IAI models 1.5-degree decarbonisation scenario in a bid to drive greater emissions reductions

This scenario will guide and inform what industry does – much is currently happening, including:

  • inert anode technologies,
  • increased use of renewable electricity,
  • trials of zero-emission thermal energy and
  • increased efficiency of recycling

The International Aluminium Institute (IAI) has modelled a 1.5 Degree Scenario to guide its members’ efforts to meet global climate goals. The modelling is based on IEA’s Net-Zero by 2050 scenario, combined with the IAI’s material flow analysis and future demand scenarios.

This scenario is the most ambitious decarbonisation approach and complements existing work which includes: detailed historical emissions, business as usual’ scenario (BAU) to 2050 and a ‘Beyond 2 Degrees Scenario (B2DS).

Both the 1.5 Degree Scenario and B2DS are consistent with the Paris agreement.

The data shows a 1.5-degree scenario approach could result in a total sector greenhouse gas emissions reduction of 95% between 2018 and 2050. It will also require significant reductions in carbon intensity of primary metal from 16.1 tonnes CO2e per tonne today to below 1 tonne in 2050.

“The 1.5 Degree Scenario would require significant reductions in overall emissions and emissions intensity in all major areas – including electricity, process emissions, thermal energy and recycling. These reductions would need to be achieved at the same time as aluminium demand increases – as it is used to reduce emissions elsewhere such as in electric vehicles, electrical cabling, and renewable energy generation,” said Marlen Bertram, IAI’s Director, Scenarios & Forecasts.

Both scenarios are based on decades of comprehensive data and analysis of future demand and guide the many investments already occurring in the industry’s quest to reduce emissions.

“The 1.5 dataset is not a replacement of the B2DS; rather, it is a different option for organisations to consider in the drive to make the change needed to reduce emissions,” notes Marlen Bertram, IAI’s Director, Scenarios & Forecasts.

Primary aluminium production has increased consistently to meet growing demand over the past two decades. The emissions intensity of primary aluminium production significantly influences the overall emissions intensity for the aluminium sector.

“It is clear from our analysis that emissions reduction trajectories for individual companies will depend on location, available options and position in the value chain. While the outlook is promising, further technology development and investment is needed if a 1.5 Degree limit will be met,” adds Ms Bertram

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