EAC Meeting, Green Steel

The Environmental Audit Committee held the second session of our inquiry into “Green Steel” on Wednesday 27 April 2022. We interviewed a panel of industry experts about progress towards decarbonising the steel industry, and what policy and financial support will be needed to continue this process.

Steel is responsible for between 7% and 9% of carbon dioxide emissions worldwide. This is a very large proportion for a single industry, and as such the decarbonisation of steel production requires special attention. It is estimated that to achieve the Paris 2015 target of limiting warming to no more than 1.5⁰C, methods must be found for the industry to reduce its emissions by 80%.

My questions concerned the global context for UK efforts to decarbonise our steel industry. I asked how the UK compares with other national steel industries in terms of its progress and commitments to green steel production. On 4 April 2022 the EAC published our Report “Greening imports, a UK carbon border approach” which recommends at the Government develop a Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism within this decade to prevent efforts to decarbonise the UK being circumvented by companies moving their operations to countries with weak climate legislation. I asked what role a CBAM could play in supporting steel decarbonisation. I also asked why the UK exports most of its scrap steel, rather than retaining it for recycling in the UK.