Europa | Europe
viernes 17 de marzo de 2023
EU Commission presents strategy to secure critical raw materials
The document is a proposal for a law that is intended to ensure the EU’s future access to a “secure, diversified, affordable and sustainable supply of critical raw materials”.
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The EU Commission is aiming for ten per cent of the EU’s demand for critical raw materials to be met from its own mining operations in 2030, 40 per cent from local processing and 15 per cent from EU recycling capacities. This was outlined in the newly presented ‘Critical Raw Materials Act’.

The document is a proposal for a law that is intended to ensure the EU’s future access to a “secure, diversified, affordable and sustainable supply of critical raw materials”, according to an accompanying Commission communication. For the electromobility market, the proposal is particularly relevant with regard to the value and supply chain for electric vehicle batteries.

In essence, the EU Commission is calling for local quotas for the mining, further processing and extraction via the recycling of critical raw materials. The benchmark is the total demand in the European Union. For 2030, the aforementioned 10 per cent from own extraction, 40 per cent from processing and 15 per cent from recycling are to be fixed.

In addition, the EU should not obtain more than 65 per cent of its annual demand for a strategic raw material from a single third country in 2030. In this way, the Commission intends to reduce the hitherto very high unilateral dependencies, especially on China.

To implement these targets, the Commission is proposing a whole package of measures at various EU levels. The EU Commission plans to consider strategic raw material projects as projects in the public interest. As a result, strategic mining projects should be able to be approved within 24 months instead of the current timeframe of ten to 15 years. Projects in the processing and recycling sector are to be given the green light within 12 months.

The Commission is not yet specifying the details of this and the other measures mentioned. At the moment, it is mainly a matter of presenting the overall package. In addition to an updated list of critical raw materials, a list of strategic raw materials is to be drafted that will be exposed to “potential supply risks in the future”. The Commission also advocates the monitoring of critical raw material supply chains and the coordination of strategic raw material stocks between member states and wants to oblige “certain large companies” to audit their strategic raw material supply chains.

It also announces investment in research, innovation and skills in critical raw materials and emphasises environmental protection: “Improved security and affordability of critical raw materials supplies must go hand in hand with increased efforts to mitigate any adverse impacts, both within the EU and in third countries with respect to labour rights, human rights and environmental protection,” the Commission writes.

In addition, member states are to follow suit by adopting national measures to improve the collection of waste rich in critical raw materials and ensure their recycling into critical secondary raw materials.

The legislative proposal will next be discussed by the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union. According to Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, the law will bring the EU closer to its climate goals: “It will significantly improve the refining, processing and recycling of critical raw materials here in Europe. Raw materials are vital for manufacturing key technologies for our twin transition – like wind power generation, hydrogen storage or batteries.”

And, she said, cooperation with reliable trading partners around the world is being strengthened to reduce the EU’s current dependence on just one or a few countries. “It’s in our mutual interest to ramp up production in a sustainable manner and at the same time ensure the highest level of diversification of supply chains for our European businesses.”