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Climate Targets Could Shutter UK Steel Industry

June 8, 2021

By Paul Homewood

From the Financial Times:


The potential costs of Net Zero are eye-watering and cannot be met by industry alone.

Britain’s steel industry is never far from a crisis. In recent months, the woes plaguing Liberty Steel and its controversial owner Sanjeev Gupta have captured the headlines.

But the sector faces a much bigger and more existential threat than uncertainty over Gupta and the future of Liberty Steel: how to “green” steelmaking.

Britain’s commitment to reaching net-zero emissions of greenhouse gases by 2050 has raised the stakes for the industry and the 33,000 people it employs.

In the UK, steel is the biggest industrial emitter of carbon dioxide. The Climate Change Committee, the government’s independent advisory group, has suggested steel production needs to be “near-zero” emissions by 2035 — a hugely ambitious target.

Ministers have stressed the strategic importance of the industry’s role in post-Brexit Britain, but concern is growing among some executives that a comprehensive strategy to secure its future and put it on a sustainable footing is still missing. 

Domestic producers have for years struggled to stay competitive against lower-cost international competition and global oversupply. Now they face the additional burden of cleaning up their emissions. The potential costs are eye-watering and cannot be met by industry alone. 

Chris McDonald at the Materials Processing Institute, a steel research group, estimated that to make green steel a reality would require £6bn-£7bn of investment on sites themselves, on top of supporting infrastructure. 

“Where is the money going to come from? That’s the tough question,” he said.

Full post (£)

  1. June 8, 2021 6:24 am

    Never mind, we can always buy Chinese steel made using lots of coal and transported using lots of oil. We need lots of steel to build lots of wind turbines which we need to make us net zero.

    • Gamecock permalink
      June 8, 2021 11:04 am

      I was thinking Brazil. They make good steel, and shipping costs will be lower than from China.

      ‘The Climate Change Committee, the government’s independent advisory group, has suggested steel production needs to be “near-zero” emissions by 2035 — a hugely ambitious target.’

      Nah. It will just be gone.

      But don’t think of steel as a special case. Omnia moriatur.

    • Dave Andrews permalink
      June 8, 2021 5:37 pm

      Five of the top ten manufacturers of wind turbines are Chinese companies so they can provide both steel and turbines and so our steel industry can continue to decline along with much of our manufacturing industry.

  2. June 8, 2021 6:57 am

    This is yet another of the sorry cases where STEM inept politicians have a bidding war with no understanding of the consequences. And not only do they never learn, but people actually vote for them.

    • Duker permalink
      June 8, 2021 7:08 am

      Do voters really put ‘net zero’ at the top of their concerns when voting. Often its partisanship come first and climate at number 10. The XR people probably think the Greens are too soft , but their vote is minute as well.
      Most of the larger parties run confusion marketing strategies as they offer a plethora of promises and most voters just zone out.

      • Crowcatcher permalink
        June 8, 2021 5:11 pm

        I did by NOT voting for any candidate who mentioned “climate change” or “net zero” in campaign literature – result no vote for any of them!!!

  3. HotScot permalink
    June 8, 2021 9:52 am

    I’m now a full blown Conspiracy theorist!

    Well, not so much full blown as, like many of us, being proven correct on almost a weekly basis now over the WuFlu, Fauchi and the establishments lies on its origins etc. I think things are becoming much clearer now for anyone that cares to look. And if there’s one thing climate sceptics excel at, it’s seeking credible, alternative science and theories.

    The long and the short of it is that, firstly, there is no such thing, and can never be any such thing as ‘green’ steel. It’s a hugely energy intensive substance to manufacture. The only way it can be greenwashed is by fiddling accounts with carbon credits or some such other nonsense which serves no other purpose than to raise Taxes for hard working people on a global scale. There are, of course, now discussions taking place for international Tax rates.

    That, however, isn’t the conspiracy bit. I only ‘got it’ when I listened to a James Delingpole interview with Dr. Reiner Fuellmich about Covid and, I promise you, although he barely mentions an association between Covid and climate change, because we are all climate sceptics and, even if we won’t admit it, we harbour the grudging belief that something sinister is going on, so bits begin to fall into place.

    Fuellmich is a German/American Lawyer and one of the principles in bringing the internationally coordinated class action law suit against Volkswagen for their exhaust emissions scam. A hugely complex and exercise that has proven immensely effective.

    He’s now organised with at least 250 other lawyers around the world to bring to justice those who have perpetrated the Covid scamdemic (and that’s the first time I have actually used that term) on the human race under the Nuremberg Code. In the interview with James he’s at some pains to explain the deception perpetrated on the human race by the PCR test, the mysterious death of its inventor who condemned its use as a diagnostic tool; and the charlatan who suddenly, from almost nowhere, declared himself the inventor and it being the perfect Covid-19 diagnostic tool, thereby conning the world over a condition no worse than the common Flu.

    Just a few things to mention here, one is 40-45 cycles which is the amplification of the PCR test the UK adopted, HCQ, which we are all familiar with because Trump condoned it, and Ivermectin. The interview is here: and to James’ credit, he barely says a thing, which is unusual for him.

    But that’s not the entire story. During the JD interview Fuellmich mentions an interview Tucker Carlson conducted with Dr. Peter McCall, an American Doctor of considerable credentials who suggest several times during the interview ‘there’s something going on’ but, despite Tucker pursuing him on at least three occasions on that statement, he can’t quite bring himself to say there is an international conspiracy at work. That interview is here:

    However, during the interview with Fuellmich, he expresses his belief that Covid was enacted 20 years earlier than intended and the people involved hadn’t the time to iron out all the wrinkles in its delivery, so things are beginning to unravel.

    What he also mentions, that few if any of us have heard of, is that his group have now had three notable successful court cases over Covid. Not that we could be expected to know because there is no mention of them in the MSM.

    My belief is that the climate change scam is progressing too slowly for these people and they needed something extra to further their global ambitions quickly. Whether by accident or design, and I’m more inclined to believe the lab escape was an accident, Covid-19 was hastily siezed upon in a mad rush by the global elite to accelerate their ambitions.

    The beginning of all this was an NHS GP of 17 years who has now resigned and declared his belief that something sinister is going on. His self-interview is available here, where he mentions Fuellmich:

    Finally, please visit this site and offer your support, ideally with a small donation. It’s the British Ivermectin Recommendation Development organisation (BIRD) that is desperately trying to have a safe, Nobel winning ani parasitic drug which is available OTC in numerous developing nations, made available in the UK.

    I worked with Ivermectin years ago in the animal pharmaceutical industry (when I first fell victim to Neli Ferguson of Imperial College when I lost my job over his outrageous Foot and Mouth scare) and can promise you that there has probably not been a bit of beef, lamb or horsemeat consumed by most of the western world in the last 50 years that has not been treated with this incredibly safe and effective drug to rid the host of, amongst others, internal parasitic worms.

    It has been proven to show results in (from memory) 100% of Covid cases it has been trialled on and has (again from memory) an 86% success rate in curing early stage Covid. It can be as simple as 3 tablets taken over a five day course for complete recovery. The tablets cost literally, a few pence each. It’s so effective that clinical trials had to be abandoned because it was unethical to let placebo patients die when the results were so obvious.

    This is an almost completely safe drug (no drug comes without some risk of adverse reactions) that is dispensed without prescription to ill-educated people in the developing world for the treatment of a variety of conditions including River Blindness (a parasitic condition) for which it won its Nobel Prize.

    In my belief, it is neither ethical nor legal for the UK government to deny the British public access to Ivermectin on the basis that the risks outweigh the benefits, nor any other such fictitious nonsense.

    Although I’m not qualified to make the comparison, I believe this drug is considerably safer than Paracetamol which can cause a very unpleasant death if an overdose is taken. Administering the drug to cattle is accomplished by ‘Pour On’, literally dosing them by pouring an amount along the spine of the animal as it passes through a retaining gate. Hardly what might be considered an accurately determined dose.

    Finally, I believe there is an opportunity to unravel the entire climate change scam, bizarrely, by grasping the exposed thread of Covid-19. The same people are involved, specifically mentioned in Fuellmich’s interview, Davos attendees, and they have a common, manically insane objective of population control. They are about to throw Fauchi under the bus to cover their tracks but it’s too late, the hare has been set running.

    I’m also of the belief that, when this all goes far enough, the MSM will turn on their masters to save their own skin. A ‘tipping point’ if you like.

  4. MrGrimNasty permalink
    June 8, 2021 10:04 am

    A while back there was an article/paper that showed how much MORE CO2 China produced per T of steel and other products than the West. They are so much less efficient. And of course other real pollution is much less constrained in China industry too.

    The policy of destroying our own mining/industry to offshore it, is significantly increasing global CO2. It’s a lose for our independence, wealth, prosperity, security, and the climate/environment.

    Of course ‘green steel’ is supposed to be the future, but if it made sense energy/economics/environment wise, the industry would be doing it already.

    At the moment we can indulge a proportion of unreliables for energy because we have fossil fuel energy to manufacture them. The further we go down the net-zero path, the more energy is wasted in making the energy, and the more inefficient every other re-engineer industry gets. At the very same time we need more and more energy, the more unreliable and ‘feeble’ our means of energy production becomes.

    • June 8, 2021 10:21 am

      Our local distribution company is actively planning for this:

      “Customers will have the power to play an increasingly active role in the energy system by changing their energy consumption patterns in response to price signals. — If customers adopt flexible energy practices, this will flatten peaks in load on the network and reduce how much we need to invest in network capacity.

      “If we all decide to go faster, then we will need to do more sooner, adding more capacity and flexibility. That will increase costs in 2023–28, but it will lower carbon emissions in total over the next 30 years.”

      That’ll help the steel and other high-energy industries no end. It won’t be cheap, either, for anybody.

      • It doesn't add up... permalink
        June 8, 2021 3:02 pm

        The peaks in network capacity we will need in future are not driven by peak demand, but rather by peak renewables production. Already, most grid Link are to handle rising renewables output. Beualy- Denny line, Western Link HVDC, new line for solar farms output in the SW, massive reinforcement to handle offshore wind around the Humber, etc.

    • A man of no rank permalink
      June 8, 2021 5:20 pm

      I feel sorry for the Australians Grim, green hydrogen and green steel indeed.
      Now I read that the The German steelmakers ThyssenKrupp plan to produce 400,000 tonnes of ‘green hydrogen’ by 2025 for ‘green steel’ (blimey it will soon be 2025!)
      I want to watch, from a safe distance, as Herman injects his explosive green hydrogen into molten iron at 1,600 degC.
      And, I want to watch the first welder who discovers the hydrogen trapped in the green steel as an interstitial hydride.
      You just can’t stop progress.

  5. AC Osborn permalink
    June 8, 2021 10:40 am

    One of the reasons that the Steel industry struggles so much is our high electricity costs.
    Increasing them for any reason will drive them out of the country.

  6. Penda100 permalink
    June 8, 2021 10:40 am

    So you can have a modern industrial society with fossil fuels, providing jobs and better living standards. Or you can have renewable energy and a pre-industrial society, agricultural based as the population tries to feed itself. Tractors need steel and fuel, horses fart and produce methane. I look forward to the day when a dozen or so greenies are harnessed to a plough.

  7. Gerry, England permalink
    June 8, 2021 11:03 am

    The GWPF site has posts referring to various sources starting to question the insanity of NetZero. Perhaps finally this is going to be subject to some discussion while our moron of a PM sucks up to Dementia Joe at the G7 and promises ‘world beating’ reductions.

    The only problem I can see is that where to voters turn to get rid of Blue Labour if there are no viable alternatives as yet? Woke Red Labour is likely never to be re-elected. The LimpDumbs? Hardly. Unlike European Green parties, Lucas’s mob is off with fairies as much as Labour. Maybe the time of the Monster Raving Loony Party has come as they will be seen as the sensible option.

    • Jack Broughton permalink
      June 8, 2021 11:59 am

      It’s a pity that Screaming Lord Sutch is dead, his time is nigh. Sadly, none of our parties represent the real needs of the UK all are controlled by the financiers and party activists, not the electorate.

      • 1saveenergy permalink
        June 8, 2021 12:09 pm

        Screaming Lord Sutch was sane compered to Boris the Buffoon.

  8. It doesn't add up... permalink
    June 8, 2021 3:05 pm

    Surely the target us to close the steel industry? Just as the CCC advised the Scottish government that they need to close down the Grangemouth complex and Mossmoran ethylene.

  9. 1saveenergy permalink
    June 8, 2021 3:41 pm

    Why is my comment ‘awaiting moderation’ ???.

  10. June 8, 2021 9:58 pm

    An FT account is free anyway ..article limit

    Top comment has 20 likes
    The consensus is that the Islington class are so stupid
    they will close UK steel industry and con themselves they have saved world emissions
    (few of the readers have much knowledge of UK steel
    eg the way that China own British Steel Scunthorpe and India Tata own Port Talbot
    and that UK gov cannot rescue Liberty Steels steel processing plants cos the group has foreign plants)

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