Japan’s steel sector cuts CO2 emissions by 6% in 2009/10


SBB 18 November 2010 Amid debate in Japan over carbon taxes and trading schemes, the Japan Iron & Steel Federation (JISF) says that the country’s steel industry emitted 165.6m tonnes of carbon dioxide last fiscal year, a 6% dip on the 2008 figure and a 17.5% drop on the benchmark fiscal 1990 total. The steel sector’s energy consumption also fell by 17.2% from 1990.

“CO2 emissions last year declined significantly mainly because of the large drop in crude steel output,” a JISF spokesman tells Steel Business Briefing. Japan’s crude steel output in the year to last March reached 93.7mt – a decrease of 10.5% from the 1990 total.

Japan’s steel industry is “voluntarily” cutting energy consumption by an average of 10% during fiscals 2008-2012 compared with 1990 levels, and CO2 emissions by 9% on the premise of 100m t/y of raw steel output.

By undertaking reduction schemes voluntarily, the steelmakers hope to dissuade the government from setting mandatory targets supported by fines and penalties, SBB notes.

The 2008-2009 reductions in emissions of 12.2% and 17.5% respectively from 1990 greatly exceeded the JISF’s target. “But steel output has been recovering and cutting CO2 emissions by 9% over the five years [to 2012] won’t be easy,” the JISF spokesman admitted. Japan’s crude steel output in April-September was up 28% year-on-year at 55.42m t.

The JISF says that outside of the voluntary scheme its members will continue “maximizing” energy savings and emissions reductions by supplying high-quality steel products to end-users to reduce CO2 emissions over the product life cycle.

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