Low Emissions Steel

Australia produces almost half of the world’s iron ore, representing the Nation’s single largest source of export revenue. Turning iron ore into steel is an energy intensive process, and accounts for 7% of global green house gas emissions.

To meet net zero targets, the steel industry will need move faster to reduce emissions which will require fundamental changes to the entire supply chain.

Australia has a unique opportunity to reduce the emissions associated with steel making by bringing together our innovative ore processing expertise and our renewable energy potential.

Towards Net Zero works with industries and regions to transition Australia into a thriving low-emissions economy by accelerating the development of solutions to decarbonise our hard-to-abate sectors, including steelmaking.

We are collaborating closely with major iron ore producers in Australia and international steel making partners – particularly throughout Asia – to achieve the major emissions reductions possible from the iron ore and low-emissions steel industry.

Decarbonising steel

The iron and steel sector is the world’s second largest industry and accounts for around 7% to 9% of global emissions (IEA, 2022). In 2021, 75% of global steelmaking capacity was in countries with net zero targets for 2050 or 2060 (World Steel Association, 2021). Most CO2 and equivalent emissions produced in the iron ore process are from reduction. By taking steps in Australia to upgrade our ore, and develop onshore reduction we can reduce full value chain emissions by 77% – but this must be done in partnership with our major customer countries throughout Asia.

Reducing emissions in Australia’s hard-to-abate sectors – including steel – will have a real impact on our ability to reach net zero by 2050 and limit further climate change.

Industrial Decarbonisation Lead, Warren Flentje, speaks about the social, environmental and economic opportunities of low emissions steel for Australia.