CEM14: The ResponsibleSteel International Standard Driving Decarbonisation in the Indian Steel Industry

ResponsibleSteel hosted a critical meeting on 22 July at the 14th Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM14, GOA 2023) demonstrating the role of the ResponsibleSteel International Standard in impacting policy, finance and the energy transition to accelerate decarbonisation in India’s steel industry at pace and scale.

India is the second-largest producer of steel after China and according to the IEA, the Indian steel industry is projected to triple by 2050 (source: IEA). Currently, the steel industry accounts for around 12% of India’s emissions. The country’s push to meet its net zero targets will rely heavily on the decarbonisation of its steel sector. That is why ResponsibleSteel brought together key stakeholders from government, downstream, and the steel industry to discuss the challenges and solutions needed to achieve an equitable and just transition in India.

The event featured keynotes from Shri. Nagendra Nath Sinha, Secretary for the Indian Ministry of Steel, Shri. Alok Sahay, Secretary General & Executive Head of the Indian Steel Association, and Annie Heaton, CEO of ResponsibleSteel, as well as a panel discussion between representatives from the Ministry of Steel, JSW Steel, and SteelZero.

Topics of discussion included:

  • What are the main challenges facing the Indian steel industry as it moves to a “greener” future?
  • What role can the ResponsibleSteel Standard and certification programme play to help accelerate the decarbonisation of India’s steel industry?
  • Why does alignment on frameworks and near-zero definitions matter?
  • What investments, innovations and new policies are needed to speed up this decarbonised future?

Annie Heaton, ResponsibleSteel’s CEO stated, “Today’s meeting will provide a platform for discussion of some of the biggest issues facing the Indian steel industry and our climate. Decarbonising India’s steel industry as it grows to service the needs of its nation is an unparalleled challenge and will require collaboration, innovation and investment on an immense scale. To underpin these efforts, the world needs to align on a fair and consistent way to measure steel’s embodied CO2 emissions, defining ‘near zero steel’ and monitoring how progress towards it can be assessed. Without these three things, policy incentives, border adjustments, trading arrangements for steel will be at risk of creating an unlevel playing field.”

She continued, “Every country has a stake in driving every other country to decarbonise. Countries must therefore consider not only the interests of their own industry but of the entire steel industry, globally, to deliver our joint climate ambition.”

JSW Steel’s Chief Sustainability Officer, Prabodha Acharya, commented “Whilst the Indian steel industry is taking steps to decouple growth and CO2 emissions, collectively we need to ensure the steel industry globally is accelerating decarbonisation at pace and scale in an equitable manner. The sector needs a common method for measuring and defining near-zero steel to ensure that we are all pulling in the same direction. The ResponsibleSteel International Standard provides this global framework. Today’s event is a key opportunity for stakeholders gathered at CEM to participate in this discussion.” 

The ResponsibleSteel International Standard has been designed by stakeholders from across the world to be effective in driving global steel decarbonisation responsibly and equitably. It addresses not only GHG emissions but also other critical environmental and social issues such as biodiversity, water management, labour rights and the impact of source materials. Transparency and collaboration have always been at the heart of the ResponsibleSteel Standard’s development.

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Green Steel World Editorial Team

Green Steel World Editorial Team

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