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The economic downturn in Europe during the last years is also reflected in the decreasing production of lime which follows the declining demand in the market. With strong fundamentals, the lime industry has resisted until now and tries to face the various challenges.
Making the assessment of the second half of 2013 and first semester of 2014 of the association work, several highlights deserve to be mentioned. Keeping in mind that the activity of EuLA is mainly conditioned by the evolution of the EU legislative framework, the association has managed several complex dossiers of importance for the lime sector.
The publication of the Climate and energy package 2030 including the energy costs assessments in Europe compared to the rest of the world gives an indication on the efforts that the EU lime industry – being energy intensive – should make in order to remain competitive globally. However, the proposed 40% GHG reduction target by 2030 is considered as non-realistic for the lime sector. Protecting the lime industry by remaining in the Carbon leakage list is essential for the survival of the lime industry as part of an EU value chain. EuLA, with the support of its members, has anticipated and worked with consultancies to further analyze possibilities and options for lime. We have welcomed the inclusion of the lime industry in the draft list published recently by the European Commission.
Answering the call of the European Commission on the elaboration of the sectors Roadmaps, EuLA has invested time and resources to elaborate its own Roadmap. The document which was produced is rather a sector value proposition than a Roadmap as such. Lime is an enabler which is used in the manufacturing process of many other industries, such as steel, construction, pulp and paper, environmental applications, etc. meaning that it strongly depends on the development of its client industries.
During the revision process of the guidelines on State aid for environment and energy 2014-2020, mirroring efforts of its national members, EuLA contributed to ensure that lime can benefit, together with other industry sectors, from exemptions related to the renewable energies surcharges. The Council of the European Union notes that the Energy and Environment State Aid Guidelines, as adopted by the Commission, should ensure a sufficient level of flexibility for Member States to support the transition to a safe and sustainable low-carbon economy, whilst maintaining the competitiveness of European industry.
To reflect the sustainable face of the industry and the multitude of applications in which lime is present, the website of the association has been fully revamped. EuLA also cooperates with alliances, i.e. the Alliance of Energy Intensive Industries, where it takes an active role to debate and position the lime industry, but also supports other organizations, like IFIEC, provided that their objectives are in line with EuLA’s, (i.e. Manifesto on industrial renaissance). EuLA also enjoys the day to day support from the IMA-Europe Secretariat as its member.
We would like to address a particular thank you to the Chairs and participating members of the Committees and Task Forces for their dedication and their contribution to the work of the association. The active participation of the members, who bring their relevant expertise, is valuable for the association and sector.