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Fit for 55 Package: An ambitious EU Climate Agenda is key to the Circular Economy

14 July 2021

EuRIC welcomes the publication of the Fit for 55 Package, which sets in stone the EU’s ambition to cut Greenhouse Gas emissions (GHG) by at least 55% below 1990 levels by 2030 and reach climate neutrality by 2050.

The substitution of extracted raw materials with Raw Materials from Recycling (RMR) saves massive amounts of GHG and energy, on top of being intrinsically resource efficient, and thus has a key role to play in supporting energy intensive industries to decarbonise and become more circular.

Using recycled steel, copper, or aluminium scrap saves respectively 58%, 65%, and 92% of CO2 when compared with extracted raw materials1. To exemplify the magnitude of these savings, in 2018, the use of 93.8 million tonnes of recycled scrap in steelmaking enabled the saving of 157 million tonnes of CO2. This is equivalent to the emissions released by the automobile traffic in France, Great Britain and Belgium all together.

For Ms. Cinzia Vezzosi, President of EuRIC, “Climate policy and the circular economy goes hand-in-hand. Recyclers expect from the implementation of the Fit for 55 Package a high-level of ambition linked to the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) and the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) to support investments in climate neutral and circular industrial value chains. With only 12% of raw materials used by Europe’s industry coming from recycling2, strong incentives such as mandatory recycled content or a better framed EU ETS are urgently needed to increase the demand for circular materials usage and send strong signals to the market”, she stressed.

Last but not least, it is equally essential to ensure that the right framework is in place to accelerate the transition towards a circular and climate-neutral economy, while protecting the competitiveness of Europe’s energy intensive industries. In that respect, reciprocity is important to meet the EU’s circular and climate objectives. “European recyclers call for the CBAM to adequately price the carbon footprint of imported semi-finished metal products, but also to level the playing field for raw materials (be them mined or recycled), which are sourced from non-European countries often under environmentally and socially poor conditions”, she added.

EuRIC looks forward to work with the European Parliament and the Council to support an ambitious implementation of the Fit for 55 Package.

1 EuRIC Metal Recycling Factsheet
2 Circular material use rate, EUROSTAT