The event, co-organized by the UN Industrial Development Organization's Industrial Deep Decarbonization Initiative (UNIDO/IDDI), the Breakthrough Agenda and the WTO Secretariat, brought together a diversity of stakeholders to voice the value of the principles for supporting decarbonization of the steel sector.
Following the announcement of the Steel Standards Principles by Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala on 1 December, senior representatives from governments, business and international organizations came together at the COP28 Trade House Pavilion to publicly endorse the principles.
DDG Paugam stated that since 1 December, six more companies and organizations had signed onto the principles, indicating growing momentum and support for the initiative.
Dr Farah Al-Zarooni, Assistant Undersecretary for the Standards and Regulations Sector of the United Arab Emirates, noted in her opening remarks the growing need for alignment of emission measurement standards, driven by the shared goal of promoting market efficiency, lowering barriers to trade and steering the steel industry toward a decarbonized future. She said the launch indicated a deepening of the global commitment to bolstering methodologies and tracking emissions from steel production.
Jiang Wei, Vice Chairman of the China Iron and Steel Association, emphasized the importance of the Steel Standards Principles for promoting mutual recognition of different methodologies used for measuring emissions.
Fiona Skinner, IDDI coordination at UNIDO, presented a new UNIDO/IDDI white paper on harmonizing greenhouse gas accounting for the steel and concrete sector at the event: Driving consistency in the greenhouse gas accounting system: A pathway to harmonized standards for steel, cement, and concrete.
Clare Broadbent, Head of Sustainability at the World Steel Association, said that with the proliferation of multiple methodologies, it is encouraging to have this wide range of organizations willing to work together on harmonization. She also stated the importance of extending these efforts to other competing materials, and that work in the steel sector could be a basis for that.
Lee McDonough, Director General International of Net Zero with the Breakthrough Agenda, stated that the Steel Standards Principles are a fundamental building block to unlocking the global market for near-zero emission steel, levelling the playing field and ensuring that clean steel can compete in global trade.
DDG Paugam set a rendez-vous for COP29 next year to review progress on the implementation of the principles and announced that the WTO Secretariat would host an interim stocktaking gathering of endorsing organizations in the first part of 2024.
The launch event included speakers from Germany, Japan, the UAE, the Breakthrough Agenda, the China Iron and Steel Association, H2 Green Steel, the International Energy Agency, ResponsibleSteel, UNIDO and the World Steel Association. Further details on the event are available here.