New coalition of steel producers pushes for climate standard

An international group of leading steel manufacturers has announced the formation of a coalition to urge the United States and European Union to adopt a global emission standard that incentivizes steelmakers to use the cleanest steel production process available. The new coalition the Global Steel Climate Council (GSCC) supports a global standard that accelerates the transition to low-emission steel and recognizes the potential of the recycled, circular steel model to reduce carbon emissions.

The United States and European Union are negotiating a new emissions standard for steel production. The GSCC asserts that any agreement should focus on the amount of emissions generated, not on how steel is made. The majority of the world’s steel production is extremely carbon-intensive because it primarily relies on mined and processed coal, iron ore, and limestone. However, other steelmakers – including those producing over 70% of all U.S. and over 40% of all European manufactured steel today – use electric arc furnaces (EAFs) that principally input recycled scrap metal to produce steel, generating significantly lower carbon emissions.

A “sliding scale” standard supported by high-emission steelmakers would set greenhouse gas emission standards ceilings up to nine times higher for extractive versus recycled products, penalizing EAF producers and permitting higher-emission steel to be erroneously labeled as “green.” Under a sliding scale, two steel products could be classified as equally “green,” even though one was produced by creating multiple times more carbon emissions than the other.

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