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US announces new initiatives to promote green steel and hydrogen

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In particular, trade policies will be used to prohibit or restrict the entry of “dirty” steel to the US market from other countries, as well as preferences will be established in budget purchases for “green” steel, aluminum and concrete.

US announces new initiatives to promote green steel and hydrogen

The U.S. will take steps to support domestic production and procurement of low-carbon steel and aluminum as part of a series of new initiatives to strengthen U.S. leadership in cleaner production, the statement said, posted on the White House website February 15.

The Biden-Harris Administration announces new actions to support US leadership in cleaner manufacturing, including low-carbon steel and aluminum production, which we need for electric vehicles, wind turbines and solar panels, and clean concrete, which we need to modernize transport infrastructure,” the document says.

According to the statement, the US will use trade policy as a method to force other countries to reduce carbon emissions from the steel and aluminum industries. This approach was first introduced in 2021 as part of the Metals Trade Agreement with the EU.

“Together, the US and the EU are working to limit access to their dirty steel markets and limit access to countries that dump steel in both markets, contributing to an oversupply around the world,” the White House said.

The US and EU introduced a joint initiative to tackle emissions from the steel sector when the US agreed to replace its steel and aluminum tariffs on EU imports with a quota scheme. Governments have pledged to jointly build a framework by 2024 to promote cleaner steel and aluminum production and address global overcapacity in both sectors.

The White House said it will create a "Sustainable Materials Purchasing Task Force" comprised of several government agencies to encourage the purchase and use of sustainable building materials.

The task force will identify materials such as steel and concrete that are produced with a lower carbon footprint for use in federally funded projects.

The policy paper also provides an initial framework for funding the development of hydrogen nodes, interdisciplinary research in industrial decarbonization and carbon capture technology.

It is planned to direct $8 billion of US federal budget to regional clean hydrogen centers that will create jobs to expand the use of hydrogen in the industrial sector and beyond; $1 billion for a clean hydrogen electrolysis program to reduce the cost of hydrogen produced from clean electricity; and $500 million for clean hydrogen production and processing initiatives to support equipment manufacturing and robust domestic supply chains.

Today, the United States is working on more than $12 billion worth of carbon capture and sequestration projects under the Infrastructure Act. The U.S. Department of the Interior is developing regulations for storing carbon under the seafloor in federal waters, the administration said, and will soon release new guidance on carbon capture projects.

The White House said its focus on cleaner manufacturing will complement upcoming spending from the U.S. infrastructure investment package aimed at reducing climate pollution, growing the economy and creating jobs.

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