Trade group European Aluminium Association began its spring meeting in Brussels with a call to Europe’s governments to back a strong movement to develop sustainable energy development.
The first event of the spring meeting, which was the first in-person meeting hosted by European Aluminium in two years, entitled “Fit for net-zero: Industrial decarbonisation in an energy-sensitive environment,” brought together over 600 plants from almost three dozen European countries as well as energy experts from the International Energy Agency, the Cabinet of EU Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson, SolarPowerEurope, Eurelectric, FORATOM, and Eurogas.
European Aluminium points out that about 900 thousand metric tons per annum of aluminium production has been curtailed since the rise in energy prices in the fall of last year. In addition, downstream and recycling firms have also felt the crunch, which has only intensified thanks to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February.
Ingrid Jörg, Chair of European Aluminium, said in a statement that the situation requires an immediate systemic change.
“There is no doubt that current economic consequences have heavily impacted European businesses and particularly aluminium, which is already facing tremendous challenges at a global level like unfair trade practices and higher energy costs. This crisis has stepped up the urgency for Europe to boost its resilience in low-carbon energy sources and raw materials strategic to the Green Deal. We believe the RePowerEurope Communication represents a positive step in the right direction in the short-term, but we will need thorough and systemic actions to ensure the twin imperatives of a sustainable Europe with a strong industrial basis. We, therefore, urge EU policymakers to define long-term mechanisms to facilitate the production, accessibility, and consumption of decarbonised energy at globally competitive prices.”
Additionally, European Aluminium also called for cooperation across many sectors of the European economy to affect a transition to green production and to assure that the continent remains on the leading edge of sustainable production development.
Paul Voss, Director General at European Aluminium, was pleased to see a solid turnout for the event.
“As newly-appointed Director General of European Aluminium, I am particularly proud to see such a strong and committed membership. It is crucial to remain united in these challenging times, driving a common agenda with one single voice. Aluminium has an enormous potential when it comes to enabling the green transition, and the more we work together, the faster we achieve our commitments in key areas such as energy, circular economy, trade, innovation and sustainability,” he noted.