Carbon tax could be EU protectionism, says TCUD

Turkish Steel Producers’ Association (TCUD) general secretary Veysel Yayan says the EU imposing a carbon border tax while allocating free carbon emissions to steelmakers will not serve the bloc’s EU’s “green” steel and decarbonisation targets.

“On the contrary, it will create the impression that it is another way of implementing protectionist measures,” Yayan said at Friday’s International Steel Symposium 2021. “In this respect, the EU should be very careful not to destroy its prestige and green deal target, which, we sincerely support.”

Yayan says the Turkish steel industry’s carbon emissions are much lower, at 280kg per tonne, compared to the EU. This is given that 70% of Turkish steel production is based on electric arc furnaces, while in the EU EAF share is only 40%.

“Turkish steel should not be subject to a carbon tax as we are already producing greener steel compared to the EU,” said Yayan at the event attended by Kallanish.

The Turkish steel industry has already lowered carbon emission by 20% in the last ten years, and it is getting harder to further decrease this rate. “The zero carbon target is not very realistic for the steel industry, but we will do our best in this respect,” Yayan said.

Renewable energy takes a 60% share in Turkey’s total energy consumption, while wind power’s share is 10%. Regarding solar energy, there are numerous new projects.

Yayan says Turkish mills have to pay additional taxes for environmental measures, rather than receiving government support like in the EU. “While the situation is so, we strongly believe that the carbon tax on EU imports will not serve the EU’s green steel targets,” he explained. “This will be considered in most of countries as another way of implementing protectionist measures. The EU is already ignoring the free trade agreement between us through various safeguard measures.”

“Although we support decarbonisation, this should not pose an obstacle to trade,” Yayan concluded.

Burcak Alpman Turkey