14 Oct 2022
With direct emissions accounting for more than a quarter of total industrial emission, the steel sector is of critical importance for achieving the Paris Agreement’s climate goals. While the mission of decarbonising steel is an urgent and compelling one, it remains a challenging task to accomplish, requiring a profound and complex transformation of its production processes. To set this transformation in motion, many initiatives have been launched in recent years aiming at providing roadmaps, action plans, tools, insights and recommendations on how to accelerate the decarbonisation of the steel sector.
On the 21st of September 2022, saisi participated in the Forum on Steel Excess Capacity stakeholder event on steel decarbonisation facilitated by the OECD . The objective of the event was to bring together, and “connect the dots” between the different initiatives that are promoting, supporting and implementing decarbonised steelmaking practices, together with steel industry associations and steel policymakers from GFSEC member countries. Moreover, the event aimed to investigate and identify where gaps may exist across these initiatives and where synergies can be created and nurtured.
As even the definition of green steel has yet to be commonly agreed upon, international cooperation will be key to ensure that countries and industries stand aligned and initiatives don’t duplicate their work, while they implement the steel decarbonisation agenda.
The event highlighted that there are two particular fields where steel decarbonisation efforts are increasing but where further coordination will be crucial:
- Data: being instrumental to measure and monitor progress towards steel decarbonisation targets, data is essential to foster implementation. Moreover, data is the foundational building block of definitions for near zero emission steel, standards and other criteria shaping trade measures. This data needs to be granular, comprehensive, comparable, standardised and trackable.
- Trade: since steel is a highly traded material worldwide, trade is an indispensable ally in the transition of the steel industry towards decarbonisation. However, without a level playing field, trade can also represent an obstacle to decarbonisation efforts, contributing to carbon leakage and trade distortions. Finding an effective and inclusive approach to the trade and emissions nexus will be vital to ensure the implementation of steel decarbonisation.
The OECD steel policy community stands ready to support further dialogue, transparency and cooperation across governments, industry associations and initiatives that are committed to the goal of creating a more sustainable steel industry.