Steelmakers wonder how to reduce carbon emissions
A recent shipment of 24 tonnes of Swedish steel could mark the start of what the steel industry hopes will be a new era – cleaning up one of the world’s dirtiest industries.
Major steelmakers in Europe and the United States, such as ArcelorMittal SA and Cleveland-Cliffs Inc., are stepping up efforts to reduce carbon emissions, in hopes of winning over customers and fending off growing pressure from investors and companies. governments. Swedish firm SSAB AB shipped what it said was the world’s first commercial shipment of fossil-free steel to truck maker Volvo AB on Thursday.
But progress is slower in developing countries, where the majority of steel is made, and that means the sector will likely remain a big emitter for years to come, analysts say. Greening the industry is also costly, which is expected to make steel used in cars, buildings and appliances more expensive.
The challenge facing the steel industry epitomizes the difficulty of decarbonizing the wider economy, as governments and investors place greater emphasis on tackling climate change. Steel generates 7% of the world’s energy-related carbon dioxide emissions, more than any other industrial sector, according to the International Energy Agency. As demand for steel is expected to increase, the IEA says industry emissions must be halved by 2050 for the world to meet global climate goals.
“I accept that in the short term this transition will be difficult,” ArcelorMittal CEO Aditya Mittal said in an interview.