Northern steel has faced significant challenges in recent decades, first with de-industrialisation and more recently with attempts to devalue steel through the dumping of steel on the international market. At the same time, the high cost of energy for the industry have made it increasingly difficult for it to compete with international and European competitors. A lack of long-term strategy from consecutive governments and a view that the industry has been stuck in a process of managed decline has reduced industry morale.

However, new opportunities now await the steel industry. The need to decarbonise our economy by 2050 will require a fundamental rethink of industry, but potentially, this transformation will provide an opportunity for northern steel to become a world leading, low-carbon industry. Not only will this transition to low-carbon production help preserve the many jobs that steel brings to the North, it will also create new demand for UK steel and allow the industry to grow and create new jobs.

The moment for change in both our perception of the industry and our need to decarbonise is now urgent. Other countries have already begun to decarbonise their steel industry. The faster the UK moves to transform the industry, the more likely it is to be a market leader.

This report outlines a vision for decarbonising northern steel.