• Sunday, June 23, 2024

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ArcelorMittal accused of greenwashing ahead of Olympic flame arrival

ArcelorMittal has publicised extensively its role in providing low carbon recycled steel for the torch and the Olympic rings

Two Olympic torch embossed with the logo of Paris 2024 Olympic Games displayed at the ArcelorMittal steel works where they were manufactured, in Florange, eastern France. (Photo by FREDERICK FLORIN/AFP via Getty Images)

By: Pramod Thomas

ENVIRONMENTAL groups accused ArcelorMittal of greenwashing a day ahead of the arrival in France Wednesday (8) of the Olympic flame in a torch forged with low-carbon steel from the world’s second-largest steelmaker.

They said the firm, which alone emits as much carbon as a country the size of Belgium, is using the Paris Games to burnish its image even though it has been backsliding on its green commitments.

A new report by advocacy group SteelWatch found ArcelorMittal has spent just one third of the $1.5 billion it had promised to invest in decarbonisation in the past three years.

Activists said the firm was returning $22 to shareholders for every dollar it puts into decarbonisation.

“While ArcelorMittal prioritises shareholder returns and fossil fuel-based steel production over climate action, it consistently presents itself as a green champion, notably as an official sponsor of this year’s Olympic Games in France, where it has provided ‘low carbon’ steel for the Olympic torch,” said the activist groups, which also include Fair Steel Coalition.

ArcelorMittal has publicised extensively its role in providing low carbon recycled steel for the torch and the Olympic rings that are to adorn the Eiffel Tower during the Paris Games in July and August.

Activists have recently accused ArcelorMittal of pursuing a two-speed decarbonisation with green steel projects in Canada and Europe while continuing to build and use coal-fired furnaces in India and elsewhere.

Steelmaking alone accounts for around seven per cent of global CO2 emissions.

An ArcelorMittal spokeswoman said that the group plans to cut its emissions across the world by a quarter by 2030 and reach carbon neutrality in 2050.

She said the firm has launched a plan to reduce the carbon intensity of its emissions in India by recycling more steel and industrial gases, plus shifting to natural gas and hydrogen to fuel its blast furnaces.

The spokeswoman did not provide a timeline.

(AFP)

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