The future of 'Green Steel' could begin in Europe

Europe's original economic integration was built with steel, the backbone of its growth. EUROFER set out the next steps for sustainable, European steel


EUROFER is the European Steel Association.

09 Apr 2024

Europe is on the cusp of a transformative era. The Green Deal needs to deliver on ambitious climate goals while ensuring continued prosperity.

European economic integration was built with steel, the backbone of Europe’s growth, contributing billions to the economy and providing jobs to millions of Europeans. As EUROFER, the European Steel Association, we believe the future of a green Europe can only be forged with European steel.

How to enable sustainable, European steel?

The future of ‘Green Steel’ begins here in Europe and will become a global reality if we support our own industrial ecosystems throughout this transition. Europe-made steel has a strategic role and enables a net-zero economy, but today it faces strong headwinds from the energy crisis, unfair international competition, and growing unilateral carbon costs. Ensuring the enabling conditions for the transition of energy-intensive industries -- such as steel -- that are essential for clean tech value chains must be at the top of today’s and the post-2024 EU agenda.

We call on policy makers to prioritise the following five pillars:

1. Drive a joint industrial policy and spur investments

Streamline across all policy areas a joint green industrial policy that spurs investments, coordinated by an "Executive Vice-President for Industrial Transition and Made in Europe". Provide sufficient financial resources for the transition, making access easier, clearer and expedite. Establish lead markets for green products to further support investment via public procurement criteria, GHG benchmarks and other market incentives.

2. Promote access to affordable fossil-free energy

Urgently deliver internationally competitive energy prices for industry. Reconsider all options in the Electricity Market Design, as well as other complementary measures. Accelerate production, transmission and distribution of clean electricity and hydrogen in Europe. Prioritise the use of hydrogen in sectors that deliver the most CO2 reductions.

3. Give EU trade policy renewed impetus

Establish an effective EU-US Global Arrangement on Sustainable Steel to tackle global emissions and address excess capacity. Enforce a robust trade policy based on reciprocity against unfair practices, supported by the EU steel safeguard and Trade Defence Instruments. Implement an effective Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism to restore a level playing field and prevent carbon leakage. Propose a solution for Europe to maintain its competitive edge and exports.

4. Secure access to critical raw materials

Champion the use of steel scrap to align with the EU’s circular economy goals, valorise it and curb its export to nations with lower environmental and social standards. Guarantee a consistent supply of both primary and secondary raw materials to manufacture the components of the transition, while saving natural resources and emissions.

5. Inspire, attract and retain steelmakers

Promote new jobs in green steelmaking as a professional career among young generations to attract talent and support the sector’s transition. Provide adequate training and academic opportunities. Upskill and reskill existing employees to achieve a fair transition, inspire and retain qualified workforce.


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