CUED Publications database

The influence of UK emissions reduction targets on the emissions of the global steel industry

Serrenho, AC and Mourão, ZS and Norman, J and Cullen, JM and Allwood, JM (2016) The influence of UK emissions reduction targets on the emissions of the global steel industry. Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 107. pp. 174-184. ISSN 0921-3449

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Abstract

© 2016 The Authors. The steel industry is the world's largest industrial source of CO 2 emissions. Recent UK economic policies have led to reduced domestic steel production giving an apparent reduction in national emissions. However, demand for goods made from steel has not reduced. Emissions have thus been transferred not reduced and implementation of UK climate policies may in future expand this 'carbon leakage.' This paper explores how future UK demand for goods made from steel might be supplied while satisfying national climate policies, and how this will influence global CO 2 emissions. Current flows and stocks of steel are estimated from existing databases. Evidence from other developed economies suggests that per capita stocks are tending towards a saturation level so future demand is forecast from population growth and the expected rate of replacement of a stable stock. The carbon intensities of five different steel-making routes are used to predict the allowed scale of future domestic steel production within the industrial emissions allowances set in four energy pathways defined by the UK Government. The remaining requirement for steel must be sourced offshore and the associated emissions are predicted, to give an estimate of the global emissions arising from final demand in the UK. The results show that current UK climate strategy may have a limited effect in reducing the CO 2 emissions of the global steel industry, unless the UK shifts towards producing more of its own steel products with domestic secondary steel-making. This option would also increase the security of UK supply and support an expansion of UK manufacturing.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: UNSPECIFIED
Divisions: Div D > Geotechnical and Environmental
Div E > Sustainable Manufacturing
Div A > Energy
Div D > Structures
Depositing User: Cron Job
Date Deposited: 17 Jul 2017 19:41
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2017 02:13
DOI: