European Steel Day explores the challenges of climate change

The European Steel Association (EUROFER) will today host the European Steel Day 2017. This seventh edition of this annual event will explore the theme of the ‘digital, low-carbon future for steel’. 

Speaking ahead of last week’s European Steel Day 2017 – which was themed around the subject of a ‘digital, low-carbon future for steel – EUROFER director general Axel Eggert said, “These are exciting and challenging times for the European steel industry. From trade, through to climate and innovation policy, the industry sees a range of threats and opportunities.”

“In 2016, total activity in steel-using sectors rose by 1.7% – but at the same time, imports rose to 24% of the total, up from a 17% historical share. A large part of this ballooning import share has to do with the dumping of unfairly cheap steel from third countries”, stated Mr Eggert.

According to Eggert, European steel producers face a range of regulatory costs not borne by their competitors. “This is why getting the post-2020 reform of the Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) right is so important: it must balance climate protection with the need to support the industry’s capacity for innovation and competitiveness,” he said.

“The steel industry also has a significant record in innovation. We produce thousands of grades and types of advanced steels, hundreds of which did not even exist a decade ago. These help mitigate CO2 emissions in other sectors, such as power generation. Research and development on the steel production side will also have the potential to reduce the CO2 emissions from steel production by very large proportions – as long as the right economic and research conditions prevail”, emphasised Mr Eggert.

At the event, speakers and panellists explored how the steel industry is reacting to the challenges wrought by the need to meet climate policy objectives, as well as the opportunities that are being brought about by digitisation and industry 4.0.