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Towards a CO2-neutral Steel Industry: Justice Aspects of CO2 Capture and Storage, Biomass- and Green Hydrogen-based Emission Reductions


A rapid transition towards a CO2-neutral steel industry is required to limit climate change. Such a transition raises questions of justice, as it entails positive and negative impacts unevenly distributed across societal stakeholders. To enable stakeholders to address such concerns, this paper assesses the justice implications of three options that reduce emissions: CO2 capture and storage (CCS) on steel (up to 70%), bio-based steelmaking (up to 50%), and green hydrogen-based steel production (up to 100%). We select justice indicators from the energy, climate, labour and environmental justice literature and assess these indicators qualitatively for each of the technological routes based on literature and desk research. We find context-dependent differences in justness between the different technological routes. The impact on stakeholders varies across regions. There are justice concerns for local communities because of economic dependence on, and environmental impact of the industry. Communities elsewhere are impacted through the siting of infrastructure and feedstock production. CCS and bio-based steelmaking routes can help retain industry and associated economic benefits on location, while hydrogen-based steelmaking may deal better with environmental concerns. We conclude that, besides techno-economic and environmental information, transparency on sector-specific justice implications of transforming steel industries is essential for decision-making on technological routes

Funding source: This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement no. 884418 (C4U project).
Related subjects: Applications & Pathways
Countries: Netherlands

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