global aluminum industry

Low carbon drives the global aluminum industry

The global aluminum industry is transitioning toward low carbon sustainable development. Recently, the president of Rusal China Marketing Mr. Deng, shared his progress on reducing carbon emissions in the global aluminum industry and Rusal’s vision for the future of the aluminum industry at the “2023 SMM Metal Industry Annual Meeting”.

More than 75% of countries are currently committed to net-zero CO2 targets, including major economies such as China, the United States and the European Union. More and more countries, cities, businesses and organizations have committed to reducing their carbon emissions and have set ambitious targets. This joint commitment covers 88% of global greenhouse gas emissions and underscores the world’s determination to tackle the climate crisis.

However, according to the Global Energy Transition Outlook report, only three of the more than 50 components of the global energy system meet the net-zero scenario for 2050, including photovoltaics, electric vehicles and lighting. Although the clean energy development is rapid, but many components at the global level has not been fully on track.

In order to have a sustainable future, people are increasingly focusing on two transformative industries: solar energy and electric vehicles. According to the forecast, these two markets will add 14 million tons of aluminum demand in the next decade. He also mentioned that global aluminum demand is expected to grow by 28 million tons between 2022 and 2032. Solar and electric vehicles will contribute more than 50% of the incremental demand.

The continued progress towards full supply chain decarbonization is most evident in the automotive industry, where more than 20% of the global automotive industry has committed to achieving supply chain carbon neutrality by 2040. In fact, this commitment means that more than 25 million vehicles will be equipped with products that significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, in the consumer goods sector, aluminum is increasingly favored as an environmentally friendly material of choice due to its recyclability and sustainability advantages.

The packaging, consumer goods and automotive industries, which are at the forefront of the sustainability agenda, are also leading aluminum consumption. It is expected that the demand for low-carbon aluminum will surge in the next 5-10 years. The low-carbon aluminum market will continue to develop. In order to achieve the goal of net zero emissions, downstream customers are actively examining the carbon emissions of the entire supply chain and proposing supply chain decarbonization requirements. At present, the most convenient way to reduce the carbon of products is to increase the proportion of recycling in raw materials, and at the same time, the subversive innovation of aluminum smelting technology is also imminent.

Mr. Deng concluded, “Rusal is committed to achieving net zero emissions by 2050 and has laid out a clear path. The most core is the development and application of inert anode technology, and they have been delivering primary aluminum produced by inert anode to customers since 2021. Through these efforts, they hope to provide their customers with even lower carbon products and help them achieve their decarbonization goals.”

The low-carbon development of aluminum industry is facing great opportunities and challenges. With the continuous improvement of technological innovation and policy support, the aluminum industry has achieved some results in terms of energy consumption and carbon emissions. In the future, the aluminum industry will continue to increase investment in low-carbon technology and innovation, and be driven by policies and markets to move towards a cleaner and more environmentally friendly direction. The low-carbon development of the aluminum industry has a positive current and future trend, and has made an important contribution to the sustainable development of the global economy.

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