The steel industry calls for a reinforced partnership with governments for a sustainable future

29 July 2015 Brussels, Belgium

The World Steel Association (worldsteel) has published its position paper on environmental change highlighting steel’s contribution to a low carbon society and the need for stronger partnership between governments and the steel industry.

Edwin Basson, Director General of worldsteel said: “The steel industry is CO2 and energy intensive by nature but what needs to be clearly acknowledged is the central role it plays in enabling many other industry sectors to mitigate CO2 emissions in their applications and products and also in providing solutions to many of the challenges posed by a growing global population. Therefore, the role of the steel industry needs to be considered within the context of progressive industrial policy and governments need to engage with the steel industry when developing a carbon policy that could impact the industry.

We believe that in order to achieve a low carbon society it is extremely important to have cohesive and consistent environment policies around the world. First, steel is a highly competitive industry and about 35% of steel is traded internationally, thus a global level playing field is a necessary condition. Fair competition should not be compromised due to inequity in carbon policy. Secondly, governments should take into account the full life cycle of products when creating new regulations. This will help to create reliable and predictable frameworks for cost effective energy and environmental policies. Furthermore, governments should promote a circular economy approach leading to: low waste, reduction in the amount of materials used and encouragement of reuse and recycling of all materials. Lastly, progress in breakthrough technology development in steelmaking must be maintained or accelerated requiring the financial burden to be shared by both government and the private sector.”


For more information, download worldsteel's new publication  ‘Steel’s contribution to a low carbon future and climate resilient societies’ via this link.

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Notes to Editors:

  • On average, 1.8 tonnes of CO2 are emitted for every tonne of steel produced. The iron and steel industry accounts for 6.7% of total world CO2 emissions according to the International Energy Agency. Today, the global steel industry uses 650 million tonnes of scrap to produce new steel. This avoids more than 900 million tonnes of CO2 emissions per year. In the last 50 years, the steel industry has reduced its energy consumption per tonne of steel produced by 60%.
  • The World Steel Association (worldsteel) is one of the largest and most dynamic industry associations in the world. worldsteel represents approximately 170 steel producers (including 9 of the world's 10 largest steel companies), national and regional steel industry associations, and steel research institutes. worldsteel members represent around 85% of world steel production.

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