A Race Against Time: Key Takeaways from NYC Climate Week 2022

Last week, ResponsibleSteel’s CEO, Annie Heaton, and Policy and Impacts Director, Shivakumar Kuppuswamy, were on the ground in New York for Climate Week. Participating in discussions with industry, policy, and sustainability leaders, it was heartening to see an interconnected ecosystem emerging on steel decarbonization. And everyone was talking about the need for a single, verifiable standard.

Climate Week evidenced the growing private sector demand for responsibly produced steel and the increasing pressure for science-based targets and clear roadmaps to achieve net zero. Shiv participated in two critical roundtable debates hosted by Climate Group, dissecting corporate barriers to climate change and discussing the opportunities to accelerate the fulfilment of decarbonization targets set out by the Paris Agreement.

“It’s a race against time. We have a window of 8 to 10 years left to find the financial resources to make a difference in steel decarbonization. Who’s going to rise to the challenge?” – Shiv, Policy and Impacts Director

The need for greater investment in decarbonizing heavy industry is more urgent than ever. This was the focal point for the ‘It’s a Material World’ panel led by Sean Kidney, CEO of the Climate Bonds Initiative. As Shiv stressed, there is a pressing need for time-bound and effective mobilization of large capital to meet steel decarbonization targets and a credible and holistic standard will have a strategic role in this. Building on this, Annie spoke at the launch of the Sustainable STEEL Principles to a crowded room of bankers and fund managers. Bringing together six leading global banks, the Principles will help banks measure and report the emissions associated with their steel loan portfolios compared to net-zero emissions pathways.

ResponsibleSteel has a unique and critical role to play in all this. Our International Standard V2.0 provides clear thresholds to measure GHG performance taking into account the amount of scrap used as input. But it also addresses a range of other crucial issues across the ESG spectrum from labour rights to pressing environmental issues such as biodiversity.

And, as Annie highlighted at a meeting of clean technology innovators for mining, the latest ResponsibleSteel Standard is enabling customers to demand higher standards along the entire value chain, including the social and environmental impacts of how input materials are sourced.

Find out more about the ResponsibleSteel International Standard V2.0 here.

Catch up on Climate Week here.

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