Eurofer (European Steel Association)

InfluenceMap Score
D
Performance Band
50%
Organisation Score
Sector:
Metals & Mining
Head​quarters:
Brussels, Belgium
Official Web Site:
Wikipedia:

Climate Lobbying Overview: The European Steel Association (Eurofer) appears to take mixed positions on European climate policy and is highly strategically engaged. The association’s stances on top-line ambition seem to have improved somewhat since 2018, but it continues to lobby negatively on key climate policy such as the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS). Eurofer broadly supports the decarbonization of the steel sector.

Top-line Messaging on Climate Policy: Eurofer seems to support climate ambition in its top-line messaging but with several stipulations. 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 comments on a public consultation in 2020 the association stressed that the Climate Law should preserve competitiveness and prevent carbon leakage as joint objectives with climate protection. 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, and the cost-effectiveness of policy such as the Fit for 55 package, 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 did not support increasing the EU’s 2030 Climate Target above 40% in an EU public consultation response in June 2020. However, in its 2021 Annual Report the Director General Axel Eggert supported the strengthened ambition, although stressing that a robust policy framework is needed to achieve the goals. In July 2021, the Director General did not support the proposed reforms to the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) under the Fit for 55 package, arguing that they would artificially raise prices, and opposed the phase out of free allocation of emissions allowances from 2026. In a January 2021 position paper, Eurofer advocated for the strengthening of carbon leakage protection measures in the EU ETS due to the EU’s higher climate ambition and also pushed for indirect cost compensation. However, the group did support focusing EU ETS revenues on industrial decarbonization technologies. The association’s Director General Axel Eggert was supportive of the EU’s Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) in March 2021, but only as a parallel mechanism alongside existing carbon leakage protection measures under the EU ETS. He acknowledged a possible phase out of these measures when a sustainable market for green steel is fully formed from 2030. However, Euractiv reported, also in March 2021, that Eurofer had signed a joint email to lawmakers advocating to the European Parliament that a carbon border adjustment mechanism should “co-exist with the current system of free allocation.”

Eurofer supported energy efficiency legislation in buildings in a contribution to an EU public consultation in July 2020. However, in a February 2021 position paper, the association did not support reforms to the Energy Efficiency Directive to increase the EU’s 2030 energy efficiency target, suggesting that it would limit future growth and incentivize less production, and was unsupportive of a cap on energy usage through the energy savings obligation scheme. The association seems to take a mixed position on renewable energy, as in its 2021 Annual Report it advocated to avoid double regulation on industry through the Renewable Energy Directive reform, but supported promoting renewables in the heating and cooling sectors. In an EU public consultation response in 2021, Eurofer supported exemptions for industry from renewable energy levies.

Positioning on Energy Transition: Eurofer appears to support the energy transition 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, and, in September 2021, advocated for increasing production of low-carbon energy and hydrogen, but without specifying a position on decarbonizing hydrogen. 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.” Eurofer did not appear to support reforming the Energy Taxation Directive to bring it in line with the EU’s increased climate ambition in a response to an EU consultation in April 2020, advocating that ETS-sectors should be exempted from a CO2-based energy tax.

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