With supportive conditions in place, notably a regulatory framework and infrastructures, the European steel industry will be enabled and be fully committed to contributing to the achievement of the EU’s long-term climate objectives. We would be enabled to developing, upscaling and rolling out of new technologies that could reduce our sector’s CO2 emissions by 2050 by at least 80 to 95% compared to 1990 levels.
The steel sectors in other regions of the world will follow this path, if the EU demonstrates that the decarbonisation of the sector is possible without it losing competitiveness or market share as a result of CO2 abatement cost. This is of particular importance for the protection of the earth’ climate because global steel production represents a significant share – about 7% – of the world’s anthropogenic CO2 emissions. World steel production is even forecasted to grow from 1.7 billion tonnes in 2018 to 2.8 billion tonnes in 2050. It is also unlikely that steel scrap could satisfy global steel demand before the end of the century. It is therefore essential that both primary and secondary steel production are being advanced by the EU to meet the climate objectives.
The Commission’s Strategic Vision “A Clean Planet for all” indicates that deep CO2 emissions reductions in the steel sector are possible through a combination of technological pathways, including steel recycling, carbon capture utilisation and storage, process integration, and
electricity/hydrogen-based metallurgy. At the same time, the Commission document confirms that the steel sector is the most exposed to carbon leakage among all energy-intensive industries, both in terms of possible impact on output and on investment.
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First quarter 2023 report. Data up to, and including, third quarter 2022
Brussels, 02 February 2023 – All downside factors that have materialised in the first half of last year have persisted, continuing to impact the European steel market. Apparent steel consumption is forecast to see a deeper-than-expected drop of -4.6% for 2022 (previously set at -3.5%). The outlook for 2023 also remains negative (-1.6%), paving the way for the fourth steel demand recession in five years. A modest recovery will be in sight in 2024 (+1.6%), though subject to high uncertainty. Despite a more general resilience of the EU economy, in the third quarter of 2022 apparent steel consumption reached its lowest level after the pandemic.