Passage of low-carbon concrete bill praised by environmental groups

Provides CBT credit to concrete manufacturers that deliver low embodied carbon concrete, equaling up to 5% of project’s total concrete cost

The passage of a bill in the New Jersey Legislature that provides a tax credit for use of low-carbon concrete was praised by environmental leaders.

The bill, which had nearly unanimous support in the Senate and the Assembly, provides a Corporation Business Tax credit to concrete manufacturers that deliver low embodied carbon concrete, equaling up to 5% of the project’s total concrete cost.

The bill also provides a CBT credit for the delivery of concrete that incorporates carbon capture, utilization and storage, equaling up to 3% of the cost of concrete. Additionally, CBT credits would be provided to taxpayers that produce concrete or a major component of concrete for the costs of conducting environmental product declaration analyses.

Ed Potosnak, the executive director of the New Jersey League of Conservation Voters, said the bill — which still needs a signature from Gov. Phil Murphy — would have big impact.

“After water, concrete is the most widely used substance on earth, and its production is extremely carbon-intensive, accounting for more than 7% of atmospheric carbon pollution,” he said. “This bill is a smart, pragmatic step to reducing emissions from the building sector while simultaneously providing a market for New Jersey businesses to be competitive in developing low-carbon technologies for use in manufacturing.

“We want to thank Sen. (Linda) Greenstein and Assemblyman John McKeon for their commitment and leadership on passage of the low-carbon concrete bill. It’s an important step toward building our carbon-free future and helping to mitigate climate change while supporting New Jersey businesses. We look forward to Gov. Murphy signing the bill into law as soon as possible.”

Greenstein (D-Cranbury) said the bill makes sense.

“More than 10 billion tons of concrete are produced globally each year, with state and local governments accounting for 40% of all concrete consumption,” she said. “However, the production of concrete is responsible for almost 8% of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions. As the demand for this material continues to grow, we must ensure we are doing all that we can to lower the harmful emissions emitted during the production of concrete.

“By encouraging the use of low embodied carbon concrete, we will be able to drastically decrease our carbon emissions while still meeting the demands of construction projects.”

Eric Miller, the New Jersey energy policy director at the Natural Resources Defense Council, said the bill would be the first of its kind in the country and a tremendous step forward.

“We hope Gov. Murphy seizes this opportunity to lead and innovate,” he said. “Decarbonizing concrete is a major untapped opportunity for climate action. To reach a low-carbon economy, we need a new standard for low-carbon concrete that’s purchased by state agencies and rewards outstanding suppliers that adopt innovations that further drive down emissions.”