U.S. Aluminum Industry Begins Clean Development Plan

U.S. Aluminum Industry Begins Clean Development Plan

The aluminum industries of the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate have begun steps to achieve the partnership's objectives.

The APP Work Plan sets out an innovative approach of using government-industry Task Forces to develop sustainable solutions to our shared challenges through bottom-up practical action. This plan uses private sectors, research communities and governments to drive sustainable development outcomes across partner countries' economies.

"The plan will bring together key experts and leaders focusing on these issues from the public, private and research sectors of our economies, to share experience and technologies that help ensure the best results," said J. Stephen Larkin, president of the Aluminum Association on the meeting's conclusion.

John Howard, the Australian prime minister, said "the partnership would result in a 20 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from the six countries by 2050 compared with what their emissions would be if they continued on their present path," citing research from the Australian government's resources bureau.

The APP's vision states, "Our energy needs are growing rapidly, and will necessitate large-scale investments in the coming decades. We recognized that renewable energy and nuclear power will represent an increasing share of global energy supply. We recognized that fossil fuels underpin our economies, and will be an enduring reality for our lifetimes and beyond. It is therefore critical that we work together to develop, demonstrate and implement cleaner and lower emissions technologies that allow for the continued economic use of fossil fuels while addressing air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. We undertook through this Partnership to cooperatively promote the deployment of promising technologies that offer greater energy efficiency and lower air pollution and greenhouse gas intensities."

The Asia-Pacific Partnership has set up eight "task forces" covering areas such as power generation, steel, aluminum, cement and coal mining to develop technology programs and co-operate on ways to reduce emissions.

The Aluminum Task Force, co-chaired by the United States, cites that Asia-Pacific Partners account for 37 per cent of the world's aluminum production. The aluminum industry is one of the fastest growing sectors, with rapid growth in developing countries. The industry can make further improvements in environmental performance, while reducing costs, through best practice use of existing equipment (in particular perfluorocarbons (PFC) emissions management), increased uptake of best available and affordable technology (including improved instrumentation), continued development and deployment of new technologies, and by increasing levels of recycling.

Through the Partnership, countries can advance industries towards global PFC reduction objectives and address energy efficiency and other CO2 process emissions by promoting best practice performance, increasing technical support and identifying impediments to deployment of best available and affordable technology.

Objectives will enhance current aluminum production processes through uptake of best practice-use of existing equipment, advance the development and deployment of new best practice aluminum production processes and technologies across Partnership economies. They will also enhance sector-related data, including recycling and performance and facilitate increased aluminum recycling rates across the Partnership.

"Aluminum is an industry sector that can make practical, measurable contributions to clean development and the reduction of greenhouse gasses," said Steven J. Demetriou, chairman and CEO of Aleris International, Cleveland, Ohio, and representing the Aluminum Association in the United States.

"We are committed to harnessing the advantages of aluminum to achieve economic and social progress, and to maintaining measurable improvement on environmental quality. Aluminum contributes to a sustainable future when efficiently recycled saving up to 95 percent of the energy required for virgin material. Other efficiencies include energy conservation from lighter-weight aluminum-constructed consumer vehicles, fully recyclable buildings, and packaging," Demetriou said.

The APP meeting attracted minister-level government and private sector officials from Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea and the United States. Government ministers signed the APP Charter and Communique, establishing the operating structure to proceed. Ministers had the input of industry representatives on sustainable energy issues and technology development and deployment, and how industry and government can capture opportunities that meet objectives.

Representing the aluminum industry in their respective countries are the Aluminum Association (U.S.), the Aluminium Association of India, the Australian Aluminium Council, the China Nonferrous Metals Industry Association, the Japan Aluminium Association, and the South Korea Nonferrous Metals Association.