France – Despite the big contribution to a low-carbon economy, the cost of EU regulation remains substantially higher for electric arc furnace steelmakers using mainly recycled steel scrap than for basic oxygen furnace operators relying mainly on primary raw materials, it was argued by Manuel Burnand on behalf of the European Recycling Industries’ Confederation (EuRIC) at a side-event of the United Nations’ COP21conference on climate change.
‘Such distortions cannot last any longer if we are serious about climate change and want to move towards a circular economy, in particular as Europe is resource-rich when it comes to steel scrap, which is not the case for iron ore,’ Burnand told the ‘Towards a low-carbon steelmaking in Europe’ debate organised by recycling company and COP21 official sponsor Derichebourg.
He added that using recycled steel scrap can save up to 64% of carbon dioxide emissions when compared with primary production, while using one tonne of iron or steel scrap saves the mining of 1.5 tonnes of iron ore.
Prices for steel scrap have continued to decrease ‘dramatically’, thus jeopardising the economic viability of a number of recycling companies in Europe, according to EuRIC. ‘It is time to acknowledge the huge benefits recycling brings to the environment and society in terms of CO2, energy and natural resource savings and for policy-makers to translate these into legislation to optimise the use of steel scrap,’ Burnand concluded.