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The global aluminum industry needs to make great efforts

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International Aluminum Association: to achieve the climate change goal of heating up within 1.50 ° C, the global aluminum industry needs to make great efforts

At the United Nations Climate Change Conference held in Glasgow, UK, countries have significantly improved their understanding of the urgency of controlling climate change. Some countries have proposed to strengthen global emission reduction and speed up the process of emission reduction. They should clearly control the temperature rise within 1.5 degrees Celsius, because according to the current emission scale and emission reduction plan, The global temperature rise is still expected to be much greater than 2 degrees Celsius, with disastrous consequences. Only when the global greenhouse gas emissions reach the peak as soon as possible and achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions in the second half of this century can we reduce the ecological risk brought by climate change to the earth and the survival crisis brought to mankind.

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Recently, the International Aluminum Association (IAI) launched a new emission reduction scheme for the aluminum industry in response to the climate change goal of controlling the global average temperature rise within 2 degrees Celsius and striving to achieve the global emission reduction goal within 1.5 degrees Celsius, so as to guide its members to take action and support the realization of the global emission reduction goal. Based on the net zero emission scenario model of the International Energy Agency before 2050, combined with the material flow analysis of the International Aluminum Association and the future aluminum demand scenario, the model calculates the greenhouse gas emissions of the global aluminum industry.

The model calculation results show that if the scenario method of heating up by 1.5 degrees is adopted, the total greenhouse gas emissions of the global aluminum industry in 2050 will be reduced by 95% compared with 2018. It is also required to significantly reduce the carbon intensity of primary aluminum from 16.1 tons of aluminum and carbon dioxide equivalent to 0.5 tons in 2050. Previously, according to the scenario of ensuring a temperature rise of less than 2 degrees, the total emission reduction of greenhouse gases in the aluminum industry in 2050 was 77%, and the emission per ton of aluminum was 2.5 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent.

According to the International Aluminum Association, the 1.5 ° C scenario is the most ambitious decarbonization method and a supplement to the existing work. It takes into account the historical emissions of the aluminum industry and compares the emission reduction schemes of the business as usual "scenario (BAU)" and the "below 2 ° C" scenario (b2ds) in 2050.

Marlen Bertram, director of scenario and Forecast Department of international aluminium Association, said: "According to the 1.5 degree temperature rise scenario, the aluminum industry is required to significantly reduce the overall emission and emission intensity of all major links, including power, process emission, heat energy and recovery. These emission reduction measures are carried out simultaneously under the condition of meeting the increasing global demand for aluminum, which further increases the challenge. During this period, expanding the application of aluminum can help other industries lead Reduce carbon emissions in areas such as electric vehicles, cables and renewable energy power generation. "

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Marlen Bertram further said: "both the 1.5 degree scenario and the b2ds scenario are in line with the Paris Agreement. The scheme objective of the 1.5 degree scenario is not an alternative under the b2ds scenario. On the contrary, it is a different option to promote relevant enterprises and institutions to consider more schemes to achieve greater emission reduction." In the past two decades, the output of primary aluminum has continued to grow to meet the growing demand. The emission intensity of primary aluminum production has a significant impact on the overall emission intensity of the aluminum industry. At present, the emission reduction measures being promoted by the aluminum industry include the use of inert anode technology, increasing the use of renewable energy, zero emission test and application of thermal energy, improving the recovery rate of waste aluminum, etc.

According to the International Aluminum Association, it can be clearly seen from the model calculation and analysis that the emission reduction trajectory of different enterprises will depend on the geographical location, available options and position in the value chain. Although the prospect is bright, further technology development and more investment are needed to reach the limit of 1.5 degree scenario.

The following is a set of data comparison of greenhouse gas emission schemes of aluminum industry under several heating scenarios by 2050:

By 2050, the emission intensity of primary aluminum will be reduced from 16.1 tons in 2018 to 2.5 tons of CO2 / ton of aluminum (b2ds) or 0.5 tons of CO2 / ton of aluminum (1.5 degrees).

By 2050, direct emissions from aluminum production will decrease by 59% (b2ds) or 93% (1.5 degrees) compared with 2018.

By 2050, the power consumption and emission in aluminum production will be 98% lower than that in 2018.

By 2050, the total greenhouse gas emissions of the aluminum industry will drop from 1.1 billion tons in 2018 to 53 million tons (1.5 degrees), 250 million tons (b2ds) and 1.6 billion tons (BAU) under different temperature rise scenarios. Under the 1.5 degree scenario, 1 / 4 of the emission reduction will be completed in the next 10 years.

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Under the 1.5 degree scenario, by 2050, due to the more perfect collection system of aluminum, almost no aluminum will be lost to the landfill or in the smelting process, the service life of aluminum products will be prolonged, and the consumption and demand of aluminum will more meet the requirements of a net zero society.

Under the 1.5 degree scenario, by 2050, the output of primary aluminum will increase from about 64 million tons in 2018 to 68 million tons; In the b2ds scenario, the output of primary aluminum will be 81 million tons. Higher emission reduction requirements will greatly limit the growth of primary aluminum.

Under the 1.5 degree scenario, by 2050, the output of recycled aluminum will reach 81 million tons, exceeding the output of primary aluminum, of which 68 million tons will come from post consumer waste aluminum and 13 million tons from new waste aluminum / process waste.

By 2050, under the 1.5-ton scenario, the total greenhouse gas emissions from the primary aluminum production process will be 35 million tons, while under the b2ds scenario, this emission will be 200 million tons.

By 2050, under the 1.5 degree scenario, the greenhouse gas emission from the production process of recycled aluminum will be 8 million tons, while under the b2ds scenario, it will be 21 million tons. The greenhouse gas emission per ton of recycled aluminum production is 95% less than that of primary aluminum production.

Under the 1.5 degree scenario, the carbon emission intensity of primary aluminum is 0.5 tons of CO2 / ton of aluminum, even lower than the current emission intensity of recycled aluminum (0.6 tons of CO2 / ton of aluminum). Moreover, under the 1.5 degree scenario, the emission intensity of recycled aluminum is required to be reduced to 0.1 T CO2 / T aluminum, which is twice as low as the emission value of 0.2 T CO2 / T aluminum under the b2ds scenario.

Obviously, by analyzing the above calculation data of the International Aluminum Association, whether comparing the actual situation or the emission reduction scheme under the temperature rise scenario of less than 2 degrees in the future, the 1.5 degree scheme will put forward higher requirements for the aluminum industry to deal with climate change. To achieve the above series of goals, great changes must take place in the whole industry, including great changes in energy structure and industrial layout structure, major progress and revolutionary breakthroughs in smelting, processing and recycling technology, and important changes in aluminum products and consumption patterns to meet the requirements of sustainability.

The launch of this calculation scheme by the International Aluminum Association during the 26th United Nations climate change conference will certainly attract great attention of aluminum industry participants and industrial chain stakeholders to this issue and prompt the major challenges facing the industry in the future. Relevant parties need to predict the development prospects and strategic tasks of the industry, take the initiative to assume the responsibility and fulfill the obligation of emission reduction, strengthen cooperation and joint response in the process of action, show the industry capacity and make industry contributions on the road to achieving the sustainable development goals.

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