Company News, 2002-12-10, 01:00 AM
ThyssenKrupp Steel welcomes emissions trading compromises
ThyssenKrupp Steel AG regards the compromises reached by the Council of Environment Ministers of the European Union on the question of emissions trading as a step in the right direction. "Our homework, which we have done conscientiously over the past decade, has been rewarded," says Executive Board Chairman Dr. Ulrich Middelmann. Thanks to the strong support of the German government, German industry`s voluntary commitment has been recognized in the emissions trading scheme. In Brussels on Monday, German environment minister Jürgen Trittin reiterated that Germany had already reduced its emissions to such an extent that it did not need the trading scheme.
The European emissions trading system is to begin as scheduled in 2005. Member states can allocate emission rights free of charge in both previously envisaged trading periods. The German delegation has also won through with its demand that sectors or companies should be able to opt out of the scheme until 2007. In addition, the possibility has been created for sectors to pool their emissions quotas. One of the most important demands from the German perspective, still not yet finally accepted, is that 1990 be established as the reference year. Since that time, Germany alongside Britain and Luxembourg has led the way in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. ThyssenKrupp Steel for example has optimized its use of energy and is one of the lowest-consuming producers in the world steel industry. In the case of carbon dioxide, the German steel sector has committed to reduce CO2 emissions per ton of steel by 22% by the year 2012. Last year it achieved a reduction of 15%, which shows that the targets are not in jeopardy.
However, there is one problem specific to steel. CO2 is automatically produced by chemical reactions during steelmaking. These quantities must be excepted from the emissions trading system until at least the year 2012. While the European steel industry is undertaking intensive joint research into a commercial alternative to carbon-based steel production, the introduction of carbon-free steelmaking is not foreseeable for a long time.
"We now expect the German government to make the trading system as flexible and cost-effective as possible so as not to impose any additional burdens on the steel sector in an extremely competitive international marketplace," demands Dr. Ulrich Middelmann. "In addition, the European Parliament must establish 1990 as the reference year."
ThyssenKrupp Steel AG
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