From: Reuters
Published April 28, 2008 02:50 PM

Steel firms warn EU climate fight could hit jobs

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Europe's steel industry joined forces with a workers' union on Monday to warn that European Union efforts to curb climate change could put tens of thousands of steel industry jobs at risk.

The EU aims to cut CO2 emissions by at least one fifth by 2020 from 1990 levels, but several energy intensive industries say the cost of curbing emissions will make them uncompetitive against rivals from outside the bloc.

A joint statement by the European Metalworkers' Federation (EMF) and the European Confederation of Iron and Steel Industries (EUROFER) issued a statement calling for the EU proposals on CO2 to strike a "fair balance" between climate change and the competitiveness of EU industry.

"The statement underlines the negative impact the proposal may have on the steel industry and its workforce if it is not adjusted towards technically feasible objectives, while ensuring the EU's CO2 reduction commitments," said Peter Scherrer, General Secretary of the EMF.

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Gordon Moffat, EUROFER Director General, said EU Commission proposals would cut growth in the steel industry and could lead to a cost increase of 10 percent to 20 percent per ton of steel.

(Reporting by Pete Harrison, Editing by Peter Blackburn)

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