Add the World Trade Organization (WTO) to the list of bodies getting in on the industrial decarbonization game. On March 9, the WTO will hold an event titled “Trade Forum on Decarbonization Standards: Promoting coherence and transparency in the steel sector.” The event will hear perspectives on challenges and opportunities around decarbonization standards and the potential role of the WTO in promoting trade-related international cooperation, with a focus on the iron and steel supply chain.

This event occurs while the U.S. and European Union are in the process of creating a system imposing a carbon-based tariff on imported steel and aluminum. The carbon tariff for steel and aluminum is slated to take effect on Jan. 1, 2024. Meanwhile, the U.S. Energy Department announced funding for new projects to accelerate decarbonization of medium- and heavy-duty freight transportation and another for industrial facilities and other large energy users.  The Department’s “Industrial Decarbonization Roadmap” released in September 2022, mentions the phrase “process heating” 37 times.

The IRS also just announced the guidelines for Section 48C, the Qualifying Advanced Energy Project Credit, which allows an investment credit of up to 30% for projects, including industrial decarbonization. For now, most of the U.S. government’s focus on decarbonization is in the form of incentives, but that could change as soon as next January if the tariff on carbon-intense steel and aluminum takes effect.