Åsa Ekdahl

Head, Environment and Climate Change, worldsteel

Secretary to worldsteel’s Environment Committee (ECO)
Open Forum convener

13 July 2023

It is clear that if the world is to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement, the transformation of all industrial sectors is an absolute necessity. The transition of the steel industry is crucial in this respect and while the industry is taking action, the interest from stakeholders is still increasing.

We see an increasing number of international initiatives in the area of steel and climate and while most of them focus on one of more of the key themes of definitions and methodologies, demand creation, finance and investment, and technology and innovation, there is now a move away from long term commitments and targets to implementation, including measurements and accountability. We also observe an increasing desire to harmonise and work together.

In this context, it is with great pleasure that I announce that this year’s Open Forum will take place in Antwerp, Belgium on 12-13 September. Our second Open Forum, an event held annually going forward, aims to address topics of interest to the steel industry ecosystem by reaching beyond steelmakers to engage with stakeholders including equipment manufacturers, suppliers, intergovernmental organisations, environmental NGOs, financial institutions and academia.

The focus of this year’s discussions will be:

  • Climate policy implementation – What do existing and expected climate related government support structures look like and how will they impact on the steel industry?
  • Financing the transition – What will the investment needs for the transition be and what are the options for finance? How can a level playing field be ensured and how to define what is fair?
  • Raw material requirements – What are the potential raw materials and energy availability challenges and how can we promote dialogue and establish green partnerships to overcome such challenges?
  • Energy availability – Although coal and natural gas will remain important, hydrogen, renewable energy and biomass are expected to grow significantly. How much will be needed in the future and how can we ensure the availability?
  • Steel using sectors – How are the construction/infrastructure, energy and automotive sectors expected to develop in the coming decades and what will this mean for the steel industry?
  • Chain of custody – While companies move from proving actual savings of CO2 during production to mass balance approaches, how can we ensure that the chain of custody remains clear and linked to what we offer to customers?

­­­These are some of the key topics for the industry’s transition and they are also of interest to the wider steel ecosystem. With a diverse list of speakers and an audience reflecting the current interest in the steel industry’s climate journey, we are looking forward to thought-provoking presentations, interesting discussions and further recommendations that will help move the debate forward and incite further action.

Presentations from the Open Forum 2022 are accessible on our public website and we will publish this year’s presentations a few days after this year’s event.

I look forward to an exciting event!