Crucial for a clean energy economy, the aluminum industry’s carbon footprint is enormous
(Inside Climate News, 27 Sep 2023) A new report finds aluminum manufacturing worldwide emits more than a billion tons of carbon dioxide annually, as well as chemicals called perfluorocarbons that warm the planet for 50,000 years.
Aluminum is crucial for a clean energy economy, but its production is a leading source of greenhouse gas emissions as well as toxic air and water pollution, according to a new report by the Environmental Integrity Project on the “paradox” of aluminum.
The report comes as the federal government is offering billions of dollars in grants to incentivize reductions in carbon emissions from heavy industry through the Inflation Reduction Act.
Aluminum is a key component in solar panels, wind turbines and electric vehicles due to its light weight, strength and durability. However, the production of aluminum also causes air and water pollution that harms communities and the environment and is a key reason why communities in Kentucky, Missouri and New York have sulfur dioxide (SO2) concentrations in the air that exceed federal limits, the report concludes.