Today, ResponsibleSteel’s CEO, Annie Heaton spoke at a Business and Philanthropy Climate Forum roundtable on the first day of the COP28 UN Climate Change Conference in Dubai to launch the Steel Standards Principles.
The event, Sustainable Steel: Pioneering Low-Carbon Solutions, was hosted by WTO Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala who welcomed the endorsement by standard setting bodies, international organisations, steel producers and industry associations of a set of principles aimed at aligning how greenhouse gas emissions are measured in the steel sector.
The Steel Standards Principles recognise that the iron and steel sector accounts for approximately 8% of annual global greenhouse gas emissions and that these emissions will need to be reduced by at least 90% for the sector to play a credible role in achieving climate targets.
The Principles call for establishing common methodologies for measuring greenhouse gas emissions within the iron and steel sector in order to accelerate the near-zero transition.
Improving the transparency, interoperability, and mutual recognition of such methodologies can promote investment in, and adoption of, innovative near-zero emission technologies and products while easing trade frictions that arise from divergent and incompatible measurement standards.
At the roundtable, the Director-General expressed the WTO’s support, stating, “Fragmented and uncoordinated trade policies make it harder for the steel industry to decarbonize. They add uncertainty for producers, hamper cross-border movement of green technologies and inputs, and slow investments in clean technology.”
Furthermore, the Steel Standards Principles recognise that collaborative and constructive dialogue is needed across developed and developing countries as well as among governments, producers, industry associations and policymakers to refine the existing emissions standards landscape for steel.
Annie Heaton commented, “The diversity of standards for measuring steel carbon emissions makes assessing how one ton of steel compares to another extremely challenging. It obstructs the clarity we urgently need to drive clear market signals for decarbonization. The Steel Standards Principles establish the key foundations of a common framework that is needed for all climate-related steel standards, for example, transparent governance, multistakeholder participation, and effectiveness in driving the decarbonization of the industry globally. ResponsibleSteel has its foundations in such principles and we are delighted so many organizations have chosen to endorse the Principles that have been discussed further today.”
36 key steel producers, industry associations, standard setting bodies, international organizations and initiatives have endorsed the Steel Standards Principles which will be launched formally at COP28 on December 5th – Industry Day.
To view the full set of Principles, click here.
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