Urgent Call for Intervention to Safeguard Climate: WWF Report

In an era marked by growing concerns over climate change, the environmental organization WWF has released a report highlighting the imperative for
WWF
WWF

In an era marked by growing concerns over climate change, the environmental organization WWF has released a report highlighting the imperative for government intervention to address the alarming emissions of greenhouse gases in the industrial sector. The study emphasizes the need for climate-protecting measures, particularly focusing on the production of green hydrogen. Viviane Raddatz, the climate chief at WWF, emphasized the significance of the industrial sector in climate protection, calling for urgent measures to protect the environment while preserving job opportunities.

The study conducted by the Öko-Institut on behalf of WWF Germany revealed that iron and steel production hold dominion among the thirty industrial plants with the highest emissions in Germany. The report underscores the need for a transformative change in this sector to safeguard the climate and preserve jobs. Raddatz emphasized the necessity for the German government to develop a comprehensive strategy for climate protection in the industrial sector, highlighting the gravity of the situation.

Preliminary figures from the Expert Council on Climate Issues indicate that Germany emitted a total of 746 million metric tons of greenhouse gases in the previous year, with the industrial sector ranking as the second-largest source of climate-damaging gases after the energy sector. The concentration of major greenhouse gas emitters is predominantly found in western Germany. While some plants reported a decrease in emissions by an average of 7 percent in 2022, this may be partially attributed to the prevailing energy crisis.

The report lists the top five industrial plants with the highest emissions in Germany for the previous year. Leading the pack is the Duisburg integrated steel mill of thyssenkrupp, responsible for 7.9 million metric tons of greenhouse gases annually. It is followed by Hüttenwerke Glocke Duisburg of Krupp Mannesmann (HKM), Pig iron production Dillingen (Saarland) of Rogesa Roheisengesellschaft Saar, Glocke Salzgitter of Salzgitter Flachstahl, and Hallendorf power plant of Salzgitter Flachstahl.

Addressing concerns about their emissions, the companies mentioned their plans for CO₂ reduction. Thyssenkrupp Steel (TKS), operator of Europe's largest steel site, revealed its commitment to reducing emissions and awarded a contract for the construction of a hydrogen-based direct reduction plant. Similarly, Stahl-Holding-Saar (SHS), the parent company of Rogesa, expressed its intent to produce CO₂-reduced steel in the future. Salzgitter AG CEO Gunnar Groebler emphasized the significance of reducing CO₂ emissions and implementing alternative technologies.

The report's authors utilized the methodology employed in EU emissions trading to record the emissions of industrial plants. However, certain sectors such as mobile machinery in the construction industry were not covered in this analysis. The WWF criticized the lack of a structural decline in emissions since 2010 and stressed the importance of prioritizing emission reduction over carbon capture and utilization. The organization welcomed the government's climate protection contracts, which aim to mitigate the financial risks associated with adopting climate-friendly technologies.

In conclusion, the WWF report underscores the urgent need for government intervention in addressing industrial emissions to combat climate change effectively. With iron and steel production being major contributors to greenhouse gases in Germany, the report calls for a comprehensive climate protection strategy from the German government. The findings highlight the importance of reducing emissions and transitioning towards sustainable industrial practices, paving the way for a greener and more resilient future.

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