Global steelmaker publishes climate action report setting out ambition to bring its business in line with the Paris Agreement
Steelmaking giant ArcelorMittal has laid down the gauntlet to become carbon neutral across its European operations by 2050, setting a goal to «significantly reduce» its global emissions while stressing that doing so will likely «require a fundamental change in the science of steelmaking».
The global steel firm released its first Climate Action Report last week, in which it said it was building a strategic roadmap to accelerate the development of low emissions steelmaking technologies in a bid to align its business with the international climate goals of the Paris Agreement.
To achieve carbon neutrality in the EU by 2050, the firm said it would launch an interim carbon reduction target for 2030 next year which would replace its current, far less ambitious goal to reduce emissions by eight per cent against a 2007 baseline.
Lakshmi Mittal, the company’s chairman and CEO, said the firm was committed to its climate objectives, stressing his belief that the steel industry was capable of delivering carbon emissions reduction targets in line with the Paris Agreement.
«Limiting the temperature increase to two degrees or less is no easy challenge,» he said. «Real and genuine understanding of the complexities and an approach of collaboration and flexibility will be critical if we are to succeed. Specifically, we will need a more supportive policy environment that considers the global nature of steel, the cost implications of significantly changing the way steel is made and the clean energy supply needed to do so.»
However, he insisted that «if we can work together to solve the problem, I’m convinced the steel industry will be able to make a significant contribution to reducing carbon emissions globally».
The global steelmaking industry is heavily reliant on fossil fuels, and carbon is used to separate oxygen from iron-ore in the blast furnace. The sector, which is widely seen as a key decarbonisation challenge, currently accounts for seven per cent of global emissions and demand for steel is set to grow further in the next 30 years.
As such, ArcelorMittal said it was «vital the industry finds ways to significantly reduce its carbon emissions to successfully meet the ambitions of the Paris Agreement and help limit the global average temperature rise to less than two degrees».
«The energy industry has made great strides in creating a pathway to lower emissions through supportive policy and we are confident the same can be true for steel,» added Mittal.
The company’s climate action report considers future challenges and opportunities for the steel sector and sets out three plausible pathways towards deep decarbonisation: focusing on steelmaking using clean power and hydrogen; using circular carbon energy sources such as waste biomass to displace fossil fuels; and maintaining current steelmaking methods alongside carbon capture and storage (CCS).
The firm said it was currently testing various technologies across all three pathways in its European operations, which it said all offered significant emissions reduction potential «aligned with science based targets».
It also voiced support for carbon regulations and market mechanisms to deliver a level playing field for manufacturers in different regions and further spur development of low emission technologies in the steel sector.
Steel manufacturers in Europe and the UK have consistently argued that they are being put at a disadvantage by carbon pricing mechanisms and other decarbonisation policies that impose costs that are not faced by their competitors in markets with less advanced climate policy landscapes. Consequently, governments have sought to provide subsidies to help firms cope with higher costs and some politicians have floated proposals for ‘carbon border adjustment’ tariffs to ensure a level playing field and encourage other regions to adopt their own carbon pricing schemes.
Fuente: BUSINESS GREEN