Steel: Net-Zero Steel Initiative

The Net-Zero Steel Initiative (NZSI) aims to put the global steel sector on a path to reach net-zero emissions by mid-century by:

  1. bringing zero-carbon primary steel production technologies to market by 2030
  2. accelerating the growth of scrap-based production
  3. ensuring that no new high-carbon assets are built after 2030

The Challenge

Steel is a critical component in our infrastructure and our lives, but the global steel sector accounts for almost a quarter of industrial CO2 emissions and 7% of total energy sector emissions (including process emissions).

Total global steel production is forecast to grow 30% by 2050. Under current conditions and if no action is taken, corresponding global carbon emissions from iron and steel production could rise to 7.5% of total global emissions and 34% of industry sector emissions.

Addressing the climate impact of the steel sector has been debated for more than a decade, but fundamental economic production and trade competitiveness issues remain unresolved.

Our Approach

NZSI attempts to tackle these issues through a unique end-to-end supply chain perspective, built by partnering with an international group of steel industry leaders. Current coalition member involvement accounts for ~26% of the global steel industry market share by revenue. The initiative offers a truly international and “Net-Zero 2050” frame of reference as well as a focus on demand and supply dimensions.

The initiative will work alongside and build on existing efforts—including dialogues led by industry associations, international roadmaps, labelling initiatives, R&D partnerships, and corporate efforts—while reflecting the perspectives of ambitious players and demonstrating how steel can be a key part of a net-zero economy.

Our Goals

Step 1 — Net-Zero Coalition Building: convene high-ambition stakeholders from across the global steel value chain to create a community with a shared purpose and drive to progress steel decarbonisation at scale.

Step 2 — Net-Zero Roadmap: Develop a comprehensive, open-source, industry-validated roadmap to net-zero emissions by 2050, compatible with a well-below 2°C scenario, to serve as a reference point across the sector. This roadmap will lay out in 5-year increments the feasible pace of deployment of decarbonisation solutions and necessary investments, as well as policy and demand prerequisites.

Step 3 — Policy Engagement: Debate and articulate statement(s) to governments in critical steel producing and consuming geographies from a unified group of leading industry players across the steel value chain. These statement will have a particular focus on Europe, Japan, Korea, China, India, and the United States, and aim for a coherent set of policy positions across regions that reflects international competitiveness challenges.

Step 4 — Seeding Demand Signals: Engage with end-use markets to assess the potential for early differentiated low-emissions steel markets. Collaborate with other initiatives to develop private and public demand for low-emissions steel that will effectively underpin the first wave of investment in low-emissions primary production.

Step 5 – Finance: Unlock investment in the first wave of low-emissions primary steel production assets by laying out the financing challenges that low-emissions investment poses and working with the steel and finance industries to develop appropriate solutions.

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