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Canada’s Steel Industry aiming for net zero CO2 by 2050

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Steel producers in Canada have set their sights on collectively achieving net zero CO2 by 2050. The steps to achieve this ambitious goal are outlined in the new Climate Call to Action released by the Canadian Steel Producers Association (CSPA). Already, the steel industry has decreased emissions by 25% since 1990 through energy efficiency measures and best practices.

CSPA president, Catherine Cobden, stated “we know that climate change is a global challenge that requires our collective action. While net zero is an aspirational goal, we believe we can achieve our vision of a low-carbon steel sector if we work in collaboration with governments, stakeholders, customers, and the supply chain.”

The industry’s Climate Call to Action focuses on five key areas of action, namely:

  1. creating unique partnerships and research collaborations
  2. developing and adopting breakthrough clean technologies and innovative products
  3. driving operational excellence through state-of-the-art manufacturing
  4. levelling the playing field and supporting carbon advantages of domestic use of Canadian steel, and
  5. remaining global leaders in sustainability, energy management and environmental best practices

A number of breakthrough technologies are already in the demonstration or pilot phase around the world and may soon become commercially viable:

  • hydrogen as the preferred fuel source, thus replacing fossil-based carbon
  • carbon capture and storage in addition to carbon capture and utilization
  • a switch to electricity from fossil fueled processes such as reheat furnaces, stoves and boilers
  • biomass and other wood residues to replace coal
  • the use of hydrogen and/or electrolysis to reduce iron ore
rolls of steel in a factory

In addition to these and other promising technologies, the steel industry is also moving to the manufacture of modern, high-strength steel that is produced more energy efficiently and leads to greater energy efficiency when used in the building and transportation sectors.

Algoma Steel, a CSPA member that supports the organization’s Climate Call for Action, has already implemented numerous projects and is actively pursuing other initiatives. “Here at Algoma we have identified a number of near-term projects that set us on this path, reducing our carbon footprint by delivering a targeted 79,000 tonne reduction,” said Brenda Stenta, Manager of Communications and Branding at Algoma. She also noted that the company is looking at innovative technologies and products, and is involved in research with CanmetENERGY of Natural Resources Canada, and the Canadian Carbonization Research Association.

Refer to the press release by the CPSA Canada’s Steel Producers Set a Goal to Achieve Net Zero CO2 Emissions by 2050 and the steel sector's climate change call to action Canada's Steel Industry: A Sustainable Choice.

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