22 June 2023 – Industrial metals have risen again since the beginning of the month. Now the focus is on China and whether the stimuli from the government there will give the economy further momentum in the second half of the year. When the EU steel industry has done nothing for 18 years and now wants to claim the top position in the green transformation and demands that something must be done now and not in 10 years, it sounds like green steel washing.
Industrial metals up again since the beginning of the month
In an interesting newsletter contribution, Deutsche Bank summarised the development of industrial metals. It says, among other things, that prices for industrial metals, especially nickel and copper, have risen again since the beginning of the month. The copper price had previously fallen to a six-month low due to concerns about a slowdown in demand from China. However, recent actions by China’s central bank, such as cutting interest rates, have fuelled hopes of economic support and increased demand for industrial metals. In addition, the closing of short positions by market participants has also pushed prices higher.
Painting steel green with paid articles?
In a paid article on the PR network Euractiv, which is heavily used by European lobby groups, the Director General of the European Steel Association (EUROFER), Axel Eggert, wrote some remarkable words.
“However, there is a spoiler: all the three sectors (…wind, hydrogen and steel…) made clear that if we want to lead the global race for climate neutrality and clean technologies, the time to act is now or never. Not in ten years, not tomorrow. But today.“Axel Eggert, Director General of the European Steel Association (EUROFER), euractiv.com
These words makes you wonder why it doesn’t say “we’ve done nothing for the last 18 years…!”
No adjustment in CO2 emissions per tonne of steel since 2005?
Because a real decrease in CO2 emissions per tonne of steel could not be detected since the introduction of EU emissions trading. In 2005, the emissions per tonne of steel were approx. 2.0 tCO2eq; in 2022, they will still be approx. 1.9 tCO2eq on average. The only thing that could be credited to the European steel producers is that their production volume has decreased from 2005 to 2022. And if one takes into account that CO2 emissions per tonne of steel have not changed since then, one might think that nothing at all has been done by the EU steel producers.
Except taking EU taxpayers’ money and NOT using it to reduce CO2 emissions. And these subsidies amounted to several billion euros, not only from the EU but also from the member states.
Did the EU steel producers use the tax billions?
But did the steel producers use it to prepare for transformation? No, at least not with their own self-earned money. And now they are claiming how badly off they would be. While small and medium-sized enterprises have to get by without massive support from powerful lobbying associations.
Is it only possible with threats?
And if there is not enough from the taxpayer, then there are threats – of carbon leakage and corporate exodus, or that green projects will not be implemented if there is no money from the state. It seems like mockery and ridicule when lobby groups with paid articles in PR networks read by EU politicians present themselves as the heroes of the green transformation and call for urgent action because the world has to act today and not in ten years’ time, after they cannot even admit that they simply did not move for the last 18 years and preferred to get the European citizens’ money through.
- ECRMA: Calls for inclusion of aluminium in Critical Raw Materials Act
- LME Nickel Case: Now it gets serious
- CBAM – Opposition to EU Carbon Border Tax grows stronger
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