Cement industry calls for workable EU-ETS


Brussels 1 February 2017 – Today in the European Parliament, the European cement industry has made it clear to MEPs that the EU-ETS must maintain free allowances at the level of best-performers in order to achieve real emission reductions whilst maintaining a competitive industry in Europe. A competitive cement industry contributes to growth, jobs and innovation in Europe.

EU-ETS: In CEMBUREAU’s view, the proposal should ensure that:

  • All energy-intensive industries are on the carbon leakage list and all installations receive a free allocation based on ambitious but realistic benchmarks, and benefit from free allocation based on actual production. Fairness should be a key principle of policy making. Jobs in one sector are neither more nor less important than those in other sectors.
  • Sufficient number of free allocation for energy intensive industries at risk of carbon leakage is made available, hence the auction share should not be higher than 52%.
  • No further burden is imposed on EU-ETS sectors. The 43% reduction objective and the 2.2% linear reduction factor for phase IV should not be further increased.
  • Support for innovation focuses on energy intensive industries and is extended to cover the whole range of low carbon technologies including industrial carbon capture and utilisation (CCU). The Innovation Fund should be fully financed from the auctioning share.

Import Inclusion Scheme: Regarding the current debate Koen Coppenholle, CEMBUREAU Chief Executive, clearly outlined why the sector does not believe the proposal put forward in ENVI is workable:

  • Introducing such mechanism with a consequential loss of free allowances creates legal uncertainty and hampers further investments by the cement sector in Europe;
  • Impossibility to measure the CO2 performance of third country producers;
  • Overall lack of clarity as to how such scheme would operate;
  • Serious concerns about WTO compatibility;
  • Application to a few sectors only leads to discrimination in the downstream market where cement competes with other building materials (steel, glass, wood, asphalt) that are not subject to such scheme
  • The suggested scheme leads to a competitive disadvantage for European cement producers on export markets where local cement players are not subject to similar CO2 constraints.

Innovation: The cement industry also used this event as an opportunity to provide insight into just some of the research projects being undertaken in the sector which aim to improve our environmental performance, reduce CO2 emissions and improve energy efficiency. As stated by CEMBUREAU President, Daniel Gauthier, “Europe is a frontrunner in research on the key breakthrough technology that can significantly reduce our process emissions and this is carbon capture whereby part of the research also focuses on CO2 reuse. The cement industry further directs its innovation efforts to the reduction of clinker content in cement and the development of new binders. Energy efficiency is a core area for innovation in the sector, with increasing replacement of primary fuels with alternative (waste) fuels and a strong emphasis on deploying the energy-efficient characteristics of concrete (thermal mass). Click here for an overview of just some of these projects!

About CEMBUREAU: The European Cement Association based in Brussels is the representative organisation of the cement industry in Europe. Currently, its Full Members are the national cement industry associations and cement companies of the European Union (with the exception of Cyprus, Malta and Slovakia) plus Norway, Switzerland and Turkey. Croatia and Serbia are Associate Members of CEMBUREAU. A cooperation agreement exists with Cyprus.

CONTACT: Jessica JOHNSON, Communications Director - aj.johnson@cembureau.eu - Tel: + 32 2 234 10 45