The Welsh Government is fully committed to ensuring Wales’ steel industry has a secure and sustainable future as part of a greener economy and a transition to a low carbon future, Economy Minister, Vaughan Gething said today.
In his first official engagement as Economy Minister, Vaughan Gething today attended the second meeting of the re-established UK Steel Council, the forum for government, industry and trade unions to work in partnership on the shared objective of creating an achievable, long-term plan to support the sector’s transition to a competitive, sustainable and low carbon future.
The steel sector continues to face a number of challenges including the need to reduce carbon emissions, high UK electricity prices and issues around trade.
According to UK Steel, 33,700 people are directly employed by the UK steel industry with a further 42,000 further jobs supported in the supply chain.
In 2018, Industry and Business sector emissions in Wales were 14.0 Million Tonnes of Carbon Dioxide equivalent (MTCO2e). This represents 36% of total Welsh greenhouse gas emissions in 2018. Within the Industry and Business sector, the Welsh iron and steel industry represented 43% (6.01 MTCO2e) of the sector total emissions in 2018
Economy Minister, Vaughan Gething said:
“The steel industry in Wales has a long history and a proud place in our nation’s industrial landscape. It remains vitally important to our economy, and will be part of our economic recovery. The Welsh Government is committed to ensuring Welsh steel has a strong and sustainable future.
“As we emerge from the Covid crisis, our next big challenges are to secure Wales’ economic recovery, and to tackle the climate crisis. My focus will be on helping Wales-based steel companies to transition to a low carbon future. But we need a strong partnership with the UK Government, given the significant economic levers it holds, which are key to industrial decarbonisation.
“My message at today’s meeting of the UK Steel Council was clear: we must all work in partnership - the Welsh and UK governments, the steel industry and with the unions - to deliver this transition, which will help us build a fairer, greener and more prosperous Wales.”