The COVID pandemic has caused significant disruption to both the EU and the wider, global economy. The European steel industry is no exception, with production and demand both falling precipitously, more than in other steel-producing regions. As the first wave of the crisis has passed and lockdown measures have been loosened, economic activity has begun to pick up – slowly. However, the situation for the workforce and for the companies themselves is still dire with a second wave of infections jeopardising the fragile recovery.
Late in July, EU leaders gathered together in Brussels for what turned out to be a marathon four-day Council meeting. The results of this reunion were conclusions agreeing on a path for the EU's seven-year ‘multi-annual financial framework’, but also the recovery-focused ‘Next Generation EU’ fund.
It is vital that this latter Next Generation EU fund is deployed quickly, focusing on supporting sectors most at need – ie that have been most severely impacted by the pandemic-induced economic crisis – and that have the ambition to become low-carbon industries.
EU steel is a key example. Well before the crisis, European steelmakers had put proposals on the table to reduce their emissions by 30% by 2030 and by up to 80-95% by 2050 under the right conditions: a legal framework that keeps their investment in low-CO2 technologies competitive throughout the transition and thereafter, and that creates a market for green steel.
Now is the opportunity to lead in that transition – and to find out more about our proposed Green Deal on Steel, please visit the EUROFER website.
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