Europe adopts controversial GHG benchmarks

In spite of all complaints from energy intensive industry so far, the controversial benchmarks to set free carbon credit allowance in 2013-2020 have been adopted. Now Eurofer is preparing a legal challenge but, even if it were to succeed, there may not bea result for another two years. The industry will now have to plan its strategy on the assumption that the benchmarks will remain in place.

SBB 29 April The European Commission has adopted controversial benchmarks for industrial greenhouse gas emissions which, according to Eurofer, could lead to the deindustrialisation of the EU. It is now preparing a legal challenge, which it must present to the courts by the end of June, it confirms to Steel Business Briefing.

Increased costs from greenhouse gas regulations in the EU could lead to steel production moving abroad, most delegates at SBB’s recent Green Steel Strategies conference agreed. In particular, these costs could lead to increased imports of semi-finished and commodity grade steel products, some suggested.

In 2013-2020, European steelmakers will receive free carbon credits up to the benchmarks set by the Commission. These are based on the average emissions of the most environmentally friendly 10% of steel plants in the EU. However, the benchmark is unachievable by even the least-polluting European plants, Eurofer says. Eurofer has proposed its own set of benchmarks.

The European Commission is even more confident than ever that it can defeat Eurofer’s legal challenge, it tells SBB. The benchmarks have the support of member states, it points out.

EC and Eurofer carbon emission benchmarks
Tonnes of CO2 equivalent per tonne of product
EC benchmark Eurofer’s proposal
Hot Metal 1.328 1.475
Sintered Ore 0.171 0.191
Coking 0.286 0.333
EAF – carbon steel 0.285 0.285
EAF – high alloy steel 0.357 0.357

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