for both companies and investors. As the concrete industry in California is both entirely dominated by a handful of very large firms and risk-averse, the state should seek to reduce risks associated with the switchover to green cement production and encourage its use whenever possible. These policies are not novel – they have been used by California and other governments to encourage transitions to other greener materials.
  • Currently, California’s seven Portland cement plants run at full or near-full capacity, reducing or negating a profit motive to switch over from status quo production. Should construction continue at the present or greater pace, there would need to be outside incentives to facilitate a transition. Furthermore, given the immense capital costs necessary to build a new cement plant—let alone regulatory and permitting restrictions—any sort of green concrete revolution will have to be facilitated through existing plants.