Methane Adds 27% to Steel’s Climate Impact

Coal mine methane (CMM) adds 27% to the steel industry’s overall 20-year climate effect, according to analysis of data from the International Energy Agency (IEA) and other organisations by Ember Climate. The report from the global energy think tank said that mines producing coking coal emitted nearly 12 million tonnes of methane in 2021, equivalent to nearly 990 million tonnes of CO2 using the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s 82.5 multiplier for methane’s 20-year climate impact versus carbon dioxide. This is estimated to warm the planet more than the CO2 emissions of Germany or Canada. The steel industry is forecast to still be using coal in 2050, with the IEA’s assessment of governments’ announced pledges forecasting an 11% fall in coking coal use by 2030 and a 56% drop by 2050. This would fall short of the 26% by 2030 and 83% by 2050 versus today’s level in coking coal use needed to reach a 1.5°C complaint pathway in the IEA World Energy Outlook’s Net Zero Emissions scenario.  

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