Offbeat Altmaier - conversion to green steel industry will cost € 35 billion
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Berlin (Reuters) - the renovation of the steel industry in the coming decades towards the desired climate neutrality is more expensive than previously thought.
Federal Minister of Economics Peter Altmaier spoke on Monday after consultations with top representatives of the industry of total costs of 35 billion euros. In July 2020, when the Cabinet Altmaier had adopted action concept of steel, it was still talked by estimated 30 billion euros by 2050. The state wants to promote private investment for green steel with 25 to 40 percent. He will therefore bear more than ten billions of Altmaier from the 35 billion euros of Altmaier. Until when exactly this should be done, it is still open because they are now also former appointments in the political discussion, up to which climate neutrality should be achieved. The IG Metal demanded to establish a transformation fund for the conversion of the steel industry without delay.
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In recent months, the government hurts the implementation according to the Ministry of Economic Affairs. For the years 2022 to 2024, five billion euros were mobilized. "That's a significant amount," said CDU politician Altmaier. The majority of it is attributable to the funding program "Dekarbonization in the Industry" for which the Ministry of Environment is responsible. In addition, there are an EU-wide support project for hydrogen, for which all major German representatives have submitted applications, and the newly discussed climate protection contracts. With these, energy-intensive industries should be compensated for the additional costs of climate-friendly production compared to conventional procedures.
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The President of the Business Association Steel, Hans Jürgen Kerkhoff, spoke of an art piece to invest in CO2-poorer production methods and at the same time remain internationally competitive. "The steel companies want to become climate-neutral, but this will not be possible without public support. On the one hand, on the basis of investment financing in the form of investment grants, on the other hand, to secure the investment risks associated with the significant additional costs of CO2-poor procedures."
No German steel company will be able to finance the transformation from its own power, warned the Jürgen Kerner responsible for the IG Metall for the industry. That's why companies now needed substantial and binding commitments. The IG Metall therefore urged to establish a transformation fund for the steel industry immediately, equipped with ten billion euros by the year 2030. From this investments in "green steel" could then be promoted. The corporations would also have to participate pro rata at the cost.
The steel industry suffers from cheaper offers from China among other things. Production issue and the number of jobs have declined in recent years. Altmaier still speaks of a key industry. In the action concept of the Federal Government, the EU is invited to strengthen its efforts for fair competition. In addition, a migration of companies in countries with fewer climate protection must be prevented.
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