The European steel industry is on course to exceed its emissions budget by 2035, as only 26% of its carbon budget remains, warns a report from UK-based research organisation Industry Tracker.

A group of foundry workers at the melting furnace during the production of steel castings. (Photo by industryviews/Shutterstock)

According to the report, existing steelmaking assets could release a further 2.3 billion tonnes of CO2, compared with a budget of just over three billion by 2050, based on the International Energy Agency’s net-zero pathway.

How well do you really know your competitors?

Access the most comprehensive Company Profiles on the market, powered by GlobalData. Save hours of research. Gain competitive edge.

Company Profile – free sample

Thank you!

Your download email will arrive shortly

Not ready to buy yet? Download a free sample

We are confident about the unique quality of our Company Profiles. However, we want you to make the most beneficial decision for your business, so we offer a free sample that you can download by submitting the below form

By GlobalData
Visit our Privacy Policy for more information about our services, how we may use, process and share your personal data, including information of your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.

The dominant method for making primary steel is via a blast furnace. This technology is the biggest contributor to emissions in steelmaking. Yet emissions reductions from blast furnace efficiency improvements have plateaued at 1% for the last 20 years.

Blast furnaces have a life cycle of around 20 years before they need upgrading. To meet the EU’s net-zero target for 2050, companies must stop renewing blast furnaces before 2030 and have between now and 2033 to invest in new clean technologies such as hydrogen-based steel production and carbon capture, use and storage, the report says.

Most steel companies will likely require support via public funding, it adds, as the cost of the low-carbon transition for them is estimated at $4bn–34bn.