ArcelorMittal’s New Carbon-Neutral Commitment Could Catalyze Steel Industry Transformation

Today, CFO Aditya Mittal of ArcelorMittal, the world’s largest steel company, pledged to achieve carbon neutrality company-wide by 2050. This pledge from Mr. Mittal comes after two years of Mighty Earth’s campaign to push the global steel industry toward carbon neutrality commitments.

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Q2 2020 hedge fund letters, conferences and more

ArcelorMittal's Pledge To Achieve Carbon Neutrality

Margaret Hansbrough, Mighty Earth campaign director, had this to say in reaction:

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“As the largest steel company in the world, ArcelorMittal is responsible for close to one percent of all climate pollution. We welcome ArcelorMittal's pledge to become carbon neutral by 2050 as an important step toward addressing the outsized impact of the steel industry and a critical victory for climate and the environment. Steel is seven percent or more of all climate pollution. As with any corporate commitment, though, the devil is in the details. We hope to continue to engage with the company directly between now and the end of 2020 as they draft a more detailed plan for achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.

“We have serious questions and concerns about ArcelorMittal’s over-reliance on carbon capture, utilization, and sequestration (CCUS) as well as bioenergy to replace coal. And we want to see more emphasis on research, development, and deployment for hydrogen and other breakthrough technology to displace coal burning technology as well as clean electrification, material efficiency, and capacity reduction overall.

We do not want to see a global trend of replacing coal-burning with tree-burning, which could take us out of the frying pan and into the fire. And we must not prolong the lifespans of coal burning blast furnaces any longer than necessary. We also need investments to restore nature given the outsized impact steel has had on driving the climate crisis.

“Dramatic climate leadership from ArcelorMittal and other steel companies like Nippon, Nucor, China Baowu Group, Tata, POSCO, and others is needed to demonstrate what they will do over the next one, five, and 10 years to ensure Earth stays at 1.5 degrees Celsius of warming. We are at one degree warming now and we can all see the chaos that has unleashed on the planet and people.

“We need carbon neutrality today from big polluters like ArcelorMittal and net zero by 2050 with ambitious 2030 targets based on the remaining carbon budget -- likely in the range of 49-65 percent emissions reductions. Out of sync models like those the IEA is currently providing would basically maintain business as usual through 2030 for steel and other heavy industry. Today, Mr. Mittal signaled his company’s willingness to lead, now it's time for real action from them and the rest of the industry.”


About Mighty Earth

Mighty Earth is a global campaign organization that works to protect the environment. We focus on big issues: conserving threatened landscapes like tropical rainforests, protecting oceans, and solving climate change. In the fall of 2018, Mighty Earth launched a global campaign calling on Nucor and other global steel leaders to commit to clean energy and carbon neutrality. The campaign released two groundbreaking reports: Cold Steel, Hot Climate and Construction Destruction. Both reports focused on advances the steel and construction industries must undertake right away to solve the climate crisis and specifically outlined ways for Nucor to lead the market in low carbon steel making by committing to clean electricity. For full reports and statements visit: www.mightyearth.org/steel.