Although climate changeis a global issue, the failure to negotiate an international treaty to succeed the Kyoto Protocol has forced countries and regions to implement their own climate strategies individually.Steelmakers with European facilities complain that they are bearing the brunt of climate regulation, and that this puts them at a disadvantage. Recent developments in Australia are unlikely to assuage their concerns. It is only when the major steelmaking countries, especially China, begin to set a firm price for carbon emissions that the playing field will become more level.
SBB 22 June The global steel industry must do its part to reduce carbon emissions, but there “should be a level playing field,” believes Lakshmi Mittal, ceo of ArcelorMittal.
“The pressure on companies to reduce their CO2 emissions only looks set to intensify,” he predicted.
But Mittal said it doesn’t make sense for Europe to set carbon emissions standards when other parts of the world have not. This will only make production in Europe more expensive and increase it in other countries, he stated.
Additionally, Mittal said, the industry must help regulators understand that while each tonne of steel produced makes about two tonnes of CO2 – that drops over the steel’s lifetime to 0.7 t (per tonne of steel produced) because of steel’s recyclability.
“The steel industry needs to play it smart in heping to reduce CO2 emissions … but equally we need a balanced approach. Climate change is a global issue,” he told listeners.
He added, “We need to work harder to make sure the benefits of steel are understood and factored into wholistic regulatory frameworks.”
He was speaking at the Steel Success Strategies Conference in New York in June sponsored by World Steel Dynamics and American Metal Market; Steel Business Briefing was in attendance.