The European Commission has published its revised target to reduce emissions by 55% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels. According to the European Association of Steel Producers (EUROFER), metallurgists in Europe are already hard at work on developing new ways to make carbon steel, but the EU needs to take a number of concrete measures as soon as possible to ensure decarbonization. while actually providing growth and sustainability.
Axel Eggert, CEO of EUROFER, commented: “The success of the EU’s climate leadership does not depend on its level of ambition, which no other major global partner can match, but mainly on its ability to demonstrate that environmental sustainability with economic growth and social recognition ”.
EUROFER claims that European steel has already demonstrated its ambition to reduce CO2 emissions by 30% by 2030 from 2018 levels – or 55% from 1990 – and almost to carbon neutrality by 2050, ”said Eggert. “This will only be achievable under the right conditions and with the right structure.”
EUROFER believes that this framework includes support for investment in innovation and adoption, the creation of a market for sustainable materials, the availability of appropriate renewable energy sources, an international playing field and the application of EU trade defense instruments. without a ban on trade distortions of third countries. This framework, says EUROFER, needs to be put in place urgently.
“The Commission recognizes in its Communication that achieving the 55% emission reduction target will be a major investment challenge for EU industry,” Eggert added. “EU institutions must now provide concrete answers and solutions to address this problem.”
The European steel industry, EUROFER says, is well advanced in terms of its low-carbon projects. Success, however, will be measured by the outcome: the sustainable existence of a thriving, innovative, decarbonized domestic steel industry by 2050.
“The EU needs a stable and predictable political framework that achieves climate targets and keeps its industrial base competitive, while ensuring security for planning and investment,” said Mr Eggert. “From this perspective, we are concerned about the proposals to increase the EU ETS reduction factor, as well as the one-off cancellation of permits, which will expose the sector to higher carbon costs at a time when low-carbon investments are desperately needed.
“In the absence of comparable efforts from trading partners, it is important to develop a strengthened system of measures to reduce the risk of carbon leakage, with free allocation based on benchmarks and compensation for indirect costs, as well as an effective mechanism for adjusting carbon boundaries.”
According to Eggert, “EUROFER has been proposing a Green Deal on steel to act as a flagship for the broader decarbonization agenda in order to guide this process.”
A Green Deal on Steel, according to EUROFER, will clearly define the broader policy changes that need to be made in climate, energy, environmental, trade and social policies, as well as the allocation of investments needed to turn aspirations into achievements. EUROFER has already set the parameters for this potential structure.
“The European steel industry looks forward to working with the Commission to succeed in realizing this expanded climate ambition,” concluded Eggert.