With impending growing climate change impacts — in conjunction with the expected growth of our cities, ports and other coastal infrastructure — investing in “Blue Tech” is of prime importance.
Concrete is the most consumed material on our planet, second only to water; and consumption has dramatically increased over the last few decades with the proliferation of the human population. Today, the concrete industry is responsible for 8 percent of all global carbon emissions. This is fueling some of the same problems concrete aims to solve: More emissions lead to intensified climate change; and drive the need to build more concrete defenses along shorelines that are undergoing climate change threats, including rising sea levels and increases in extreme storms.
About 70 percent of all coastal and marine structures — such as breakwaters, piers, dykes, and seawalls — are concrete-based. Concrete is a harsh material, foreign to the marine environment; and as such, it promotes low biodiversity and is typically dominated by invasive and nuisance species.
Shimrit Perkol-Finkel is the co-founder of ECOncrete Tech, LTD. Her company recently won the $100,000 Ray of Hope Prize, presented by the Biomimicry Institute and the Ray C. Anderson Foundation.