Climate change

Climate change is a global issue that requires global solutions. worldsteel acts as a focal point both for steel industry knowledge exchange and a shared global approach. It also works with the International Energy Agency, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development and, through its members, the Asia Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate.

The reduction of CO2 from steel production is an established priority, as is the reduction of GHG emissions during the life cycle of products that use steel. Companies incorporate strategies into their businesses to improve processes and drive product innovation in this direction. 

Breakthrough technologies

Research and investment in innovative new technologies have taken place in:

  • the EU (ULCOS: 48 companies and 15 governments),
  • the US (AISI), Canada (CSF),
  • South America (ArcelorMittal Brasil),
  • China (Baosteel), and
  • Australia (BlueScope Steel and OneSteel with CSIRO).

Although some breakthrough programmes listed above may have been reduced for lack of funding, the technology researched is still valid and useful for future generations.

In Europe, HIsarna has been shown to be successful at pilot plant scale. HIsarna is funded via a combination of public bodies and European steelmaking consortium partners.

In Japan, another R&D programme “COURSE50”, supported by the government, is currently proceeding from a laboratory to a pilot phase.

In North America, work is continuing under the American Iron and Steel Institute’s CO2 breakthrough programme with co-funding support from the US Department of Energy to develop an innovative flash ironmaking process.

Elsewhere, other initiatives (notably the POSCO programme in Korea and the China Steel Corporation programme in Taiwan) continue to make progress.

Carbon capture, utilisation and storage technologies, are not yet mature for the steel industry and will require government and public support to become viable options.

Climate Action programme

In line with its priority to reduce CO2 emissions and to set a baseline to benchmark improvements, the industry established a CO2 data collection programme in 2008. It is open to all steel-producing companies in the world.

The measurement framework covers all key points that infl uence CO2 emissions and energy use. worldsteel analyses the data and prepares a report for the participating companies. The report enables a company to see how each of its plants compares to others worldwide.

The database now holds CO2 and energy intensity data for 30% of global steel production capacity. The Climate Action programme, which was started in 2009, recognises participating steel producers.

Greenhouse gas emissions indicator

This indicator calculates tonnes of CO2 emissions normalized against production (tonnes of crude steel cast). The calculation is based on route-specific energy and CO2 intensities for 3 steel production routes: 1) basic oxygen furnace, 2) electric arc furnace and 3) open hearth furnace. This indicator is weighted based on the production share of each route.
Climate change is a global issue that requires global solutions. worldsteel acts as a focal point both for steel industry knowledge exchange and a shared global approach. It also works with the International Energy Agency, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development and, through its members, the Asia Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate.

Figure 1: World average results and trends - Greenhouse gas emissions (CO2)

 Table 1: Number of reporting companies on CO2 emissions per year

 

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

CO2

25

25

27

30

38

49

45

51

52

50

50

49

The average values of CO2 emissions remained stable from 2007 to 2010. In 2011, there was a notable decrease from 1.8 to 1.7 tonnes of CO2 per tonne of crude steel cast. The value for 2014 is preliminary as data collection is still in progress. Table 1 shows that, since 2003, the number of companies reporting on CO2 emissions gradually increased and has now stabilised. 

Energy intensity indicator

Measures energy consumed normalized against production (tonnes of crude steel cast). The calculation is based on route-specific energy and CO2 intensities for 3 steel production routes: 1) basic oxygen furnace, 2) electric arc furnace and 3) open hearth furnace.

Figure 2: World average results and trends – Energy Intensity  


 

 Table 2: Number of reporting companies on Energy intensity per year 

 

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

Energy

27

30

38

49

45

51

52

50

50

49

The average values for energy intensity remained stable particularly from 2007 to 2010. In 2011, there was a decrease from 20.7 to 19.6 GJ per tonne of crude steel cast. The value for 2014 is preliminary as data collection is still in progress. As of 2007, the energy intensity data is collected in conjunction with the worldsteel CO2 emissions data collection. Thus, since 2007 the number of companies reporting on Energy intensity per year is the same as the number of companies reporting on CO2. There has been a gradual increase in the number of companies reporting on CO2 emissions and Energy intensity since 2003.

Due to changes in the methods of calculation undertaken in 2004, the average results of CO2 and Energy intensity differ prior to 2005. Therefore, those average results are not disclosed in Figures 1 and 2. Indicator data for 2003 and 2004 are available in the worldsteel 2004 and 2005 sustainability reports.