Europe – Major aluminium producing and recycling companies in Europe have urged the European Council to adopt measures to protect the industries that suffer most from global competition.
‘High energy prices and the unilateral cost burden of EU climate and energy policies are crippling European producers’ ability to compete,’ the aluminium industry’s business leaders have stated in an open letter to the Heads of States and governments coinciding with the European Council meeting being held this week in Brussels.
According to the companies, they support ambitious climate targets provided that measures are taken to ‘shield industries that are most exposed to global competition’, highlighting in particular ‘cost compensation that must address at EU level the sector’s inability to pass through EU ETS indirect costs embedded into electricity prices which for the aluminium sector are six times higher than direct costs’.
According to the aluminium firms, free allocations for ETS direct costs must be continued beyond the due expiration date of 2020 for the most exposed sectors in order to ‘preserve the competitiveness’ of the industry in subsequent years.
In the letter, the industry underlines the importance of the aluminium industry to Europe, providing 250 000 direct and more than 1 million indirect jobs. ‘The aluminium that we produce, transform and recycle is an essential material for the transition to a low carbon economy,’ they stress.