Thursday, May 19, 2011

Open letter of the EU steel industry
to the governments of the EU member states,
the European Parliament and the European Commission
To the European Council of 24 June 2011
To the Environment Council of 21 June 2011
To the European Parliament prior to its vote on the EU climate objective of June 2011

European Climate Change Policy:

Don’t damage an industry that is providing solutions On the occasion of EUROFER’s first European Steel Day today in Brussels, we, the leaders of the European steel industry, wish to express our grave concern over EU Climate Change policy. To remain competitive in the free, global steel markets, European steel needs a level playing field in which legislation does not harm its competitiveness or that of the European economy. But we are gravely concerned that EU Climate Change policy will do precisely that. We are extremely disappointed that EU climate change policy does not reflect the political agreement when the Directive was adopted in December 2008. On the contrary, the EU member states and European institutions have disregarded the warnings of the industry on the effects of the implementation of the EU Emissions Trading Directive (ETS).

The EU steel industry will be severely damaged because of the refusal to provide 100% free allowances for best performers despite the commitment for this in the ETS Directive and the failure so far to allow compensation for ETS related increases in electricity costs. The consequence of not correctly implementing the ETS Directive would severely impact our industry, the most efficient in the world, damage our competitive position, hamper our ability to invest and ultimately cost hundreds of thousands of jobs in Europe. The
consequence would be the inability of the EU steel industry to grow in the future and to support its metal processing clients, the market segment where EU industry is globally strongest in terms of innovation, activity and jobs.

Legislators appear to believe that the proposed unilateral legislative measures will help mitigate climate change. They are wrong. Instead, these measures will deprive Europe of investment and increase global emissions as market share is off-shored to non-EU countries with inferior emissions standards. The
consequence will be more steel imports with a worse CO2 balance at the expense of EU industry, jobs and GDP.

Steel is making an important contribution to a more sustainable economy. In cooperation with its customers, the construction and the steel processing industries which represent best practice in manufacturing, the steel industry has developed solutions that help to meet the environment objectives set by the European Union. Light-weight steel applications have helped car manufacturers to produce lighter vehicles and therefore reduce CO2 emissions while maintaining high safety standards. The steel industry is also instrumental in developing energy efficiency solutions for the construction industry. Without steel, there can be no progress on the side of renewables or next generation high yield power plants. The recyclability of steel further allows a stronger recourse to secondary raw materials which again contributes to a more sustainable society. The steel industry strongly wants to continue to support continued investment and employment in Europe and is committed to the EU’s innovation agenda. It is crucial, however, that the right regulatory framework is created that supports
competitiveness. We urge you to support our industry for growth and jobs in Europe.

Yours sincerely,

Wolfgang EDER, President of EUROFER, Chairman and CEO, voestalpine
Edwin EICHLER, CEO, ThyssenKrupp Steel Europe
Heinz Jörg FUHRMANN, CEO, Salzgitter AG
Karl-Ulrich KÖHLER, CEO, Tata Steel Europe
Fabio RIVA, Vice-president, Gruppo Riva
Francesc RUBIRALTA RUBIO, Chairman and CEO, Celsa
Michel WURTH, Senior Executive Vice-President, ArcelorMittal

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