Reaction paper: Options for maintaining a functioning energy market and shielding the industry against high energy costs

Dec 20, 2022

Due to high energy costs, our mills take difficult decisions to temporarily stop or reduce production across Europe. Reducing activity in our sector is a real-world threat to our competitiveness in the global market.

Today the European pulp, paper and board production represents 21.7% of the world production. It is strong in export markets, with an export rate of 22% of its paper and board production. The pulp and paper industry has a turnover of 95 billion euros and adds 21 billion euros to the EU GDP. The lasting impact of the currently ongoing energy crisis is deeply concerning. Our industry has been experiencing high energy costs since summer 2021. The forecasts show that the situation is not likely to improve in the short-term. Therefore, urgent actions are needed to tackle the root cause of the energy crisis which is imbalance in supply and demand on the energy market. Disruptions in gas supply combined with lower electricity generation in the EU result in record-breaking energy prices.

This supply side challenge is especially heavily reflected on the electricity markets. The continuously high energy costs endanger our industry’s existence in Europe, not to mention the capacity to invest in further industrial transformation before 2030 to achieve the climate targets.
Cepi acknowledges the European policymakers’ efforts to present measures for addressing high energy prices. We use this opportunity to react to possible solutions to address the devastating impact of unbearably high energy prices on operations of the European pulp and paper industry.

The full document can be downloaded here.