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June 2007

NAFTA Steel Industry urges development of emissions database

The North American steel industry has recommended that the Steel Committee of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) support international efforts to develop a comprehensive, accurate database for the global steel industry of greenhouse gas (GHG) and other emissions. The industry voiced its concerns about the negative environmental consequences of uneven regulatory and compliance efforts by nations around the world as well as their anti-competitive impact.

The recommendation was made in a paper submitted by the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI), the Steel Manufacturers Association (SMA), the Specialty Steel Industry of North America (SSINA), the Canadian Steel Producers Association (CSPA) and La Camara Nacional de la Industria del Hierro y del Acero (CANACERO).

In its paper, the NAFTA steel industry strongly urged the OECD Steel Committee to support current efforts by the International Iron and Steel Institute (IISI) to develop a common database on GHG emissions. The paper suggests that GHG regulation may already be having a significant impact on the global steel industry, investment and trade flows, and that the OECD Steel Committee, national governments and the global steel industry need accurate data in a standardized form.

The paper points out that worldwide production of steel has substantially increased over the last decade, by about 470 million tons, with most of the expansion occurring in countries, especially China, that in general have greater amounts of inefficient steel production and weaker environmental regulation or enforcement. Likewise, the more developed countries, including most if not all OECD countries, have strict emission and operating limits that are actively monitored and enforced, while the developing countries’ enforcement is typically less stringent and more random. Shifts in steel production from NAFTA to those countries will result in a higher level of global emissions and thus global environmental consequences far into the future.

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