Monday, 5 March 2018

US steel tariffs might mean UK CO2 emissions fall ...

One of the great construction cons, as I've posted previously, is the way in which we account for CO2. This isn't an argument about AGW or the effects of CO2, it's a matter of crooked accounting. Bloomberg's new 'eco' building in London actually cost something like 250,000 tonnes of CO2, but if the steel was made in China and the cement in Thailand (as is very common) only a fraction of that CO2 cost will appear on the UK's national CO2 total.  CO2 is accounted for at place of production rather than consumption.

The result of increased steel tariffs imposed by President Trump will doubtless be Chinese steel producers with a surplus of steel, which they'll seek to dump on world markets, including the EU. The more steel the Chinese dump on Europe, the lower Europe's CO2 emissions under the crooked accounting system.

Every cloud has a silver lining - that Mr Trump will allow us to claim a significant reduction in CO2 emissions will no doubt be of great pleasure to those who believe such measures have any worth at all.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

"The result of increased steel tariffs imposed by President Trump will doubtless be Chinese steel producers with a surplus of steel, "

That sounds like the sino tiger economy isn't all it's cracked up to be. China one of the most populous countries in the world, doesn't have enough demand to supply its production capacity.

APL said...

PS. I don't care about CO2 emissions fraud.

Anonymous said...

Off site concrete, yep.

Then I used to wonder at all those closed down concrete factories all over England and thought aw shucks the French are at it, more Europe is bad for us - surprise?!

but er 'ready mix' ................ex Thailand?

Raedwald said...

Anon - on-site concrete, off-site cement. It's not the aggregate and water that cost 1.5t CO2 per t of product to make. Why Thailand? search me. Not just cement either - I once has a 4o' container of cement particle cladding board from Thailand held up at customs when they found several kgs of heroin - just thank God they got to it before the lads on site did ;)

Michael said...

I always thought that most of the cement produced came from Nigeria?

Raedwald said...

Nigeria? see https://www.statista.com/statistics/267364/world-cement-production-by-country/

Oddly, Vietnam is the world's 4th largest cement producer

Michael said...

Thanks Raeders,it just shows what a few years out of the industry does to one!

I once met a guy who was a development chemist and exclusively worked on Nigerian cement production. He was from there, and knew the process intimate'1500 degrees centigrade', and he laughed and admitted that this was indeed still the case!

We got on particularly well, and as you well know, the building business is full of good stories...

Thanks for the link though!

Auraly said...

9\uiop[]?
Google translate let me down on this one!

Dave_G said...


This isn't an argument about AGW or the effects of CO2, it's a matter of crooked accounting.

What's the difference? One leads to the other. In terms of accounting fraud it isn't a subject worthy of discussion.

1 ton, 1 gazillion tons. Cost = zero. CO2 is a by-product, not an ingredient. Affect = unnoticeable.

Walter Egon said...

Just testing the comments system ... I don't know the first thing about concrete, I work with wood & don't like to get my hands dirty.

Cascadian said...

I wonder how many productive hours are wasted in this foolish game of reducing CO2, a beneficial gas necessary for plant growth?
I do hope the EU threat against US goods is carried out, I believe the result might well escalate to removal of US troops and equipment from NATO.

DeeDee99 said...

"CO2 is accounted for at place of production rather than consumption"

Really? You're kidding?

Because CO2 is static, I suppose.

What geniuses we have in Parliament - with most MPs voting to massively reduce British CO2 and thereby encouraging the off-shoring of manufacturing jobs.

Budgie said...

DeeDee99, The UK has lost large numbers of jobs in basic industries in the last two decades: glass, chemicals, steel, aluminium and cement production have all been hit. There has been a slight revival since about 2011 in the more high value industries. But for example in aluminium production there is only one small smelter left, two large ones having closed. We still use a lot of aluminium, it's just imported now.