BERLIN, Oct 9 (Reuters) - The world steel industry has agreed a global approach on climate change with voluntary collection of pollution data, world industry body International Iron and Steel Institute (IISI) said on Tuesday.
''This involves the collection and reporting of carbon dioxide emissions data by steel plants in all the major steel producing countries,'' the association said at a news conference at the IISI annual steel congress in Berlin.
''Establishment of the data on a common and consistent basis is the starting point for the setting of (emission) commitments post 2012 on a national or regional basis,'' an IISI statement said.
The steel industry in North America, west Europe and Japan had reduced energy consumption per unit of production by 49 percent in the last 25 years, it said.
The IISI said the global steel industry accounts for just 3 to 4 percent of world man-made greenhouse gas emissions.
''Over 90 percent of steel industry emissions come from iron production in nine countries or regions: China, the European Union-27, Japan, U.S., Russia, India, Brazil, Ukraine and Korea,'' it said.
''Constraining production from the best emission performing plants is not the solution for a globally competitive industry such as steel,'' said Philippe Varin, IISI executive committee member and CEO of European steelmaker Corus.
''An effective approach for the steel industry requires the participation of all major steel producing countries and a focus on improving emissions per unit of production.'' The IISI gave no indication of how it believed emissions should be reduced.
''We need first to collect the data, making commitments before we have the data would not be meaningful,'' said Varin. Varin said the cost of carbon dioxide emissions was ''a very considerable burden'' for the steel industry.
Carbon emissions between 2008-2012 would cost about 25 euros a tonne, he said.
''If you assume that this could be as high as 40 euros after 2012 this could add 60 to 70 euros to a tonne of steel,'' he said.
Varin said he believed China's expanding steel industry would participate in the scheme. Environmental protection and energy conservation was now moving up China's political agenda.
REUTERS SR SSC1502