Calculations show that steel production generates approximately 8% of global carbon emissions. The Paris Agreement calls for net-zero emissions by 2050. To reach this target, at least 30% of the carbon output from the industry must be reduced by 2030. How can we do this?
Climate change concerns every one of us. We all want peace of mind for ourselves and future generations. To reduce emissions on a global scale, we need to take responsibility for the part we play.
Let’s discuss what the steel industry can do to reduce its impact.
Action to Reduce Emissions
Crude steel production involves reducing iron or burning coal. This process makes it significantly carbon-intensive. Up to 3 tonnes of fossil carbon gets released for every one tonne of steel produced.
Research is being done to change methods of steel production altogether. This means innovating new technologies. For example, the direct reduction of iron ore can be done with natural gas and hydrogen. Carbon capture and electrolysis technologies are being tested out too.
Recycling seems to be the logical step to decrease the amount of crude steel produced. However, the challenge lies in creating recycled steel of acceptable quality. So, refining the recyclable potential of steel may further contribute to reduced emissions.
Additionally, steel has been included in green public procurement policies. These policies regulate the use of government funds. This means they aim to only purchase sustainable materials and products. South Africa and Germany are among the countries that have set such policies.
Consumers are also recognising the value of green steel for businesses. For example, Volkswagen and Volvo are taking on carbon neutral policies. So, demand for green steel is growing too.
You can read more about how some companies are adapting their steel production here.
Fighting Climate Change Together
There is no doubt that the steel industry is a huge contributor to global carbon emissions.
Efforts are being made on all fronts to comply with the Paris Agreement. Researchers, global leaders, corporations, and consumers are taking positive action. But, is it enough to reach net-zero emissions by 2050? Time will have to tell.
Goals to reduce emissions and slow the rate of climate change have been set. We all have accountability. At Steelmor, we understand that a little from each of us adds up to a lot in the bigger picture. If you’re interested in our production, please contact us here.