Combating climate change within or outside Europe has become a priority for humanity in general and for the policy community in particular. The 150 countries party to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change met in Kyoto in December 1997 and responded to the threat of climate change by agreeing a Protocol to limit greenhouse gas emissions. EAA is directly involved in the dialogue between the EU authorities and stakeholders and closely monitor the emergence of EU climate strategies and policies.
|The aluminium industry emits certain greenhouse gases and as of 2013 the aluminium production value chain will enter the EU Emission Trading Scheme for greenhouse gases but has demonstrated its readiness to address its responsibility for these emissions.|
The industry has consistently reduced energy use: greater energy efficiency during the production process is constantly sought especially as energy is the prime cost in the production process.
Aluminium has always been used in applications (transportation, building, packaging) where weight saving and energy efficiency are essential criteria. For example, aluminium is increasingly the preferred material in all types of transport applications in order to lower fuel consumption.
Aluminium, as part of the solution
The aluminium industry has much to offer when it comes to sustainability, making a key contribution towards achieving the EU’s 20/20/20 objectives. The aluminium industry has worked successfully to reduce its greenhouse gases emissions: voluntary industry initiatives and continuous technological advances have ensured that the aluminium industry has significantly cut its emissions of greenhouse gases. CO2 emissions have been reduced by 50% and PFCs emissions by more than 90% with reference to the 1990 levels. The industry therefore achieved significant improvements by drastically reducing the direct CO2 emissions of production processes and natural resource use, by fostering workers safety and training, increasing recycling rates and more.
• The aluminium industry is keen to protect the climate from unnecessary emissions: major on-going research is underway to design new, improved, energy-saving aluminium products. The aluminium industry is committed to increase recycling and contributes to collection and sorting improvements.
• Use of aluminium products helps limit greenhouse gases emissions: aluminium products save energy because they are strong yet light. For the transport sector, the reduced weight offered by aluminium improves fuel economy. Moreover, aluminium increases payloads within maximum truck weights and reduces the number of trips necessary. For an average family car, each 100 kg weight saving from the use of aluminium amounts to a fuel saving in the range of 0.4-0.6 litre per 100 km.
• Aluminium in line with Kyoto objective: aluminium products can be reconverted into primary aluminium saving up to 95% of the energy used in their primary production. This process is self-supporting and aluminium recycling rates are outstanding.