Statement on UK’s Emission Trading Scheme reforms and net zero

Responding to the announcement by the UK Emissions Trading Scheme Authority (UK ETS), ‘Tighter limit on industrial, power and aviation emissions, as UK leads the way to net zero’, Alasdair McDiarmid, Assistant General Secretary of Community, the steelworkers’ union, said:

“Community welcomes efforts to decarbonise steelmaking and we are committed to working towards net zero. However, the private sector alone can’t deliver on shared ambitions to protect both our environment and our industry into the future.

“Steelmakers are struggling to find the hundreds of millions of pounds required to decarbonise our industry, and without proper government support these new targets risk job losses and site closures. It’s not enough to simply set more ambitious targets, we need the Government to back us to deliver them.

“The UK ETS Authority itself admits that we need to see a more comprehensive suite of policies, including funding, regulation, and carbon pricing. Why then are we not seeing this ‘comprehensive suite’ being delivered with these new targets?

“The steel industry, our members, and our planet simply can’t afford a piecemeal approach to industrial and environmental policy anymore.

“Our steel industry cannot survive if we continue to pay far more for energy than our EU competitors, and it cannot decarbonise if the Government doesn’t support the transition toward net zero.

“The UK Government has stood still for far too long. We need to see a robust and comprehensive industrial and environmental strategy that will enable the steel industry to be both competitive and green.”


Community is the steelworkers’ union. More steelworkers are members of Community than any other union. We have a history dating back over a century, representing members and campaigning to protect Britain’s steel industry.

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