World Steel Association

InfluenceMap Score
Performance Band
Organisation Score
Metals & Mining
Brussels, Belgium
Official Web Site:

Climate Lobbying Overview: The World Steel Association (worldsteel) appears to have taken a mixed approach to climate change policy historically, but has become more positive since 2016. The association is actively engaged with broad policy issues, although it does not appear to have engaged with specific national climate policies in recent years. However, worldsteel is supportive of the decarbonization of the steel industry.

Top-line Messaging on Climate Policy: worldsteel appears to take mixed positions on climate policy in its top-line messaging, but has become more positive since 2016. The association seemed to support limiting temperature rise to 2°C on its corporate website, accessed in September 2021. In an October 2020 press release, the Director General, Edwin Basson, broadly supported GHG emissions reductions in the steel industry, but stressed the importance of maintaining a level playing field for a global and competitive industry.

In a May 2021 climate change policy paper, worldsteel advocated for governments to put in place “a supportive and enabling framework” which “reduces the first mover disadvantage” and “ensures that policies reward proactive efforts,” but stressed that it must be technology neutral. However, in a 2020 position paper, worldsteel emphasized the need for a global level playing field and market-based approaches, appearing to voice concerns regarding carbon pricing schemes around the world causing carbon leakage and stressing the risks of unilateral action. The association also advocated for government regulation to take a full life cycle approach in order to create cost-effective climate policies in the same 2020 position paper.

Engagement with Climate-Related Regulations: worldsteel does not appear to have actively engaged with many specific climate regulations in recent years. On its website, accessed in September 2021, the association advocated that GHG emission standards for vehicles should be based on a life-cycle assessment approach rather than tailpipe-based legislation, as it suggested that low-density alternative materials to steel emit more emissions during the manufacturing process. worldsteel also was supportive of progressive fuel economy standards for vehicles on its website, accessed in September 2021. In a tweet in July 2019, the association stated that steel was necessary to meet renewable energy targets, but did not take a clear position on the policy.

Positioning on Energy Transition: worldsteel has expressed top-line support for the decarbonization of the steel industry and the transition to a low-carbon economy. In a 2021 position paper, the association advocated for government policies to support breakthrough technologies such as hydrogen and electrolysis as alternatives to coal in the steelmaking process, but was in favor of technology neutral policy. The 2021 position paper also did not explicitly rule out the use of fossil fuels in the production of hydrogen to decarbonize the steel industry. Worldsteel supported the decarbonization of the buildings sector and policies to facilitate the electrification of road transportation and increase charging infrastructure in blog posts in 2019. The association has consistently used social media to promote the role of steel in the transition to renewable energies.

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