ArcelorMittal has published a concept for a low-carbon emissions steel standard to help incentivise the decarbonisation of steelmaking globally and support the creation of market demand for physical steel products which would be classified as lower, and ultimately near-zero, carbon emissions steel.
The creation of clear definitions for low-carbon emissions physical steel is an important component of ‘demand pull’ and ‘supply push’ mechanisms that are required to support the steel industry in its transition to net zero by 2050. Clear definitions will also help inform targeted policy to support the scale-up and commercialisation of these near-zero technologies.
Three core principles
At the heart of the concept are three core principles:
It must include a dual score system comprising a LCA value for finished products (EPD for construction products) alongside a decarbonisation rating system which categorises low and near-zero carbon emissions per tonne of hot rolled steel and rewards producers as they decarbonise from their starting point.
It must be designed in such a way that incentivises the decarbonisation of all methods of steel production through technology shifts, rather than simply through increasing scrap rates using existing technology. This can be done by using a sliding scale based on the percentage of scrap used in production, a system which is also at the heart of the ResponsibleSteel™ and International Energy Agency (‘IEA’) low-carbon emissions steel models.
It must include a clearly defined boundary from which carbon emissions are counted for the decarbonisation rating system. The concept is designed to be complementary to methods for rewarding virtual low-carbon steel, at least until significant amounts of physical low-carbon steel are available.
Commenting, Brad Davey, Executive Vice President, ArcelorMittal, and chair of the Company’s Climate Committee said: “Setting a standard to classify low-carbon emissions steel during our industry’s transition to net zero is critical to our decarbonisation journey. We have spent a lot of time thinking about how to do this in a fair way that incentivises all steelmakers to reduce emissions and ultimately achieve net zero. At the heart of our concept is a system that ensures that all steelmakers, both primary and secondary, are incentivised to further improve their emissions, and progress towards near zero is recognised and rewarded.”