ArcelorMittal commits to becoming carbon neutral by 2050

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - ArcelorMittal MT.LU, the world's largest steelmaker, committed on Wednesday to being carbon neutral by 2050, although it said a level playing field with green border adjustments and abundant, affordable clean energy would be required to get there.

FILE PHOTO: The logo of steel factory ArcelorMittal is pictured in Seraing near the Belgian city of Liege, March 10, 2016. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

The company, which makes around 5% of the world’s steel, said last year it aimed to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 30% by 2030.

President and chief financial officer Aditya Mittal made the new commitment before speaking about the challenge of decarbonising steel at a conference.

He said in a statement all regions of the world would have to contribute to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

“As the world’s leading steel company, we believe we have a responsibility to lead the efforts to decarbonise the steel-making process, which today has a significant carbon footprint,” he said.

ArcelorMittal has pilot projects looking into two areas - use of hydrogen to convert iron ore to iron and ways of becoming carbon neutral by using sustainable biomass or carbon capture and storage.

The company also set out certain policies required to hit the carbon neutral target.

Mechanisms such as green border adjustments were needed so that producers could not import cheaper steel made under less stringent environmental criteria elsewhere.

Clean energy must be abundant and affordable, necessary infrastructure and finance must be in place and policymakers should accelerate the transition to a circular economy, the steelmaker said.

ArcelorMittal said it would give more details of its plans before the end of this year.

Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop; Editing by Tomasz Janowski