ArcelorMittal Maps Journey to Net Zero Steel Making
ArcelorMittal has published its second group climate action report, following the first group report published in May 2019 and the European climate action report published in May 2020. In the new report, ArcelorMittal has for the first time announced a 2030 global carbon emissions intensity reduction target of 25%. It has also increased its European 2030 carbon emissions intensity reduction target to 35% from 30% previously announced. All targets are on a scope 1 and 2 basis. The Company had previously announced a net zero by 2050 ambition in September 2020.
The new climate action report provides a roadmap that illustrates the Company’s current thinking on the journey to net zero steelmaking. Five key levers are identified as the stepping-stones to achieve net zero by 2050. These are:
A – Steelmaking transformation: In the course of the coming decades the steel industry will undergo a transformation of the assets used to make steel on a scale not seen for over 100 years. This includes in a first phase the transition from coal (in the blast furnace) to natural gas (in a DRI plant) as a precursor to green hydrogen DRI.
B – Energy transformation: The energy used to make steel in future years will undergo a further and more radical transition, from high-emitting fossil fuel-based energy to low and zero-carbon emissions forms of energy. This includes green hydrogen, circular forms of carbon and CCUS technologies.
C – Increased use of scrap: As well as using scrap in the EAF, we will increase the use of scrap in blast furnace-basic oxygen furnace (BF-BOF) steelmaking.
D – Sourcing clean electricity: We will focus on increasing the amount of low and zero-carbon emissions electricity we consume. We plan to do this by purchasing renewable energy certificates and by direct power purchase agreements (PPA) with suppliers from renewable projects.
E – Offsetting residual emissions: There are likely to remain residual emissions for which either there is no feasible technological solution or the solution involves excessively high economic or social costs. For these emissions ArcelorMittal will buy high-quality offsets or launch projects to generate high-quality carbon credits.
The Company’s targets are underpinned by a set of assumptions:
The cost of green hydrogen will become increasingly competitive over the next decade but will still require government support.
Carbon capture, utilisation and storage infrastructure will take time to be built at scale. While Europe is expected to take the lead, CCUS infrastructure has the potential to expand quickly in the US and Canada providing some potential upside to our assumptions.
Different regions of the world will continue to move at very different paces and the level of climate ambition will differ between jurisdictions at any given time.
The introduction of climate-friendly policies in other regions will be 5–10 years behind Europe.
Reflecting these assumptions, each region in which the Company operates is designated as either Accelerate, supported by the introduction of more ambitious climate change policy or Move, reflecting a policy environment not yet providing any meaningful support to accelerate steel industry decarbonization and where accelerating without supportive policy will render the asset uncompetitive versus national & regional competition.