Report: coal-based steelmaking more than double green plans

New plans for coal-based steelmaking capacity are outpacing greener primary steel production methods with only a third of the world’s top 50 producers having announced targets to reach net zero by mid-century, Kallanish notes from a report.

The report was prepared by Global Energy Monitor and Stockholm Environment Institute’s Leadership Group for Industry Transition. It warns that planned coal-based blast furnace capacity worldwide totals 208.2 million tonnes/year, two-and-a-half times greater than the 83.6mt/y in planned primary green iron and steel capacity.

The report also finds that the investments in primary green iron and steel projects are growing, but mostly in developed markets and not fast enough to outpace emissions-intensive technologies.

It notes that the steel sector accounts for an estimated 7-9% of direct global greenhouse gas emissions, and the International Energy Agency has said that carbon dioxide emissions from heavy industries need to drop by 93% in order to reach net zero emissions by 2050.

Yet only 17 of the largest 50 steel producers have publicly committed to achieving net zero by mid-century, despite these 50 producers being responsible for more than 60% of the sector’s emissions.

The 17 producers that have a 2050 net zero goal account for more than a quarter (527mt/y) of global steel production.

Data also show that only two of 50 producers have included Scope 3 emissions calculations in their net zero goals.

The report notes that Scope 3 emissions play a significant role in steelmaking and can account for well over 40% of overall emissions from the sector.

Siew Mung Tan Malaysia