We have expanded the list of climate policies we assess company engagement with to incorporate land-use related policy, referring to legislative or regulatory measures to enhance and protect ecosystems and land where carbon is being stored. Assessments under this category are currently underweighted in terms of their contribution to the overall company metrics. This weighting will be progressively increased over the next 6 months.
We adjusted the terminology used to describe the queries running down the left-hand side of our scoring matrix and added additional explanatory text to the info-boxes. This has no impact on the scores and methodology. It has been done following user feedback to improve clarity.
Climate Lobbying Overview: The Portland Cement Association (PCA) has actively engaged on climate-related policy in the United States, with mixed engagement which has generally improved since 2012. The association seems to support policies related to CCS and a Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM), but takes more negative positions on the need for climate regulation and emissions standards.
Top-line Messaging on Climate Policy: The PCA appears to predominantly negative top-line messaging on climate policy. In a February 2022 press release, the PCA supported a US net-zero target of 2050, but also appeared to place emphasis on the economic and technological challenges of meeting this target. An article in PR Newswire in April 2022 featured CEO Mike Ireland, where he emphasized the need for policy to support the decarbonization of the cement sector.
The PCA’s Energy and Environment priorities webpage, accessed in November 2022,expressed support for government regulation to address climate change, but appeared to qualify this on the condition that regulations should not affect economic competitiveness. The PCA’s October 2021 “Roadmap to Carbon Neutrality” report also stated support for climate regulations, but emphasized the risk of carbon leakage and supported market-based mechanisms over “command and control” regulation. In comments made to policymakers in January 2022 the PCA advocated against considering the social cost of greenhouse gasses in federal project analyses. The association publicly supported the US’s re-entering into the Paris Agreement in a press release in January 2021.
Engagement with Climate-Related Regulations: The PCA seems to take mixed positions on specific climate regulations. In its 2021 Roadmap to Carbon Neutrality, the association broadly advocated against emissions standards, stating they are ill-suited to “complex, energy intensive trade exposed industries like cement”, and that there is “no one size-fits-all regulatory standard.” The same report also expressed support for a carbon border adjustment mechanism and was in favor of a cap-and-trade mechanism in the United States that includes cross-sectoral trading. The report also advocated for incorporating a life-cycle approach into government procurement, construction, and design standards, and supported energy efficiency funding. A senior executive at PCA was reported in GreenBiz in May 2021 stating that the association was focusing on “addressing policies and building codes that make the transition tougher” and advocated for the “right incentives” for industry to transition.
Positioning on Energy Transition: The PCA’s engagement on the energy transition takes mixed positions on US policies to decarbonize the cement sector. As of November 2022, the association’s corporate website advocated for alterations to environmental policies such as National Environmental Policy Act and Clean Water Act to allow the construction of fossil gas pipelines. In a November 2022 position paper, the PCA expressed support for CCS and CCUS legislation, including the USE IT Act, Clean Industrial Technology Act and the 45Q tax credit. The PCA expressed further support for weakening federal rules on alternative fuels in another November 2022 position paper, and in public comments to the IRS and US Treasury in October 2022, the association advocated for tax benefits to support alternative fuel infrastructure. The PCA appeared to support the maintenance of a high GHG energy mix by advocating for the weakening of NEPA permitting processes and opposing the consideration of the social cost of GHGs in future NEPA infrastructure analyses in a joint letter in June 2021.