ArcelorMittal has announced its goal to significantly reduce carbon emissions globally and to become carbon neutral in Europe by 2050. The company’s target for 2030 will be launched next year, replacing its current goal of an 8% carbon footprint reduction by 2020.
The steel industry produces around 1.7 billion tonnes of the materials annually (as of 2018), and accounts for approximately 7% of all global emissions. Carbon is currently used in the steelmaking process as a reductant in the blast furnace to separate oxygen from iron-ore.
ArcelorMittal has identified three pathways that it believes has potential to deliver a significant reduction in carbon emissions: clean power steelmaking, circular carbon steelmaking, which is using waste biomass to displace fossil fuels, and fossil fuel carbon capture and storage, where the current methods of steel production are maintained but the carbon is captured and stored rather than emitted back into the atmosphere.
Chairman and CEO Lakshmi Mittal commented in a press release: “We believe it can be possible for the steel industry to deliver carbon emissions reductions targets in line with the Paris agreement. We are committed to this objective and are actively piloting several low carbon steelmaking technologies.Central to achieving this aspiration will be supportive policy to ensure a global level playing field, access to sufficient clean energy at competitive prices and access to finance. The energy industry has made great strides in creating a pathway to lower emissions through supportive policy and we are confident the same can be true for steel.”