Eurofer reiterates call for EU ‘steel green deal’

European steelmakers’ association Eurofer has reiterated its call to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen to meet steel industry executives to negotiate a “European Green Deal on Steel”. This would include access to affordable low carbon energy, investment support for clean technologies and effective carbon leakage protection.

This comes after von der Leyen gave her State of the Union address on Wednesday. She set out the Green Deal as a major achievement and a cornerstone for the future of the EU. But the steel industry’s decarbonisation ambitions will be successful only if the EU’s Fit for 55 Package puts the right conditions and incentives in place, Eurofer points out.

“This is a make-or-break moment for Europe’s leadership; we must get it right in order to make the green transition economically and socially viable for everybody, including the steel sector,” Eurofer director general Axel Eggert says in a note sent to Kallanish. “The pandemic has shown that strategic autonomy is paramount in all industries: only with a steel sector in good health, can the EU pursue its geopolitical, climate, economic and social goals.”

The new Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) should be applied until 2030 with the currently used EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) benchmark-based free allocation and indirect cost compensations throughout the EU, Eurofer says. This in order to support companies focusing on low carbon investment and to assess the CBAM effectiveness over time.

“Higher climate ambition and rising carbon prices – which doubled in the last year and tripled in the last two years – require strengthened carbon leakage protection as long as international competition doesn’t face comparable carbon constraints, if any at all,” Eurofer adds.

“We should not put European steel at risk by mistake or as an unintended collateral damage of other policies, as this could put the State of Union itself at risk in the coming years,” Eggert concludes.

Adam Smith Germany