Urgent need to Decarbonise Iron and Steel in the Race to Net Zero

The world iron and steel-making industry must decarbonise as part of the race to achieve net-zero emissions, the Global Recycling Foundation (GRF) has warned.

To mark Global Recycling Day on 18 March, GRF has urged policy makers to adopt laws and technologies to make the sector greener and more circular globally. Iron and steel-making is the world’s largest coal consumer, the largest emitter of CO2 and second largest energy consumer among heavy industries. It accounts for 7-9 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions, more than the emissions from all road freight.

Global demand for steel has trebled since 1970 and is set to increase by more than a third between now and 2050. Much of this demand will come from the wind turbines, solar panels, hydroelectric dams and electric cars, buses, and trains that the world will need to reach net zero.

GRF founding President, Ranjit Baxi, said: “This represents a significant challenge. But it also provides a huge opportunity to re-set the world’s iron and steel value chains on a more sustainable path.”

Mr Baxi stressed: “Our call resonates with the ambition of COP28 to accelerate energy transition when it unveiled the Global Decarbonization Accelerator (GDA), a series of landmark initiatives designed to speed up the energy transition and drastically reduce global emissions. As COP28 President HE Dr Sultan Al Jaber said, the GDA adds up to more countries and more companies from more sectors than ever before, in the drive towards the goal of 1.5C.”

President of the Bureau of International Recycling, BIR, Susie Burrage, added: “To decarbonise iron and steel, we’ll need green hydrogen, carbon capture and storage (CCS) and electric arc furnace (EAF) technologies. We’ll need to use steel less wastefully, to recycle a lot more and to make renewable energy cheaper for steel makers, users and re-users. These things won’t just happen, they will require a combination of innovation and the right laws, regulations, and incentives.

Source: Global Recycling Foundation (GRF)




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