Brussels — The aluminium industry calls on EU policy-makers to build on the European Council’s conclusions by developing robust measures to prevent further investment leakage. „We greatly appreciate that EU Member States are focusing on restoring industrial competitiveness and securing competitive energy costs, but we deplore the lack of urgency in this debate.The solutions to halt our industry’s decline are clear“, commented Gerd Götz, Director General of the EAA.
And he added: „We need cost compensation measures for EU ETS to address our inability to pass on indirect costs. We need an EU-wide framework for state aid guidelines to exempt us from the costs of energy support schemes, and we need long-term visibility to maintain investment in our sector. What we do not need is endless debate and discussion. We need action.“
While Europe`s global competitors operate in business and regulatory environments that are conducive to growth, in Europe high energy prices and the unilateral cost burden of EU climate and energy policies are crippling European producers’ ability to compete, as confirmed by a 2013 European Commission study on the aluminium industry. „Our industry has already achieved massive GHG reductions on 1990s levels and will continue to support ambitious climate targets, provided adequate measures are taken to shield us as one of Europe’s most exposed industries to global competition.“
The aluminium industry represents one of the few industrial sectors for which demand is consistently growing despite the economic crisis but Europe’s production is declining sharply. The demand is driven by the material’s properties and its infinite recycling potential and our industry already supplies innovative and resource efficient solutions to effectively respond to today’s challenges. The EU therefore needs to recognise these benefits and the sector’s solution-based approach to climate concerns and energy costs.
„It is time to align long-term industrial, climate and energy policies for Europe whilst maintaining pressure on our international partners to match our efforts with a view of reaching an international climate agreement“, concluded EAA’s Director General.
Source: European Aluminium Association (EAA)