WorldAutoSteel pushes for ‘life cycle’ emissions approach


As climate change becomes an increasingly pressing political issue, how we measure success in reducing emissions becomes ever more important. Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is more comprehensive than many other forms of assessment and has the support of steelmakers. How the steel industry can best respond to the challanges of climate change and how regulation will change the global industry will be central themes of the third annual SBB Green Steel Strategies conference. For more details click here.

SBB 1 December With more stringent US fuel efficiency and emissions rules on the table and ongoing European negotiations bringing the issue of climate change to the forefront, WorldAutoSteel is pushing for governments around the world to shift the basis of greenhouse gas reduction initiatives from simply measuring tailpipe emissions to a life cycle assessment (LCA) approach.

The US is considering new fuel economy and emissions requirements for 2017-2025, and the European Union is preparing a mid-term review of EU emission standards for new cars, expected by the end of 2012. Vehicle efficiency standards are also being evaluated in a number of Asia Pacific countries, points out WorldAutoSteel – the automotive arm of the World Steel Association.

Rather than focusing purely on emissions, WorldAutoSteel says an LCA approach “considers emissions from all aspects of a vehicle’s life, including material production, manufacturing, driving and end-of-life-recycling,” giving a better picture of a vehicle’s actual carbon footprint.

WorldAutoSteel director Cees ten Broek says measuring only tailpipe emissions “encourages the use of greenhouse gas-intensive manufacturing phase technologies, such as low-density materials, in an effort to reduce fuel consumption.” These materials, such as aluminum, compete directly with highly recyclable, advanced high-strength, low-weight steels being developed by WorldAutoSteel member companies.

“A regulatory approach that includes life cycle principles also has the advantage of providing carmakers greater flexibility in applying the lowest cost technology in complying with the rules as opposed to the current tailpipe approach,” ten Broek says in a statement sent to Steel Business Briefing.

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