China aims to hit peak emissions before 2025, and reduce them by 30% by 2030, according to a WeChat post by the China Metallurgical Industry Planning and Research Institute. The nation is also set to announce stricter measures around crude steel production capacity and its replacement in an attempt to green one of the most carbon-intensive sectors of the economy in China.

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Atilla Widnell, managing director of Navigate Commodities, says, “We forecast that China will achieve peak steel production rates over the course of 2020 and 2021, as a result of domestic COVID-19 stimulus-backed, steel-intensive infrastructure projects. It is therefore entirely feasible that the industry can meet its peak emissions targets before 2025.”

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Widnell says, “While hydrogen-based steelmaking has been touted as a potential saviour for the industry, the economics and, more importantly, the perceived environmental impact are nowhere near- yet.” He adds that the cost of green steelmaking could be significantly higher compared with current production costs, and “it will most likely be borne by the end user.”

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