EUROFER & WV Stahl - The Green Deal and European Steel: The example of the German Steel Action Plan

A joint event by the European Steel Association and Wirtschaftsvereinigung Stahl looking at the EU Green Deal and the German Steel Action Concept.

EUROFER & WV Stahl - The Green Deal and European Steel: The example of the German Steel Action Plan

A joint event by the European Steel Association and Wirtschaftsvereinigung Stahl looking at the EU Green Deal and the German Steel Action Concept.

The joint EUROFER & WV Stahl webinar - The Green Deal and European Steel: The example of the German Steel Action Plan - 24 February from 11:00 till 12:30

About the webinar

The Green Deal and European Steel: The example of the German Steel Action Plan

The European steel industry is facing serious challenges. As a result of reduced global demand, steel production in the EU has significantly dropped and the sector’s workforce has continuously declined. The economic downturn of the Covid-19 pandemic is adding to these structural difficulties, making resolute action a necessity.
At the same time, the steel industry counts as most advanced among energy-intensive industries in terms of  its CO₂ footprint. Not only it produces 100% recyclable materials for EU key industries such as automotive, construction, or medical devices, but it is already fully committed to cut its emissions by 30% until 2030, and is well headed to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.
Therefore, an EU Green Deal on Steel, addressing both the sector’s structural problems and its potential as a frontrunner on how hard-to-abate industries can lower their emissions, could serve as blueprint for the whole EU industrial sector.
The German Steel Action Concept “For a strong steel industry in Germany and Europe” (see German version here) shows us that climate action and the continued existence of competitive energy-intensive industries can complement one another in fruitful ways.

Join this webinar to discuss what a Green Deal on Steel might look like and, building on the German concept, what mix of policy tools can help the sector most in making a substantial contribution to the EU’s ambitious climate goals while best ensuring its competitiveness.

When & where?

The webinar took place on Wednesday, 24 February 2020 from 11:00-12:15 online, via Zoom. 

Who is invited?

The seminar is open to anyone interested in learning about the German Steel Action Concept, the Green Deal on Steel and what the European steel industry is doing to help meet the EU's climate ambition.


Times are indicative only

11:00 | Introductory joint statement

Moderation by Jacki Davis

                     Building on the German Steel Action Concept at EU level

  • Hans Jürgen Kerkhoff, President, WV Stahl
  • Axel Eggert, Director General, The European Steel Association

 11:10 | Video statement

  • Diederik Samsom, Head of Cabinet for Executive Vice-President for the European Green Deal Frans Timmermans (confirmed)

 11:20 | Panel discussion & Q&A

Moderation by Jacki Davis

                     How could an Action Plan for European steel reinforce the EU Green Deal?

  • Claudia Gamon MEP, Renew Europe, ITRE Committee member, European Parliament (confirmed)
  • Jude Kirton-Darling, Deputy Secretary-General, IndustriAll European Trade Union (confirmed)
  • Marius Hirte, Director, Competitiveness Directorate, Economic Affairs and Competitiveness, Council of the EU (confirmed)
  • Hans Jürgen Kerkhoff, President, WV Stahl (confirmed)
  • Axel Eggert, Director General, The European Steel Association (confirmed)

12:30 | End of discussion

EUROFER & WV Stahl - The Green Deal and European Steel: The example of the German Steel Action Plan starts in:

About the German Steel Action Concept and the European Green Deal on Steel

About the German Steel Action Concept

On 15 July 2020, the German government formally approved the Steel Action Concept that was developed under the leadership of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy.

The Steel Action Concept provides a concrete and actionable framework, outlining a roadmap towards a successful transformation of the steel industry towards low carbon steel making.

The Steel Action Concept is aligned with the objectives set out in the EU Green Deal and proposes measures enhancing the competitiveness of energy-intensive industries. The concept demonstrates that free trade, climate action and the preservation of competitiveness of energy-intensive industries are not mutually exclusive.

The European Union and the Federal Republic of Germany should take effective measures at national, European and international level and work together with the steel industry to set the course for lasting competitiveness in a way that is compatible with the long-term goal of achieving greenhouse gas neutrality across Germany and Europe.

One important aim is that the climate and energy policies support the transformation of the industrial sector, particularly via internationally competitive prices for electricity, gas and hydrogen.

The implementation of measures in the EU’s Green Deal, which is necessary for effective climate action, and the implementation of the climate action decisions taken by the Federal Government, are a crucial step towards a climate-neutral economy.

These measures are to help improve the competitiveness of German and European industry and make the steel sector fit for the future. They need to be given shape in ways that stimulate efforts to reorient and transform the sector. Research, development and a pro-innovation

policy and investment framework have a vital role to play in supporting the transformation of the steel industry towards future-proof, climate-friendly production processes.


About the Green Deal on Steel

Making a success of the EU Green Deal

We need a Green Deal on Steel that sets out a clear action plan for the recovery of the steel industry and boosts our decarbonisation efforts – serving as a blueprint for Europe


Europe has the opportunity before it to lead the transformation of its economy to a future in which it is CO2 neutral, environmentally responsible, circular and able to compete internationally, addressing third country trade distortions without inhibition. Steel is central to the EU economy, and it underpins the development of major manufacturing sectors right along the value chain. Our industry sustains 2.6 million direct and indirect jobs in the EU.

To make the EU’s recovery plan and green transition a success, a Green Deal on Steel should be agreed between EU steel industry and the EU institutions and governments, with a clear action plan establishing a market for green steel in the period 2021 to 2030. This plan can serve as a blueprint for other sectors, and help the industry to get out of the worst economic crisis in decades.

Why steel?

Because the EU steel industry:

  • is a strategic sector producing 100% recyclable, circular materials for EU key industries such as automotive, mechanical engineering, CO2 low energy industries, construction, household appliances, packaging, medical devices, sanitary systems, defence, among others;
  • is most advanced among the energy-intensive industries in terms of CO2-low projects;
  • is already committed to reducing CO2 emissions by 2030 by 30% compared to 2018 (55% compared to 1990) and towards carbon neutrality by 2050, if the conditions are right;
  • is able to significantly advance the EU’s climate objectives as it concentrates CO2 emissions in a limited number of installations covering about 25% of EU industrial and 5% of EU total CO2 emissions;
  • will allow the EU to set a global example as to how hard-to-abate industries can significantly lower their CO2 emissions in a relatively short period of time.

 A plan of action: A Green Deal on Steel

Agreement on a comprehensive plan for green steel is required to allow companies and investors today to make investment decisions for next decade. We welcome the approach of the German EU presidency in setting out an action concept for the steel industry. This initiative can and should serve as the basis for agreement on an action concept at an EU level, with a coordinated approach for the EU’s industry, climate, energy, trade, recovery, and related policies.

An action plan shaping markets for green steel, the circular economy and a global level playing field would address the following policy fields:

  1. Trade Defence: Apply EU Trade Defence Instruments (TDI) without inhibition to effectively tackle third country trade distortions and their domestic industry support schemes. Adapt TDI to the new global reality of third country distortions which are detrimental to the EU economy and jobs.
  2. EU Steel Safeguards: Extend beyond June 2021, if the U.S. Section 232 trade distortion, which plays directly against EU interests, is not revoked.
  3. Carbon Border Measure: Set it at an effective level, complementary to existing carbon leakage provisions in a transition until a market for green steel is established in the next decade.
  4. Recovery Plan for Europe and Green Transition: Allow access for steel projects on national and EU level. Secure complementarity with, and access to, other funding schemes, such as the Innovation Fund, Just Transition Fund, and IPCEIs. Adopt the Clean Steel Partnership.
  5. Aid Guidelines and Green Transition: Agree on fair compensation of indirect CO2 Fully implement the new ETS Aid Guidelines which in phase 3 cover not even 50% of steel’s real indirect costs. Encourage member states, where compensation is not applied, to do so. The Environmental and Energy Aid Guidelines (EEAG) should support the CO2-low transition, e.g. through Carbon Contracts for Difference, to de-risk investment in low carbon products/solutions by covering the difference between costs of conventional and CO2-low steelmaking.
  6. Circular Economy: Keep ferrous scrap in the EU for its proper treatment and quality improvement. No scrap should be exported to facilities which are less sustainable than those in the EU. Give preference to circular materials so as to achieve EU circular economy objectives.
  7. Eco-Innovation: Grant credits for ‘green materials’ in downstream sectors, e.g. through the EU automotive legislation. Set public procurement incentives for green materials in products.
  8. EU ETS: Introduce a force major clause to avoid undue impacts of COVID-19-related temporary production cuts on the amount of free allocation in the post 2020 period.
  9. Sustainable Finance & Taxonomy: Base sustainability thresholds for steel on standard EN 19694 which considers steel’s life-cycle, not on unsuitable ETS benchmarks. Include CCUS as sustainable. A scrap sourced iron content of 90% in the Electric Arc Furnace route (EAF) is feasible for carbon steel but not for stainless and other specialty steels due to the share of alloys.
  10. CO2-footprint: Work on CO2-cost based on CO2-footprint through the value chain (full life-cycle).

Published: 29 January 2021. Most recent update: 25 March 2021.

The European Steel Association (EUROFER)
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