A carbonless crucible?

Think tank: Bright Blue

Author(s): Wilf Lytton; Ryan Shorthouse

July 10, 2022

This report from UK think tank Bright Blue looks at forging a UK steel industry.

Steel is an indispensable building block of the UK economy. But existing steel production technologies require large amounts of energy and are carbon-intensive: in 2019, the steel sector accounted for just over one fifth of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from all UK industries. The UK Government has a legal target to ensure the country has net zero emissions by 2050. More immediately, through the Sixth Carbon Budget, the UK has a demanding target of achieving a 78% reduction in emissions by 2035 relative to 1990 levels.3 This country will therefore need a thriving ‘clean steel’ industry if the Government is to meet its climate targets. The challenge of decarbonising steel is particularly urgent: the Climate Change Committee (CCC) has recommended emissions from the production of iron and steel in the UK fall to near zero by the mid 2030s, although this is not at present an official government target.