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MEI Online: Environmental Issues: Latest News: June 23rd 2003

:: Greeenhouse Gases - Watching The Problem Of Aluminium Smelters  

The International Aluminium Institute (IAI), in association with the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and the World Resources Institute (WRI), has developed new tools for calculating greenhouse gas emissions from primary aluminium production. These calculation methods will serve as a simple unified industry approach to greenhouse gas emissions accounting.

"The new Aluminium Sector Greenhouse Gas Protocol will help to improve still further on the reliability and consistency of the calculation and reporting of Greenhouse Gases throughout the aluminium sector," said Robert Chase, secretary general of IAI. "It will be of value for internal company use as well as for reporting to the public and to specific audiences such as governments and special interest groups."

The Aluminium Sector Greenhouse Gas Protocol is based on protocols previously developed by WRI and the WBCSD, and was peer reviewed and endorsed as conforming to their model, the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol (www.ghgprotocol.org). "This process provides a model for other industry associations developing sector-specific greenhouse gas calculation tools," said Jonathan Lash, WRI president. "We look forward to other industry sectors collaborating with the GHG Protocol in the future to expand this international accounting standard."

It is hoped that governments and other organisations will see the Protocol and the tools as the appropriate method for calculating GHG emissions for primary aluminium production worldwide. Other industry sectors, including cement, have recently adopted similar methodologies using the GHG Protocol to calculate total industry as well as factor specific emissions. IAI has carried out annual global perflourocarbon (PFC) emission surveys since the 1990s, when it was discovered that PFCs, intermittent products of the aluminium production process, contributed to global warming. In the decade from 1990-2000, survey results showed that industry respondents had successfully reduced their total PFC emissions by approximately 46%, despite a 36% increase in production over that decade. IAI's 2001 survey shows continuing improvement with an industry-wide 70% reduction in average PFC emissions per tonne since 1990. Some 65% of the world's aluminium smelter capacity took part in the survey. "For years, IAI has led the aluminium sector in responding to the environmental threat posed by PFCs," said Björn Stigson, WBCSD president.

The IAI's Aluminium Sector Greenhouse Gas Protocol is accessible at www.world-aluminium.org/environment/climate/ghg_protocol.pdf. IAI (www.world-aluminium.org) is the worldwide association for the primary aluminium industry. It currently has 24 member companies representing every region of the world including Russia and China. The member companies are responsible for more than 75% of world primary aluminium production. The IAI seeks to promote globally a wider understanding of the industry's activities and its responsible approach on questions of environmental protection, social issues, public health and safety in the workplace.



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