Eurofer, Brussels/Paris

Eurofer welcomes COP21 agreement, but calls for more to be done

The European Steel Association (Eurofer) welcomed the global agreement concluded last weekend at the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) climate conference. The agreement is a historic step towards to limiting climate change to less than 2 °C compared to pre-industrial levels. However, the agreement lacks a comprehensive strategy as to how to achieve the intended objectives and lacks the level playing field that would protect Europe’s industry from carbon leakage. Speaking after the conclusion of the COP21 negotiations Axel Eggert, Director General of Eurofer, said, “This agreement treads the right path towards mitigating anthropogenic climate change. If correctly implemented, it would be a milestone on the way to a more environmentally-friendly future.”

“However, the agreement does not create a level playing field for European industry. Third country competitors will continue to face far lower environmental burdens. Europe’s steel industry is amongst the cleanest and most advanced in the world. Accordingly, if it collapses due to ‘carbon leakage’ – compounded by ongoing unfair trade practices from non-EU countries – then Europe will simply have exported its CO2, as well as hundreds of thousands of jobs”, stressed Mr Eggert.

“It is clear that so long as no equal measures exist for industrial competitors globally, the EU’s most significant climate policy, the Emissions Trading System (EU ETS), will have to be shaped in a way that guarantees – at least at the level of the 10% most efficient steel plants in Europe – that the system does not result in any costs,” added Mr Eggert.

Mr Eggert concluded, “Accordingly, as European member states move to ratification of the Paris agreement, they must think on developing domestic and EU-level policies that implement their commitments to global climate protection but that also guarantee jobs, growth and investment at home."

Eurofer, Brussels/Paris