A new report by the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU) suggests the UK hasn’t shown the ambition required to decarbonise its steel industry.
The analysis notes that while in Europe there are currently 23 hydrogen-based steel production projects, the UK has not set out plans for using hydrogen to produce primary steel.
While there are no plans for the production of clean virgin steel in the UK, there are only vague references to a CCS plant by 2040, ECIU states.
Falling behind EU European competitors could put thousands of jobs at risk as the UK steel industry provides direct jobs for an estimated workforce of 33,700.
The steel sector is considered as the UK’s largest industrial emitter and will need to be decarbonised within 15 years in order for the UK to achieve its net zero emissions target, Climate Change Committee modelling suggests.
A BEIS spokesperson said: “We are working closely with Britain’s steel sector to support its transition to a low carbon future. We have already announced a £250 million Clean Steel Fund to support the industry to reduce carbon emissions, and our new Industrial Decarbonisation Strategy sets out how it can be done in a way that supports competitiveness, jobs and clean growth.
“As an essential provider of over 30,000 well-paid jobs, the steel industry will play a critical role in providing the infrastructure necessary to drive a green economic recovery.”