Russian Federation aluminium giant U.C. Rusal’s parent company En+ Group yesterday urged Europe to adopt low-carbon aluminium as the metal of choice as its economy works to rebuild from the effects of coronavirus in the place of less sustainable metals.
En+ Group Executive Chairman Lord Barker said in a press release that it will require a €470-billion investment to reach new climate and energy goals, of which low-carbon aluminium must certainly be a part. He also urged the continent’s governments to drop tariffs on imported low-carbon aluminium to boost the recovery of Europe’s manufacturing base and give it a leg up in the global race to a more sustainable economy.
“Europe still relies on too many imported high-carbon metals,” he noted. “These pollution-heavy imports impact EU manufacturers making everything from small electric cars to aeroplanes. However, growing consumer demand for climate-friendly products is sending shockwaves right the way through the industrial supply chain. Why turn off Europe’s coal-fired power plants if the finished goods we buy or manufacture are sucking in high-carbon, coal-produced aluminium from the other side of the world? High quality, low carbon aluminium has come of age and is ready now at massive scale.”
In conjunction with Barker’s call for the increased use of low-carbon aluminium was En+’s release of its Green Aluminium Vision, which set forth nine principles it says will form the future of green aluminium. En+’s vision for the future of green aluminium included urging a commitment to cut emissions via the use of hydropower and improved anode technology, branding for low-carbon aluminium, and increased carbon footprint transparency from trading platforms like the London Metal Exchange.
“The ‘Green Aluminium Vision’ is a positive and practical low carbon action plan for our industry. It puts transparency at the heart of the debate. Without it we risk a stimulus package that is unfocused and unproductive for the climate. From using hydropower to produce aluminium, to investing in cutting edge technology to transform an energy intensive process into a carbon-free one, En+ Group/RUSAL has the credibility to lead the way.”
En+’s Vision also included calls for circularity in aluminium recycling and labeling indicating the sustainability of low-carbon aluminium products. Also desired are separate customs codes for low-carbon aluminium, elimination of excess capacity, and a renewed emphasis on both research and development and multilateralism.