New Steel Coalition Promotes Transparent, Climate Change-Focused Standard for Measuring and Reducing Carbon Emissions

19 November 2022

An international group of leading steel manufacturers today announced the formation of a coalition to urge the United States and the European Union to adopt a global emissions standard that incentivizes manufacturers of steel to use the cleanest production process available.  

The new coalition, the Global Steel Climate Council (GSCC), supports a global standard that accelerates the transition to low-emission produced steel and recognizes the potential of the circular steel recycling model to reduce carbon emissions.

The United States and the European Union are negotiating a new emissions standard for steel production. GSCC members say any agreement must focus on the amount of emissions generated, not the method by which the steel is made. Most of the world's steel production is extremely carbon-intensive because it is based primarily on mined and processed coal, iron ore, and limestone. However, other steelmakers, including those that produce more than 70% in the United States and more than 40% of all steel made in Europe today, use Electric Arc Furnaces (EAFs) fueled primarily by recycled metal, resulting in significantly lower carbon emissions.

"We have the technology to reduce carbon emissions in steel production by 70% today," said Leon Topalian , president and CEO of Nucor Corporation and a founding member of GSCC. "The global industry needs to harness the innovation that has already led to cleaner steel production in the United States, because green and digital economies around the world will be built on steel, and the steel they're built with matters."

The "sliding scale" standard being backed by high-emissions steelmakers would set greenhouse gas emission standards with limits up to nine times higher for extractives versus recyclates, penalizing producers using EAFs and allowing steel that generates the most emissions is mislabeled as "green." On a sliding scale, two steel products could be classified as equally "green," even though one was produced generating multiple times more carbon emissions than the other.

"Steel is critical to our economies, including the world's essential infrastructure. This new standard will accelerate real reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and provide key decision makers with the accurate data they need to make informed decisions." said Mark D. Millett , President and CEO of Steel Dynamics, President of the Steel Manufacturers Association (SMA) and a founding member of the GSCC.

"We must prevent steel producers from classifying their products as green when the same products are available on the market with significantly lower carbon emissions," said Francisco Cardona , Director of Public Affairs at CELSA Group, a leading European producer of circular steel with low emissions, and founding member of GSCC.

The main focus of the GSCC is to establish a standard, focusing on the following guiding principles:

  • Reduce GHG emissions from the global steel industry.
  • Establish a standard that is independent of technology or production method.
  • Establish a standard with a narrow cap system that includes scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions.
  • Establish a standard aligned with a science-based gradual path to achieve a 1.5 degree scenario by 2050.
  • Provide relevant information on sustainable steel manufacturing to those responsible for making decisions on the matter.

"GSCC's single standard will encourage all producers to reduce their carbon emissions and create a level playing field for all manufacturers. Negotiations between the United States and the European Union should not create a double standard and a slippery slope to a less transparent environment. We can do better," said Philip K. Bell , President of the Steel Fabricators Association (SMA) and founding member of the GSCC.

About Global Steel Climate Council

Global Steel Climate Council, Inc. (GSCC) is a not-for-profit association organized to advance climate strategy by sharing best practices, setting standards, and promoting the reduction of carbon emissions by members of the steel industry. .

GSCC includes more than 20 members and adherents who are steel manufacturers, trade associations, end users, scrap suppliers and non-governmental organizations.

GSCC has the specific purpose of focusing on reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the global steel industry, by supporting reduction methods that are independent of the technology used; instituting a system with limited limits that includes scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions; and aligning with a science-based, gradual trajectory vision to achieve a 1.5 degree Celsius scenario by 2050.   

The founding members of the GSCC are the Steel Manufacturers Association (SMA), Nucor Corporation, CELSA Group Steel Dynamics, Inc., Commercial Metals Company, and the Institute of Scrap Metal Recycling Industries (ISRI).

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FUENTE Global Steel Climate Council