On May 18, 2020 the Village of Hastings-on-Hudson, located in Westchester County in the Lower Hudson Valley region of New York State, passed a resolution to promote the use of low carbon concrete as part of its efforts to combat climate change. This resolution elevates the importance of addressing concrete as a major emissions source, while opening up the door for more specific policies that can be implemented on the local level. These include climate impact-based concrete procurement and building code reform.
While often overlooked, concrete’s main binding ingredient cement is the single greatest source of industrial greenhouse gas emissions, accounting for nearly 7% of total emissions globally. In aggregate, municipalities, towns and counties are major purchasers of concrete, and have important authority over local rules and standards guiding private construction involving concrete.
Local government leadership can play a powerful role in advancing the decarbonization of concrete through policy choices, and by influencing both private sector actors and higher levels of government through their example.
The “Hastings Resolution” is an important precedent in New York State because it creates an impetus for taking concrete seriously as a factor in climate change and its solution. Convened by Hastings-on-Hudson Mayor Nicola Armacost and volunteers from the OpenAir Collective, this short seminar will cover the following topics:
- Understanding the Concrete-Climate connection?
- The importance of “embodied carbon” to climate health.
- Inside the Hastings Low Carbon Concrete Resolution.
- Low carbon concrete products and solutions available today.
- How carbon concrete promotion strategies for local governments.
This seminar will be an illuminating resource for local government representatives, NYS Climate Smart Community coordinators and task force members, and anyone with an interest in learning more about the subject of concrete and its role in climate change mitigation.