Japan's JFE aims to cut CO2 emissions by 20% by 2030

FILE PHOTO: Smoke rises from chimneys of JFE's steel factory at Keihin industrial zone in Kawasaki, south of Tokyo, October 24, 2012. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon/File Photo

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan’s JFE Holdings Inc said on Tuesday it would aim to cut CO2 emissions from its mainstay steel unit, JFE Steel, by more than 20% by the 2030 financial year that ends March 2031 from the 2013 level in a bid to tackle climate change.

The company, which has been working with other members of the Japan Iron and Steel Federation to develop new technology to trim CO2 emissions, formed a new project team under the direct control of JFE Steel’s president to step up efforts on its own.

“We plan to map out feasible plans which could include use of more scrap and more ferro-coke, a technology for improving reduction rate of iron ore put into blast furnace, as well as development of innovative technologies,” a JFE spokesman said.

For the long term, the Japan’s second-biggest steelmaker aims to achieve “carbon neutral” soon after 2050, the same target by the Japanese government.

Steelmakers are under growing pressure to cut carbon emissions as steel manufacturing is one of the largest sources of carbon emissions among industries.

Japan’s biggest steelmaker Nippon Steel Corp also set up an internal committee in April to plan its own measures to lower CO2 emissions, with an aim to unveil its mid- and long-term goals by the end of next March.

The steel federation’s goal is to cut 9 million tonnes of CO2 emission from production process of Japanese steelmakers by 2030 from their emission of 194.4 million tonnes in 2013, representing a 4.6% cut, though it involves various assumptions including an annual crude steel output remaining at around 120 million tonnes.

Reporting by Yuka Obayashi, editing by Louise Heavens