ASI and climate change action
The COP 21 meetings in Paris this month are expected to make significant progress in setting goals for reducing global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. ASI aims to contribute to the global effort for climate change action through the development of its Certification program for the aluminium value chain.
The ASI Performance Standard, published in December 2014, explicitly recognises the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, and requires entities seeking ASI Certification to commit to reducing their GHG emissions from a lifecycle perspective to mitigate their climate impacts.
The Performance Standard includes specific criteria applicable through the aluminium value chain. All entities seeking ASI Certification are required to publicly disclose GHG emissions and energy use by source on an annual basis, and to publish time-bound emissions reductions targets. The targets need to cover the most material sources of direct and indirect emissions and be supported by implementation plans.
As approximately 80% of all GHG emissions in the aluminium industry worldwide relate to the energy-intensive smelting process, the ASI Performance Standard also includes two smelter-specific criteria. Smelters starting production after 2020 must achieve a level of direct and indirect (Scope 1 and 2) GHG emissions below 8 tonnes CO2-eq per metric tonne of aluminium produced. Existing aluminium smelters that were in production before 2020 must achieve the 8 tonnes CO2-eq per metric tonne level by 2030.
To put this in perspective, the current global average for aluminium ingot production is estimated to be 12 CO2-eq per metric tonne. ASI’s Performance Standard requirements thus represent a shift towards a lowered emissions profile for the sector that is both significant and long-term. Furthermore, ASI’s Certification program can ideally help to create market drivers for change.
Looking ahead, ASI has committed to explore what a 2°C compliant GHG emissions trajectory would look like for the aluminium sector. A GHG Working Group will be established in 2016 under the ASI Standards Committee, to enable input and engagement with climate change experts, members and stakeholders. Once the 2°C trajectory is better understood, ASI will take the findings into account in the next revision of the Performance Standard.
If you are interested in participating in this process, please contact:
info (at) aluminium-stewardship.org