Taking the path to green steel to Parliament

Community has submitted written evidence to the Environmental Audit Committee on green steel, as part of the Committee’s wider inquiry on ‘Technological Innovation and Climate Change’.

The Committee’s remit is to consider the extent to which the policies and programmes of government departments and non-departmental public bodies contribute to environmental protection and sustainable development, and to audit their performance against sustainable development and environmental protection targets.

Speaking on the establishment of the Committee, Environmental Audit Committee chairman, Rt Hon Philip Dunne MP, said:

“Steel is the bedrock for many of our low-carbon aspirations: from electricity generation to our modes of transport. But wind turbines and electric vehicles have a major carbon footprint due to the steel used to manufacture them. As the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee has recently pointed out, the decision point for investment to renew the UK’s steel installations is fast approaching, without a clear lead from the Government on the technology to adopt.

We will be exploring the technological innovations available to make the steel sector more environmentally friendly. I encourage all those engaged in transforming this essential industry to consider contributing to this stage of our inquiry.

Decarbonisation of the sector is a real test of the Government’s mettle and the ingenuity and ambition of UK industry. Successful use of technological advances to green the industry will make a substantial contribution to the goal of Net Zero Britain.”

As part of Community’s evidence, we laid out the main routes to decarbonisation and the role of the steel industry in this.

The evidence made clear that long-term sustainability requires new industrial strategies as well as strong government support. For a net-zero future, a plan for the UK’s steel industry is needed, with guidance from the government being critical in helping steel employers to take the next steps on the climate transition journey.

We also highlighted the consequences of failing to invest in green steel, including potential mass job losses similar to that seen in Redcar in 2015.

Community is the largest and leading union in the steel sector, with representation in all the major steel employers across the UK, including Tata Steel, British Steel (Jingye), Liberty Steel, Celsa and smaller producers like Sheffield Forgemasters and Outokumpu, as well as downstream suppliers.

Our full submission to the Environmental Audit Committee can be read here.

If you are a member of Community and need help or advice, please contact us at help@community-tu.org or on 0800 389 6332.

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