Biden to tap into infrastructure funds to clean up vital steel, aluminum and concrete sectors
The Biden-Harris administration is tapping into funds secured by last year’s infrastructure bill to advance programs it says can help reduce carbon emissions in the manufacture of widely used materials such as than steel, aluminum and concrete.
The industrial sector is at the heart of the fight against the climate crisis, many analysts agree, as it is currently responsible for almost a third of national greenhouse gas emissions.
Spending detailed Tuesday pushes for low-carbon production of steel and aluminum the United States will need for TSLA electric vehicles,
wind turbines and solar panels, and for “clean” concrete that will be used to modernize transport infrastructure.
Emissions from the U.S. heavy industrial sector must be reduced to protect communities — especially minority and economically underserved neighborhoods whose residential streets historically share close proximity to industrial zoning. And targeting industrialists will be key to meeting the US goal of reducing nationwide carbon pollution from all key sources by at least 50% by 2030, according to the plan’s proponents.
A 2019 report by climate data firm CDP analyzing the world’s 20 largest steel companies found that the steel sector is failing to reduce emissions at the rate required to keep global warming below 2°C, highlighting average 14% of companies. potential value at risk.
More than 90% of the metal produced in the world is steel, and the steel sector is responsible for up to 9% of global greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels CL00,
use and industry. That’s more than all of India’s emissions, according to the CDP.
At least one environmental group welcomed Tuesday’s developments.
“Industrial materials like concrete, cement, steel and aluminum are both carbon-intensive to produce and fundamental to modern life,” said Sasha Stashwick, industrial decarbonization expert and lead program advocate on climate and clean energy at the Natural Resources Defense Council. “As global demand for them grows, the only way to meet our climate goals and protect communities – including those on the front lines of industrial pollution – is to explore all avenues to clean up these industries. “
“By using federal government procurement to create markets for cleaner industrial materials, trade policy and economic development, the White House is showing its commitment to a holistic industrial policy for the future,” Stashwick said.
The proposal includes money for new guidelines on carbon capture, use and sequestration (CCUS), including job creation in this segment. It’s a feature of Biden’s sweeping climate plan that tends to keep Republicans at the negotiating table and is being pushed by the oil and gas industry as essential to maintaining a diverse energy mix. Some environmental groups fear he is giving the green light to continue burning fossil fuels, with a change in behavior that will slow the transition to renewable energy.
Additionally, the Biden team detailed the following plans:
Hydrogen: Department of Energy to Receive $8 Billion for Regional Clean Hydrogen Centers; $1 billion for a clean hydrogen electrolysis program to cut costs
hydrogen produced from clean electricity; and $500 million for cleanup
hydrogen manufacturing and recycling Equipment support initiatives
domestic manufacturing and supply chains.
Federal Purchasing Power: Council on Environmental Quality and White House Office of Domestic Climate Policy Create First-Ever Buy Clean Task Force, Which Will Harness Huge Federal Buying Power to Support Low-Carbon Materials Made in US Factories . General Services
The administration and the Ministry of Transport are also announcing new
efforts to promote the use of low-carbon materials in construction projects, and the State Department and the US President’s special climate envoy secure corporate purchase commitments for materials and low-carbon technologies through the First Movers Coalition.
Align trade policies: Administration pushes carbon-based trade policies to reward U.S. makers of clean steel and aluminum. Work with the
European Union administration is taking steps to align global trade with climate goals, which will keep “dirty” products out and mean more jobs and lower prices for Americans.
Various stakeholders: To equitably advance innovation across the sector, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy is launching a new initiative for interdisciplinary research on industrial decarbonization with a focus on
for the benefit of American workers and communities. The Department of Energy is
working on the creation of the Industrial Technological Innovation Council
(ITIAC) to bring together a diverse group of stakeholders responsible
with the creation of a comprehensive strategy to reduce America’s carbon footprint