Governments must boost transition to green steel

Governments across the world need to help accelerate a sustainable transition for the iron and steel sector, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Thursday.

The Paris-based agency recommended in its new Iron and Steel Technology Roadmap report the creation of a market for near-zero emissions steel, Kallanish reports.

“Green steel should be promoted by governments not only through regulations, but through public procurement requirements,” said IEA’s energy analyst Araceli Pales.

Steel is vital to modern economies and it’s global demand is expected to grow by more than a third by 2050, from current 1.9 billion tonnes to 2.5 billion tonnes.

The iron and steel sector accounts for 8% of the final energy demand and 7% of the energy sector CO2 emissions worldwide. Around 25-30% of industrial CO2 emissions come from steelmaking, with coal supplying 74% of the sector’s energy input.

To enable countries to reach their climate targets, governments and decision makers “should have 2030 firmly in mind as the critical window to accelerate the transition,” the IEA said.

“A plan must be put in place to deal with existing assets that acknowledges the decline in the CO2 intensity of production required just one investment cycle away,” the report said.

Policy portfolios will be diverse but governments need to support the demonstration of near-zero emission steelmaking technologies; accelerate material efficiency; and increase international cooperation and ensure a level global playing field.