During COP26 the world’s leaders are gathering in Glasgow in order to increase climate ambition and accelerate the global energy transition in the 2020s. The steel sector can – and must – play a vital role in this because this decade puts the global steel sector at a crossroads: Between now and 2030, globally, more than two thirds of existing coal-based blast furnaces will reach the end of their technical lifetime and require reinvestment. If these reinvestment needs before 2030 are met with coal-based capacity, this will create long-term carbon lock-in and lead to stranded assets, endangering jobs and putting any pathway compatible with 1.5°C out of reach.
The good news is that low-carbon steelmaking technologies are mature and can be deployed now. However, they require infrastructure and a regulatory framework. In Europe, many steel companies have announced plans to build low-carbon steelmaking capacity before 2030. Green lead market cooperation announcements between steel companies and private sector companies are also increasing rapidly. But to date a tangible business case for low-carbon steelmaking and low-carbon steel use is still missing.
During this side event in the EU pavilion – jointly organized by Wuppertal Institute, IN4CLIMATE.NRW and Agora Industry – panelists discussed challenges and opportunities of a global steel transformation that starts in the 2020s and how Europe can become a frontrunner.
To set the scene for the panel discussion, Wido K. Witecka, Project Manager at Agora Industry, presented the key findings of a joint paper by Agora Industry, Wuppertal Institute and Lund University entitled “Global Steel at a Crossroads” which can be found in the "All Content" section at the bottom of this page. Agora Industry is the new sub-brand of Agora Energiewende launched in October 2021.
Introduction: “Global Steel at the Crossroads” (Wido K. Witecka, Agora Industry)
- Asa Ekdahl, Worldsteel
- Hans-Jörn Weddige, Thyssenkrupp
- Corinna Zierold, industriALL – Europe
- Peter Handley, DG Grow European Commission (virtual)
- Joachim Braun, Division President Process Industries ABB (virtual)
- Moderator: Stefan Lechtenböhmer, Wuppertal Institute
You can watch the recording by clicking the YouTube button above (starting at minute 2:28).