By Maitane Sardon
ArcelorMittal(MT.FR) on Wednesday outlined new climate targets as part of its efforts to be more environmentally responsible.
The steelmaker and iron-ore miner said it aims to be carbon neutral in its European operations by 2050 and significantly reduce its global CO2 emissions.
The strategy comes as the steelmaking industry, which generates between 7% and 9% of the world's CO2 according to the World Steel Association, faces increasing pressure from investors using environmental criteria in their decisions.
Some of ArcelorMittal's climate goals are aimed at reducing its carbon footprint in the production of steel. These measures include the use of clean power and circular carbon energy sources such as waste biomass, instead of fossil fuels.
The company is also investing in carbon capture and storage technology to achieve carbon neutrality in its European operations by balancing carbon emissions with carbon removal.
In 2018, ArcelorMittal reported an average footprint intensity of 2.12 tons of carbon dioxide for a ton of crude steel. This was in line with previous years but higher than the global average of 1.83 tons of CO2 for a ton of crude steel. The company said its higher intensity was due to a greater use of emissions-intensive steelmaking routes such as those in which iron ore is smelted.
While ArcelorMittal has stated its intention to reduce its emissions, British nonprofit InfluenceMap said the steel producer has been one of the most active in opposing carbon pricing in the countries where it operates. It said the company has consistently lobbied against strengthening the cost applied to carbon pollution in Europe.
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