Eurofer urges EC to only gradually remove free carbon permits after introduction of carbon border tax
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Combustion Industry News Editor
The European Steel Association (Eurofer) has written to the European Commission to recommend that free carbon allowances under the EU Emissions Trading System not be taken away from steelmakers too quickly if/when a carbon border tax is introduced. European steelmakers are concerned that they would have “10 to 100 times more carbon costs than global competitors, because of costs on every single tonne of EU steel, while competitors will have costs only on the share of their production they export to the EU”, suggesting that a carbon border tax might be insufficient to ensure competitiveness. Eurofer has recommended instead carbon credits are phased out gradually up to 2030, when it expects a ‘green’ steel market to have been fully established. Phasing out free permits sooner would leave steelmakers short of funds to invest in low/zero-emissions production, the argument continues, and this is reasonable to make, given that prices are around or above €50/tonne. One would think the European Commission will be looking to maintain the competitiveness of European steel and be paying close attention to Eurofer’s arguments.