Åsa Ekdahl

Head, Environment and Climate Change, World Steel Association

29 September 2022

The focus of the global climate debate has broadened and moved to sectors of the economy other than energy and transport. The steel industry now finds itself at the centre of the efforts to reach the goals of the Paris Agreement.

There is a growing recognition that we cannot achieve the goals we’ve set ourselves unless industry sectors reduce their emissions significantly and I’m pleased to say that the change is underway.

However, there are several reasons why the steel industry is part of the group of industries deemed to be hard to abate, and challenges still remain, including access to and affordability of low-carbon input materials and financing options for the transition.

The inaugural edition of what we are calling our Open Forum, an event to be held annually going forward, aims to address these challenges by reaching beyond steelmakers to engage with stakeholders in the steel industry ecosystem, including equipment manufacturers, suppliers, related industries, financial institutions and academia.

It will present activities from worldsteel’s efforts in this area and initiate discussions on key topics of interest to steel industry stakeholders.

It is with great pleasure that I announce that the inaugural Open Forum will take place in Brussels on 4 & 5 October this year.

It will focus on:

  • The pathway to Paris – Where we are and how might the transformation of the steel sector play out as the world looks to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement?
  • Implementation activities – What activities are taking place among steel companies and in the supply chain?
  • Measuring and tracking the transition – How do we measure and verify emissions, technology implementation etc. to know if the industry and/or individual steel companies are on track?
  • Raw materials and energy requirements for the steel industry’s transition – What demands will the introduction and roll out of breakthrough technologies put on the input materials required by the industry?
  • How customers and finance are shaping the market for low-carbon steel – How can we improve the business case for investments in low-carbon steel production through the creation of a market for the products once they are produced?

This is of course not an extensive list but some of the most pressing topics and the current focus of many international initiatives.

We will hear from many of them at the Open Forum and though none of them are specifically endorsed by worldsteel they all bring different perspectives, thought-provoking analysis and recommended actions to the table, something we value that helps to move the debate forward.

We are looking forward to two days of intense discussion, exchanges of views and new ideas and see this as the starting point of a great climate conversation between all the actors in the steel industry ecosystem.

Presentations from the Forum will be accessible on both our membership extranet and public website in the days after the event.

I look forward to providing an update then.