EU court rejects ArcelorMittal’s challenge to emissions law

SBB 3 March 2010 The European Union’s General Court has dismissed ArcelorMittal’s application for the partial annulment of the 2003 EU directive establishing a scheme for trading greenhouse gas emission allowances. The EU Emission Trading System started operating in 2005 based on the directive.The steelmaker had appealed to the court to declare provisions of the directive inapplicable to installations for the production of pig iron or steel, but the court rejected its arguments. The company brought the legal action as Arcelor in 2004, before the merger with Mittal Steel.

Among its arguments, the steelmaker claimed the legislation, which is aimed at reducing manmade carbon dioxide emissions through the “capping and trading” of emission allowances, increases the cost of production for EU pig iron and steel producers, putting them at a disadvantage compared to third country producers.

ArcelorMittal tells Steel Business Briefing it is “taking note” of the court’s decision.

“While some of the initial shortcomings of the EU ETS which we were criticising in our lawsuit have been corrected in the meantime, we remain concerned that the European trading system might put an excessive strain on the EU steel industry’s competitiveness and threaten steelmaking jobs,” the company comments.

“This issue will need to be addressed especially with regards to the third trading period of the ETS which starts in 2012,” it adds. The first phase of the ETS spanned 2005-2007 and the second phase runs from 2008 to 2012.


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