Too Little, Too Late – Corporate Climate Assessment of Nippon Steel, 2024

World number four steel producer, Nippon Steel, is failing to meet international standards and falling behind its competitors on climate action, due to its focus on coal-based steelmaking.

Nippon Steel is the world’s fourth largest steel producer. Its footprint extends far beyond its Japanese home base, with subsidiaries and minority stakes in mining, ironmaking and steelmaking in the Americas, Europe, as well as South and Southeast Asia.

In Japan, Nippon Steel is a very influential company that has been denounced for blocking climate policy action and the renewable energy transition. It owns 11 of the 19 blast furnaces in operation in the country, and these coal-based facilities represent an overwhelming share of its iron and steel production capacity.

This corporate assessment will detail and demonstrate:

  • Nippon Steel is not explicitly committed to a 1.5C climate scenario, and its targets are not aligned with such a scenario.
  • Nippon Steel’s 2030 target is expressed in absolute emission levels, with no carbon intensity target, and the company is on its way to meet it by slashing output in Japan rather than by decarbonising production processes.
  • A growing share of Nippon Steel’s production capacity is located overseas, with unequal coverage by Nippon Steel’s own climate commitments due to complex ownership structures and insufficiently detailed reporting at the group level.
  • Nippon Steel has no target for its scope 3 emissions even though they already add up to an average of 23% of the company’s reported scope 1 and 2 emissions.

Read the full report in English and Japanese.

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