15 May 2019, 12:23
Benjamin Wehrmann

Clear-cut Climate Action Law is in German steel industry’s own interest – env min

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

A Climate Action Law in Germany that spells out clear sectoral emissions reduction targets is in the interest of energy-intensive industries like steel, environment minister Svenja Schulze says in a guest article for the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. “A reliable framework is a precondition for the transformation towards a greenhouse gas-neutral economy,” Schulze says, arguing that this holds particularly true for companies with long investment cycles like steel producers. The minister points out that the German industry had reduced its emissions by 34 percent by 2014 compared to 1990 levels while concurrently increasing its revenues thanks to innovation. “For climate-neutral steel production this won’t be enough. Here, we’ll need entirely new and innovative procedures,” Schulze writes, adding that hydrogen-based steel production might offer a cleaner alternative to the current coke-based procedure. However, as innovation for reducing industry emissions are very costly, the environment ministry has set up support programmes and research facilities that assist companies from basic industries in reducing their carbon footprint.

Industry emissions account for about a quarter of total greenhouse gas emissions in Germany. Reduction here has constantly been below the EU average in the past decade. As Germany pursues the goal of becoming virtually climate-neutral by 2050, policy makers are shifting their attention to deeper emissions cuts, which are often much more difficult to achieve in energy-intensive industries.

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