Brussels, 28 November 2019 – The European Steel Association (EUROFER) has, along with other European energy-intensive industries, welcomed the publication of a Masterplan for a competitive transformation of Energy Intensive Industries enabling a carbon-neutral, circular economy by 2050. This Masterplan was published today by the European Commission after ten months of intense work, including contributions from eleven leading EU manufacturing sectors.
“This Masterplan sets out several concrete policy priorities”, said Axel Eggert, Director General of EUROFER. “These include the creation of markets for climate-neutral and circular economy products, support for the industrial-scale demonstration of breakthrough technologies, and access to competitively-priced low or carbon-neutral energy”.
Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs Commissioner Elżbieta Bieńkowska said of the launch of the Masterplan that, “EU industries are our partners in achieving climate and circularity objectives and I congratulate them for their commitment. A climate-neutral economy is not only a must for future generations. It also represents immense opportunities in terms of innovation, economic growth and job creation.”
Energy-intensive industries, such as cement, ceramics, chemicals, ferrous and non-ferrous metals, fertilisers, glass, lime, paper and refineries provide more than 2.6 million direct jobs in the European Union and deliver millions of indirect jobs. The EU steel industry, with its 320,000 employees alone, is responsible for almost 2.3 million indirect and induced European jobs. These industries underpin Europe’s key value chains in fields such as automotive, machinery, construction, and energy technology.
However, the environmental impact of these industries remains large even though emissions have been reduced by 36% since 1990 – no other part of the economy has reduced more.
“For too long industry said that meeting the ambitious climate goals set by the EU was going to be too difficult or too expensive, or both. But the reality is that combatting climate change through every available means is imperative”, stressed Mr Eggert. “European citizens demand it. The planet and our future generations require us to act, together”.
The Masterplan offers a range of options for possible solutions which need to be further developed. Current policy measures must be aligned with the principles laid out in this report. If implemented, it would lead to the most efficient solutions being deployed from the options available.
“One of the main messages of the Masterplan – though not explicitly expressed therein – is that climate mitigation – and this includes making energy-intensive industries carbon neutral – is a shared responsibility between industry, policymakers and civil society”, added Mr Eggert.
Mr Eggert continued, “The Masterplan is not just a plan in the literal sense – it is also a process for a better understanding among stakeholders about what is needed to make the transition to a low-carbon future a success. If it works, it would be win-win for both the industry and society as a whole.”
“We thank the Commission for having taken the initiative in leading this project and also thank our colleagues in other sectors for their commitment to making the development process a success”, concluded Mr Eggert. “We hope that this important report will feed into discussions in the EU Council about the European Green Deal”.
Notes for Editors
Charles de Lusignan, Spokesman & Communications Manager, +32 2 738 79 35, firstname.lastname@example.org
A PDF of this Press Release is available: here
EUROFER Low Carbon Roadmap
EUROFER’s Low Carbon Roadmap: Pathways to a CO2-Neutral European Steel Industry was published in November 2019 and is available: here. It sets out the European steel industry’s ambition on climate change and emissions reduction between today and 2050.
This manifesto sets out the footprint and importance of European steel to the EU economy, and explains why we need to make the industry more innovative, skilled and sustainable while also ensuring there is a robust trade policy that defends the sector against the challenges posed by overcapacity and trade surges. The manifesto can be downloaded: here
About the European Steel Association (EUROFER)
EUROFER AISBL is located in Brussels and was founded in 1976. It represents the entirety of steel production in the European Union. EUROFER members are steel companies and national steel federations throughout the EU. The major steel companies and national steel federations in Switzerland and Turkey are associate members.
The European Steel Association is recorded in the EU transparency register: 93038071152-83.
About the European steel industry
The European steel industry is a world leader in innovation and environmental sustainability. It has a turnover of around €170 billion and directly employs 330,000 highly-skilled people, producing on average 160 million tonnes of steel per year. More than 500 steel production sites across 22 EU Member States provide direct and indirect employment to millions more European citizens. Closely integrated with Europe’s manufacturing and construction industries, steel is the backbone for development, growth and employment in Europe.
Steel is the most versatile industrial material in the world. The thousands of different grades and types of steel developed by the industry make the modern world possible. Steel is 100% recyclable and therefore is a fundamental part of the circular economy. As a basic engineering material, steel is also an essential factor in the development and deployment of innovative, CO2-mitigating technologies, improving resource efficiency and fostering sustainable development in Europe.