Once again, the topic of CO2 certificates is the focal point of the environment agenda. In accordance with the EU Emissions Trading Directive (EU-Emissionshandelsrichtlinie) and the Austrian Emissions Certificate Act (Emissionszertifikategesetz), the allocation of free emission certificates takes place on February 28 of each year. Therefore, the annual allocation 2013 will take place no later than February 28, 2013. This procedure will repeat itself until 2020 (third trading period 2013 to 2020). The draft of the allocation allowances, the Austrian NIM list (National Implementation Measures) was already published nationally on March 5, 2012 and delivered to the EU Commission. Other member states, however, did not submit their documentation until later so that the review of these lists is still ongoing. As the cross-sectoral correction factor (CSCF) used to reconcile the allocations with the EU-wide cap can be defined by the EU Commission only after all of the analyses have been completed, the NIM lists and the individual allocation allowances can also be finalized only after the review of all EU-wide data has been completed. Therefore, no statements can yet be made at this time regarding the concrete CO2 cost burden during the next several years.
“Roadmaps 2050” set forth by the European Union represent the central element of the overall EU strategy for the development of a low-carbon economy. These roadmaps are, in particular, aiming for a reduction of the CO2 emissions within the EU by 80% to 95% by 2050, measured against the level in 1990. It is planned to achieve this primarily by moving to CO2-free production of electricity, drastically improving energy and resource efficiency, and a radical overhaul of infrastructure and transport fleets. In order to discuss the contribution to be made by the materialproducing industry, the Commission has called upon the individual industrial sectors to develop sectoral roadmaps. In 2012, the European steel association EUROFER began work on its own roadmap for the steel industry, which will show the importance of the material steel for European society as well as its contribution to climate protection.
In this context, it basically seems to be more sensible to chart a path toward the achievement of the EU’s climate goals not by way of the current practice of pricing and/or penalizing CO2, but to pursue a political course that enables a technology-oriented climate policy for the material-producing industry after 2020. This kind of policy would regulate the industry as far as emissions are concerned by way of technology-related emission levels, support the development of technology and investment, make the needed raw materials and energy sources available, and spur the use of recyclable materials as well as recycling-friendly construction in all areas of life.
The new version of the Industrial Emissions Directive (IED) 2010/75/EU became effective in early 2011; it replaced the IPPC Guideline (Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control Directive). This is a regulation that guarantees a Europe-wide standardization of threshold values for industrial facilities and measures for certain industrial activities. They are currently being implemented in national law as well as in individual laws and regulations governing resources and issues subject to specification requirements (Materienrechte), such as the Austrian Waste Management Act (Abfallwirtschaftsgesetz, AWG), Trade and Commercial Regulations (Gewerbeordnung, GewO), and the Austrian Water Rights Act (Wasserrechtsgesetz, WRG). In the voestalpine Group, the relevant plants and facilities are currently being reviewed with regard to any need for adjustments in order to be able to plan and realize implementation of the necessary measures and modifications under these European regulations in a timely manner. The voestalpine Group is actively involved in the ongoing implementation process in order to ensure the eco-efficient implementation of the Industrial Emissions Directive (IED) at the national level.