FRANKFURT – German conglomerate Thyssenkrupp on Monday joined peers in saying that European industry was under threat should the continent fail to come up with a scheme similar to the U.S. climate package to boost local companies.
“The common task of policymakers, business and society must … be to ensure that the green transformation succeeds without deindustrialization,” Chief Executive Martina Merz said in a prepared speech published ahead of the group’s annual general meeting on Friday.
She said that was particularly the case for Germany with its industrial base, including steel, cement and chemicals makers, that have all suffered from higher energy costs, driving inflation at a time when they need to decarbonise production.
That has stoked fears of European companies shutting or moving production to regions where costs are lower, compounded by the $430 billion U.S. Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) to support clean technologies via tax credits.
The European Union responded this month saying it will prepare a law to make life easier for its green industry and back it up with state aid and a sovereignty fund to keep firms from moving to the United States.
“That’s good, because tomorrow’s markets are being carved up now,” Merz said, adding that a planned spin-off of Thyssenkrupp’s steel division still required more clarity in terms of subsidies as well as energy and raw materials prices.