Steel is vital to modern economies and so over the coming decades global demand for steel is expected to grow to meet rising social and economic welfare needs. Meeting this demand presents challenges for the iron and steel sector as it seeks to plot a more sustainable pathway while remaining competitive. The sector is currently responsible for about 8% of global final energy demand and 7% of energy sector CO2 emissions (including process emissions). However, through innovation, low-carbon technology deployment and resource efficiency, iron and steel producers have a major opportunity to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, develop more sustainable products and enhance their competitiveness.
This report explores the technologies and strategies necessary for the iron and steel sector to pursue a pathway compatible with the IEA’s broader vision of a more sustainable energy sector. Considering both the challenges and the opportunities, it analyses the key technologies and processes that would enable substantial CO2 emission reductions in the sector. It also assesses the potential for resource efficiency, including increased reuse, recycling and demand reduction. Realising this more sustainable trajectory will require co‑ordinated efforts from key stakeholders, including steel producers, governments, financial partners and the research community. As such, the publication concludes with an outline of priority actions, policies and milestones for these stakeholders to accelerate progress towards zero emissions from the iron and steel sector.