Without focused support from public policy, the transition to low-emissions steelmaking will stagnate.  

There are a number of drivers we advocate:  

  • Carbon border adjustment to ensure that we are competing on a level playing field, and not disadvantaged by the variable nature of carbon policies in different jurisdictions. Steel is a global material traded directly across countries and continents. If carbon policy drives up the price of steel in one jurisdiction, the risk is that steel users will buy it from steelmakers outside that jurisdiction that are not subject to stringent carbon policies. Without intervention, this carbon leakage means the entire rationale of these carbon policies – to contribute to global carbon reduction - would be lost. The European Union is taking the lead in developing a carbon border adjustment as part of its Green Deal.  
  • A market tool to drive lower-emissions steel over and above higher-emissions steel. This could be a credible certification scheme like ResponsibleSteel™, with robust requirements for both the steelmaker and the steel product to be aligned with the goals of the Paris agreement. The more steel customers requiring the use of this market tool, the more demand will drive the alignment – and progress - of the industry to achieving Paris.  
  • Access to finance: the scale of investment needed to roll out new low-emissions technologies is only possible if public support makes low-emissions steel commercially attractive. A concerted public effort is essential to accelerate the pace of development of new technologies and advance the timeline for low-emissions steelmaking. Further support is then needed to enable the financing of the large-scale technology roll-out needed to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement. 
  • Access to sufficient and affordable clean energy. The shift away from fossil fuels will need very large amounts of clean energy. Policies enabling the steel industry to access large-scale sources of renewable electricity at affordable prices will be key to scaling up steelmaking using green hydrogen or electrolysis.
    To accelerate the circular carbon pathway, the steel industry needs priority access to biomass and waste. Where public policy, for example, may currently allocate biomass to power stations, where it is used only once, if it were used in steel plants, the carbon it contains could be captured and reused, turning this limited source of energy into a circular resource that will be used and recycled repeatedly.