A new batch of industry associations has been uploaded onto the InfluenceMap system and the relationship scores recalculated accordingly.
We adjusted the terminology used to describe the queries running down the left-hand side of our scoring matrix and added additional explanatory text to the info-boxes. This has no impact on the scores and methodology. It has been done following user feedback to improve clarity.
Climate Lobbying Overview: The European Steel Association (Eurofer) is highly actively engaged on European climate policy, and appears to take mostly unsupportive positions. The association’s stances on top-line ambition seem to have improved somewhat since 2018, for example, Eurofer communications show that it broadly supports the decarbonization of the steel sector. However, it continues to lobby negatively on key climate policy such as the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS).
Top-line Messaging on Climate Policy: Eurofer seems to support climate ambition in its top-line messaging, but on several conditions. On its corporate website, accessed in July 2021, it stated support for the EU’s 2050 climate neutrality objective and for reducing emissions in the steel industry by 80-95% by 2050. However, in a joint statement in February 2022, Eurofer seemed to stress the risks of unilateral action on climate by Europe on carbon leakage and international industrial competitiveness. Eurofer stated support for a supportive regulatory framework for steel in the EU on its website, accessed in July 2021. However, between 2016-21, Eurofer has repeatedly voiced concerns regarding the risks of unilateral action due to Europe’s ambitious climate change regulation in leadership messaging, organizational messaging and directly communicating with policymakers. In a meeting with EU policymakers in July 2021, the association stated that the Fit for 55 package is too ambitious and costly.
Engagement with Climate-Related Regulations: Eurofer appears to have predominantly negative engagement with EU climate policies. In its June 2021 Annual Report the Director General Axel Eggert supported the strengthened ambition of the 2030 GHG target to 55%, although emphasizing that a robust policy framework is needed to achieve the goals. However, the association stressed the risks of carbon leakage due to the “unilateral increase” in the EU’s 2030 climate ambition in a joint statement in February 2022.
Eurofer has remained highly actively engaged with the EU ETS between 2020-22, and has largely opposed reform measures to strengthen the scheme from a climate perspective. In November 2021, in response to an EU public consultation, Eurofer did not support many proposed reforms to strengthen the EU ETS under the Fit for 55 package, and opposed the phase out of free allocation of emissions allowances from 2026. However, the group did support focusing EU ETS revenues on industrial decarbonization technologies. In a joint statement by energy-intensive industry in January 2022, Eurofer did not support the EU Commission’s proposed phase out of the free allocation of emissions allowances in the EU ETS alongside the introduction of a Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM), advocating for the maintenance of free allowances and indirect cost compensation until at least 2030, as well as the inclusion of export rebates. The association has repeatedly attempted to influence the European Parliament's vote on the EU ETS reform and CBAM, the chairman of the Environment Committee singling out Eurofer in a "tsunami of lobbying" in June 2022 in an op-ed for Le Monde. The association also coordinated and signed several open letters in May and June 2022 to Members of European Parliament advocating against increasing the ambition of the EU Commission's proposals for the EU ETS reform and the CBAM.
Eurofer supported energy efficiency legislation in buildings in a contribution to an EU public consultation in July 2020. However, in November 2021 in an EU public consultation, the association did not support proposed reforms to the Energy Efficiency Directive to increase the EU’s 2030 energy efficiency target, suggesting that binding targets would limit future growth and incentivize less production, and opposed the energy savings obligation scheme. In response to an EU public consultation in November 2021, Eurofer advocated for the inclusion of transitional low-carbon energies and fossil gas to be included in the reform of the Renewable Energy Directive and did not support a binding consumption quota for renewable fuels of non-biological origin. Eurofer is supportive of key circular economy policy, the Ecodesign for Sustainable Products Regulation (ESPR). The association seems to have a broadly positive position on several elements of the ESPR, including Extended Producer Responsibility fees, Green Public Procurement criteria, and a Digital Product Passport.
Positioning on Energy Transition: Eurofer has communicated support for the energy transition, although with some exceptions. In November 2021, the Director General supported a regulatory framework to decarbonize the steel industry but stressed that it must provide a level playing field. Eurofer did not support most of the proposed reforms to the Energy Taxation Directive to bring it in line with the EU’s increased climate ambition in a response to an EU consultation in November 2021, advocating for the maintenance of tax-reductions for energy used in industrial processes. While Eurofer did support favorable tax exemptions for renewable and hydrogen, it also advocated that these should also cover other forms of ‘low-carbon’ energy. The association supported hydrogen as a fuel to decarbonize industry and the EU’s Hydrogen Strategy in a comment on an EU public consultation in June 2020, but advocated that “all forms of low-carbon hydrogen production should be supported in a technological neutral way,” thereby supporting equal treatment of hydrogen produced with renewables and with fossil gas and carbon capture and storage.