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Steel sector threatens to take Commission to court over ETS benchmarks

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The steel sector is threatening to take the European Commission to court over benchmarks that will be used to allocate carbon allowances during the next phase of the EU's emissions trading scheme (ETSi). Industry association Eurofer claims that the EU ETS Directive, which requires that best performers in carbon leakage sectors receive for free all the allowances necessary to cover their emissions in order to prevent de-localisation of emissions, is not being applied for the steel industry, resulting in billions of additional costs.

The association goes on to claim that the benchmarks are technically unachievable and will discourage investment in the recovery of unavoidable waste gases. It also says that the Commission did not, in setting the benchmarks, use data provided by the industry in accordance with the Directive. The resulting additional costs for the EU steel industry are estimated at about €5 billion over the third trading period (2013 to 2020). Any further tightening of the ETS by increasing the reduction targets or holding back of allowances from the system could easily double the additional costs as well as the total costs, claims Eurofer.

The Eurofer press release is available here: