We have expanded the list of climate policies we assess company engagement with to incorporate land-use related policy, referring to legislative or regulatory measures to enhance and protect ecosystems and land where carbon is being stored. Assessments under this category are currently underweighted in terms of their contribution to the overall company metrics. This weighting will be progressively increased over the next 6 months.
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 and takes mostly unsupportive positions on European climate policy. The association’s stances on top-line ambition seem to have improved somewhat since 2018, for example, 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) and the Renewable Energy Directive.
Top-line Messaging on Climate Policy: Eurofer seems to support climate ambition in its top-line messaging, but on several conditions. In a June 2022 press release, the association supported emissions reductions in the steel industry in 2030 to achieve climate neutrality in 2050. However, in the same press release the Director General Axel Eggert stressed that policymakers should be “very careful” in reducing CO2 emissions. Furthermore, 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. The news outlet Carbon Pulse reported that the association supported the EU’s Fit for 55 package in September 2022. However, between 2016-21, Eurofer 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.
Engagement with Climate-Related Regulations: Eurofer appears to have predominantly negative engagement with EU climate policies. 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. However, in March 2022 in another joint statement, it stated it fully supported the 55% 2030 target. In its 2022 Annual Report, released in June 2022, it opposed the inclusion of a GHG emissions standard in the Industrial Emissions Directive, but supported a lifecycle analysis approach to CO2 standards after the 2035 phase out for ICE vehicles.
Eurofer 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. The association repeatedly attempted to influence EU policymakers’ vote on the EU ETS reform and Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) in April to October 2022, the chairman of the EU Parliament Environment Committee singling out Eurofer in a "tsunami of lobbying" in June 2022 in an op-ed for Le Monde. The association coordinated and signed several open letters in May and June 2022 to Members of European Parliament advocating against increasing the ambition of the EU ETS Reform and the CBAM. Eurofer consistently advocated to weaken EU policymakers’ ambition on the CBAM, for example, in a joint statement by energy-intensive industry in October 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 the CBAM, advocating for the maintenance of free allowances until the tool is proven effective, and supporting the EU Council’s weaker proposed phase out.
In November 2021 in an EU public consultation response, 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 energy savings obligations. In December 2022 the Director General supported weakening the RED Delegated Acts on Renewable Fuels of Non-Biological Origin (RFNBOs), by prolonging the transitional period for additionality for renewable hydrogen.
Positioning on Energy Transition: Eurofer has communicated support for the energy transition, although with some exceptions. In December 2022, the Director General supported incentivizing low-carbon technologies to decarbonize the steel industry, and supported scaling up low-carbon energy including electricity and hydrogen. However, in June 2022 he had stressed the risks of carbon leakage from the transition. In response to an EU public consultation in June 2022, the association supported a rapid phase in of low-carbon and renewable hydrogen, however, it advocated for a technology neutral approach, and in November 2022 in a joint statement Eurofer supported allowing ‘low-carbon’ hydrogen to meet renewable hydrogen targets. In feedback to the EU Commission in June 2022, Eurofer did not support the proposed Delegated Act for RFNBOs and Recycled Carbon Fuels (RCFs), opposing a minimum GHG savings threshold of 70% for all types of RCFs and not supporting the cutoff date of 2035 for the considering of captured emissions through carbon capture and utilization from non-sustainable sources as avoided emissions.