EU steel industry emitted 250-275m t of CO2 in 2010

Carbon dioxide emissions from the iron and steel industry are closely link to levels of production. As output increases alongside economic recovery, emissions too have grown from last year.

SBB 26 January The European Union’s iron and steel industry emitted approximately 250-275m tonnes of carbon dioxide in 2010, a year-on-year increase of some 20%, according to first estimates by Steel Business Briefing. The figure includes emissions from sintering and coking as well as ironmaking, steelmaking and scrap melting.

This means around 1.16-1.45 tonnes of CO2 were produced on average for every tonne of crude steel produced. 172.9m t of crude steel were produced by EU steelmakers in 2010, Worldsteel figures show.

However, the average figure hides the differences between the relatively low-emission scrap-EAF production and carbon intensive integrated production. Furthermore the average masks a division within integrated producers between those with relatively clean modern facilities and those with more polluting plants.

Under the European Emissions Trading System (ETS) European steelmakers must use carbon credits to account for their emissions. Currently the industry is allocated sufficient free credits to account for their emissions. However, from 2013 they will be allocated credits up to the level of set benchmarks.

EU member states have agreed benchmarks which, according to Eurofer, are unachievable by even the cleanest plants in the industry. It has proposed its own benchmarks, based on the 10% of plants in each sector which emit the least CO2.


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