Aluminium industry backs action this decade for net zero by 2050
Leading companies in the aluminium sector have endorsed a new strategy from the Mission Possible Partnership (MPP) for action to decarbonise the sector in this decade. Backed by key industry leaders, the tally of endorsements reflects growing momentum behind calls for action in the near-term to make the global goal of net zero 2050 viable.
Signatories to the report include Alcoa, Emirates Global Aluminium, and Rio Tinto. The Aluminium Transition Strategy from MPP is an ambitious but achievable plan, detailing what the global aluminium industry could look like in a zero-carbon world, and what is required to get there in terms of energy, infrastructure, financing, and policy.
Matt Rogers, CEO of MPP said: “This Aluminium Transition Strategy is operationally relevant and industry-backed, not wishful thinking or pie in the sky. We know how to reduce emissions, initially deploying resources and technology available today. The imperative is to act now, in this decade: we’re working with industry, supply chains and finance to deliver the clear thinking and asset-by-asset plans to make net zero viable”.
Aluminium is deeply embedded in all parts of a modern developed economy, from cars and construction to cans. MPP’s strategy deploys a combination of low carbon power, new technology for smelters and refineries, increased recycling and improving material efficiency to drive rapid decarbonisation, while also meeting increased demand over the coming decades.
Miles Prosser, IAI Secretary General said: “Aluminium has been at the forefront of many industrial and engineering innovations of the 20th century and continues to power a sustainable future. Meeting growing demand sustainably is a challenge for the entire value chain, but the industry is committed to finding the solutions needed to reduce the carbon intensity of our metal. We are pleased to collaborate with the Mission Possible Partnership on the Sector Transition Strategy for Aluminium, building on the IAI’s GHG Pathways and taking the next steps towards implementation and climate action across the sector. The scale of the decarbonisation challenge is clear – deep emissions reductions at a scale and pace never before seen. Last year, the IAI modelled a 1.5 Degree Scenario to guide its members’ efforts to meet global climate goals. The modelling is broadly aligned with IEA’s Net-Zero by 2050 scenario, combined with the IAI’s material flow analysis and future demand scenarios. This data also informs this work by the MPP. As an industry, we have an opportunity to continue to advance our sustainability credentials, and we are ready to work with key stakeholders across the value chain on these efforts to deliver more sustainable products and services today and for future generations.”
Priority is given to early emissions reductions from adoption of low carbon power in this decade, while bringing to market the technologies to achieve deep decarbonisation in the following decades. Today, the sector accounts for about two percent of global emissions and four percent of electricity consumption.
- Power decarbonisation is critical to the transition. All smelters need to switch to low carbon power by2035, implying an annual demand of approximately 1,000 TWh.
- Commercialisation and deployment by 2030 of low carbon anodes and new refining technologies is a condition for sectoral decarbonisation within a 1.5°C-aligned sectoral ‘carbon budget’.
- Recycling and improved material efficiency will play a critical role. Clean power and new technology are necessary but not sufficient: the supply of recycled aluminium can increase from 33% in 2020 to more than 50% by 2050.
- Market development to boost demand for low-carbon aluminiumwill help to mobilise investment. Higher costs for zero emissions aluminium are estimated in the region of $400 USD per tonne by 2035 (equivalent to less than 0.5% of the cost of a new car).
- Total investment required over the coming three decades is approximately $1 trillion USDto decarbonise the primary aluminium sector, of which more than 70% is required for supporting infrastructure, primarily for power supply.
Signatories as of September 20th include:
- Alcoa Corporation
- Alumina Limited
- Aluminerie Alouette
- Aluminium Association
- Aluminium Association of Canada
- Aluminium Dunkerque
- Aluminium Stewardship Initiative
- Australian Aluminium Council
- Ball Corporation
- Emirates Global Aluminium
- European Aluminium
- Hindalco Industries Limited
- Norsk Hydro ASA
- Rio Tinto Plc
To download the report
Please go to the MPP website:
Making Net-Zero 1.5°C-Aligned Aluminium Possible
MPP has released an interactive ‘Explorer’ tool to compare decarbonisation options in different regions, with the functionality to generate custom user scenarios. The Python model for STS analytics is also available, with full coding and open-source input data.
Aluminium: Explore the Net-Zero Transition
Making net zero industry possible
MPP seeks to inspire cross-sector learning and real-world projects that will translate global strategic thinking into local action.
This Aluminium Transition Strategy joins a series of industry transition strategies developed by MPP to guide decarbonisation of seven hardest-to-abate sectors. Of these, four are from the materials industries: aluminium, chemicals, concrete, and steel. Transition strategies for the mobility and transport sectors – aviation, shipping, and trucking – were released earlier this year and are available online.
Each sector transition strategy is premised on the same modelling assumptions, to enable policymakers and financial institutions usefully to compare the findings of all MPP sector transition strategies.
Please direct all enquiries to:
Adisa Amanor-Wilks | Communications
About The International Aluminium Institute
The IAI was established in 1972 and is the only body representing the global primary aluminium industry. IAI member companies are engaged in the production of bauxite, alumina, aluminium, the recycling of aluminium, or the fabrication of aluminium in all major producing regions. Through the IAI, the aluminium industry aims to promote a wider understanding of its activities and to demonstrate both its responsibility in producing the metal and the potential benefits to be realised through its use in sustainable applications and recycling.
About The Mission Possible Partnership
The Mission Possible Partnership is an alliance of climate leaders focused on supercharging efforts to decarbonize some of the world’s highest-emitting industries. By leveraging the convening power, talent and expertise of world-leading organizations on climate action, the MPP aims to trigger a net-zero transformation of seven industrial sectors; Aviation, Shipping, Trucking, Steel, Aluminium, Chemicals and Concrete. MPP is led by four core partners: the Energy Transitions Commission, RMI, We Mean Business Coalition and the World Economic Forum. Our goal is to propel a committed community of CEOs from carbon-intensive industries—together with their financiers, customers, and suppliers—to agree and act on decarbonizing industry and transport in this decade.