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01.29.2013

Towards a low-carbon economy

In March 2011, the European Commission published the “Roadmap for moving to a competitive low-carbon economy in 2050” (COM/2011/0112), which sets out scenarios and objectives about how various key sectors, such as energy, industry, transport, construction, agriculture and so on, can move towards a low-carbon economy in the coming decades.

How can aluminium help to achieve these objectives?

Primary aluminium production has already reduced its CO2 emissions by 50% since 1990. The efforts of the aluminium industry to reduce direct emissions, combined with the reduction in emissions associated with energy production in Europe, will increase this figure to 79% by 2050.

The use of aluminium in transport further reduces CO2 emissions by around 70 million tons per annum by reducing the weight of vehicles.

With regards to the lifecycle of certain perishable consumer products, the use of aluminium in packaging increases their useful life, offers better protection from external agents, better preserves their properties and therefore contributes to reducing the associated CO2 emissions.

The same occurs with the use of aluminium in construction, which improves the energy efficiency of buildings, increases their useful life and reduces the level of maintenance thanks to the metal’s resistance to corrosion. All of this clearly reduces the associated CO2 emissions during the useful life of the building, from its construction through to its dismantling and recycling.

Finally, aluminium recycling is crucial for sustainable development. On the one hand it preserves our natural resources and reduces the amount of waste, while on the other it consumes only 5% of the energy required to produce primary aluminium, emitting only 5% of the CO2 by comparison. Furthermore, aluminium that is no longer used is easily and continually recycled, without a loss of quality.

The use of aluminium in construction

The use of aluminium in construction