The European Cement Association (Cembureau) says the proposed next step of the EU's Emission Trading Scheme (ETS), which will run from 2013 to 2020, could put an end to cement production in the EU. It has highlighted the European industry's vulnerability to ‘carbon leakage', which is to say cement production (and the associated carbon dioxide emissions) being displaced to other countries where emissions are not as tightly restrained.
Speaking at a press conference in Brussels, Cembureau Chief Executive Dr Jean-Marie Chandelle said, " The European cement industry is highly vulnerable to carbon leakage. This is a fact that should be urgently recognised by the European Union. With full auctioning in 2020 and at CO2 prices of € 35 per tonne, all integrated clinker-cement production would be wiped out of the EU, leading to a loss of 40000 direct jobs and € 4.2 billion gross value added per year.
"The replacement of domestic production by imports would also result in increased global CO2 emissions as the European cement industry is demonstrably the best world performer in lowering net CO2 emissions."
With the matter being debated by the European Council next week, followed by voting in the European Parliament on December 17, Cembureau has put forward a number of proposals.
It is asking that the cement industry be recognised as being vulnerable to carbon leakage, and has proposed criteria that would recognise this. It says these criteria and thresholds should be defined within the ETS directive.