The Ilva steelworks is a climate monster
The Ilva steelworks (ArcelorMittal), located in Taranto, is the primary source, in Italy, of CO2 pollution of the atmosphere.
This is the conclusion that the Italian eco-pacifist association PeaceLink has arrived at, after calculating all the sources of toxic emissions nationwide. This conclusion does not emerge clearly, however, from any of the official reports to date on Italian CO2 pollution.
For this reason PeaceLink has decided to send its findings directly to the Office of the Prime Minister of Italy. What follows is the letter that the association has just sent.
Letter to the Prime Minister, Prof. Giuseppe Conte
SUMMARY: The Ilva steelworks is a climate monster. If we calculate the atmospheric pollution caused not just by the steelworks alone, but also by the thermoelectric plants (CET2 and CET3) that were built to provide it with its power needs and burn its waste gas – and which therefore enter totally into the production cycle – we arrive at the conclusion that Ilva is the number one producer of CO2 in Italy. The two thermoelectric plants, in fact, release into the atmosphere an additional – and enormous – quantity of CO2, which should be included in calculating total emissions but which official statistics have, so far, simply ignored.
Dear Mr. President,
You most certainly heard, as we all did, the unforgiving words of Greta Thunberg regarding climate change, pronunced last Monday, September 23rd, at the U.N.: CO2 emissions threaten our future and we must not hide from this truth.
But, in Italy, the truth about CO2 emissions has not, up to now, been fully disclosed.
A CLIMATE MONSTER
In Italy, in fact, the real culprit in producing CO2 (carbon dioxide) has not been named to date. It is the Ilva steelworks in Taranto, if we also include the CO2 emissions produced by the two thermoelectric power plants built to keep it running.
We are writing you to inform you of this fact, which official reports do not mention and which makes the Taranto steelworks Italy's No. 1 climate monster.
If the courts have impounded the steelworks, there must be a reason – and this is true even if a long series of shameful government decrees and extensions have kept the steelworks running and an equally shameful “immunity from prosecution” has been given the owner of Ilva, ArcelorMittal. Let us not forget that Italy has been recently condemned by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) for not protecting the right to health and life of the population of Taranto.
This letter serves to remind you of the enormous responsibility that befalls the Italian government for not having resolved this issue in time.
Not only has the government failed to protect Taranto, it has failed to protect the entire planet from climate change. The CO2 emissions from the Taranto steelworks, in fact, contribute significantly to depleting the protective ozone layer in the atmosphere.
This immense pollution has no equal in all of Italy: the Taranto steelworks, in fact, releases into the atmosphere more than ten million tons of CO2 each year – if we include in this calculation, as we should, the emissions from the thermoelectric power plants built to keep Ilva running.
The data contained in the present letter are scientifically proven and serve to set the record straight regarding CO2 emissions from the entire steel production cycle.
EU EMISSIONS DATA THAT, BEING PARTIAL, ARE MISLEADING
The European Commission has recently published a list of the principal CO2 polluters in Europe, compiled on the basis of data furnished by member States.
The Ilva steelworks is ranked 42nd in Europe and 4th in Italy, according to this report. In Italy the worst offenders listed are:
1. The coal-burning thermoelectric plant in Civitavecchia: 8.100.000 tons/year
2. A non-specified oil refinery: 6.300.000 tons/year
3. The coal-burning thermoelectric plant in Brindisi/Cerano: 5.400.000 tons/year
4. The ArcelorMittal steelworks in Taranto: 4.700.000 tons/year
But this last figure does not include the two thermoelectric power plans (CET2 and CET3) built to supply the energy requirements of the ArcelorMittal steelworks and which are part of the production process.
THE REAL (COMPREHENSIVE) DATA
If we add the missing data from the CET2 and CET3 plants, the top polluter becomes:
1. The ArcelorMittal steelworks in Taranto: more than 10.000.000 tons/year
This calculation also places the Taranto steelworks in the top ten “worse CO2 polluters” in the EU.
Why should the emissions from the CET2 and CET3 thermoelectric plants be included in the total figure for the pollution caused by Ilva? It is because these plants supply electrical power to the Taranto steelworks by burning the gas produced in the steel-making process, which is piped directly to the two plants. This process enables the plants to eliminate this waste and to satisfy Ilva's electrical power needs at zero cost to the company but, because of the plants' huge carbon footprint, at a very high cost to the environment.
THE “INVISIBLE” DATA FOR CO2 EMISSIONS
What follows are the official data taken from the web pages of the two thermoelectric power plants, CET2 and CET3 (http://www.taranto-energia.it):
– CET2: the 66 kV power produced by the CET2 plant goes entirely to the Taranto steelworks. Upon request, the plant also furnishes steam at 2,0 Mpa. The installation has three smokestacks 120 meters high and 5 meters wide. According to the most recent data on the site (the Environmental Declaration verified by EMAS in 2016), the installation emits 3.046.760 tons/year of CO2.
– CET3: likewise, the CET3 plant furnishes the Ilva steelworks with 66kV electrical power as well as steam at 2,0 Mpa. It has three smokestacks 60 meters high and 5.5 meters wide. According to the most recent data on the site (the Environmental Declaration verified by EMAS in 2016), the installation emits 2.941.890 tons/year of CO2.
Calculating the CO2 emissions from the steelworks proper (4.700.000 tons/year) together with the CO2 emissions from the two thermoelectric plants CET2 and CET3 (3.046.760 + 2.941.890 = 5.988.650), we arrive at a total of 10.688.650 tons/year of CO2 released through the production of steel by Ilva.
This makes the Taranto steelworks the number one CO2 polluter in Italy and places it among the top 10 polluters in all of Europe.
So why has this information never been disclosed?
PeaceLink is convinced, Mr. Prime Minister, that not even you were aware of the data revealed in this letter. Because otherwise – and we are convinced of this – you would have given these facts your maximum attention, in particular during the climate protests occurring this month.
AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH ABOUT TARANTO
Public opinion is misinformed about the true amount of CO2 emissions produced by the Taranto steelworks. Even we at PeaceLink had difficulty in ascertaining the truth. This is because the authorities are reticent: they do not make the data known in its entirety. And it is easy to understand why: by means of government decrees and extensions, the highest authorities of the State have, over the years, become complicit with the worst CO2 pollution occurring in Italy – i. e., with a climate monster spewing 10 million tons of CO2 into the atmosphere every year.
A CALL TO ACTION
Mr. Prime Minister, we beg you to look personally into the question of who is the largest CO2 polluter in the country. You will find that it is the Ilva steelworks in Taranto.
In your speech at the U.N., you proclaimed that Italy would assume the leadership in the battle against climate change.
We therefore ask you stand by what you said, in explaining to us how you plan to address the threat represented by the Taranto steelworks. And what concrete steps you plan to take.
With our best wishes for your endeavors,
Prof. Alessandro Marescotti
President of PeaceLink
- ILVA, flash mob indetto dal Comitato cittadino per l’ambiente e la salute“La città del CoWind”, è la scritta che campeggia su uno dei cartelli del flash mob davanti al Municipio di Taranto. Per il Covid 19 le finestre delle scuole devono rimanere aperte. Ma le autorità sanitarie raccomandano nei Wind Days, di tenerle chiuse17 October 2020 - AGI (Agenzia Giornalistica Italia)
- I cittadini protesteranno perché il sindaco Rinaldo Melucci non rispondeIl Comitato Cittadino per la Salute e l'Ambiente a Taranto: "Si chiede ancora una volta che il sindaco dichiari l'incompatibilità dell’area a caldo dell’Ilva con la salute pubblica. Ricordiamo che l'area a caldo dell'Ilva venne già dichiarata fuorilegge fin dal 2012 dalla Magistratura".15 October 2020 - AGI (Agenzia Giornalistica Italia)
- On ‘Wind-days’ the local population is advised to minimise exposure to pollutionThe residents of Taranto have been struggling with air pollution long before the Covid-19 pandemic. They are now caught in the crossfire of two public health emergencies that require local authorities to take action and demand the shutting down of the polluting premises.8 October 2020 - Taranto’s City Committee for Health and the Environment
- Perdiamo una delle sue persone più buone che ci ha accompagnato in questi anniSorridente e scoppiettante come pochi, sapeva rendere colorate e leggere le manifestazioni che facevamo assieme per combattere l'inquinamento a Taranto8 October 2020 - Alessandro Marescotti