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Speaking at the European Steel Technology and Application Days (ESTAD), Gordon Moffat, director general of Eurofer, said targets for carbon emissions set by the Commission attested to the distance between politicians and industry.

“The fundamental problem; there is no account is being made of the technical limitations we face, “ Moffat said.

National decisions at a member-state level were also harming steelmakers, the Eurofer president said, touching on the subject of the German energy transition to renewable resources.

“The worst thing is the uncertainty, the constant new targets, without looking at industry capability technologically. We are seeing the gradual hollowing out of the industrial base in Europe,” he added.

WV Stahl president Hans-Jürgen Kerkhoff told delegates that high energy prices would continue to cause problems for European producers.

“In Germany a lot has been invested in energy efficiency; under the given conditions today, the steel industry is operating at minimum energy consumption,” Kerkhoff said.

“[There is a] lack of knowledge on industrial capability in Europe. The European Commission has lost the contact to the industrial basis,” he added.

Earlier at the conference, a representative for McKinsey & Co said Europeans need a global perspective when deciding on climate policies.