Amid debate continuing in Japan over carbon taxes and trading schemes, the Japan Iron & Steel Federation (JISF) has announced that the country's steel industry emitted 165.6m tonnes of carbon dioxide last fiscal year, a 6% dip on the 2008 figure and a large17.5% drop on the benchmark fiscal 1990 total. The steel sector's energy consumption also fell by 17.2% from 1990.
'Co2 emissions last year declined significantly mainly because of the large drop in crude steel output,' a JISF spokesman tells Steel Business Briefing. Japan's crude steel output in the year to last March reached 93.7mt â€“ a decrease of 10.5% from the 1990 total.
Japan's steel industry is 'voluntarily' targeting cutting energy consumption by an average of 10% during fiscals 2008-2012 compared with 1990 levels and CO2 emissions by 9% on the premise of 100m t/y of raw steel output.
By undertaking reduction schemes voluntarily, the steelmakers hope to dissuade the government from setting mandatory targets supported by fines and penalties, SBB notes.
The 2008-2009 reductions in emissions of 12.2% and 17.5% respectively from 1990 greatly exceeded the JISF's target. 'But steel output has been recovering and cutting CO2 emissions by 9% over the five years won't be easy,' the JISF spokesman admitted. Japan's crude steel output in April-September was up 28% year-on-year at 55.42m t.
The JISF says that outside of the voluntary scheme its members will continue 'maximizing' energy savings and emissions reductions by supplying high-function steel products to reduce CO2 emissions at end users.