Reducing Raw Material Dependency: EU Commission’s Energy Transition Plan

Energy transition: EU Commission wants to reduce dependence on raw materials with targets

The European Commission aims to reduce Europe’s dependence on other countries, especially China, in terms of raw materials supply. The proposal specifically refers to raw materials like lithium, which is essential for battery production, a vital component in shifting to a climate-friendly economy. At present, the EU gets 98% of its rare earths and 93% of its magnesium from China. Moreover, the EU is also highly dependent on other countries like Chile, which provides 78% of its lithium.

To address this issue, the Commission proposed that 10% of abstracted strategic raw materials should be mined, 40% should be processed, and 15% should be recycled annually in the EU, based on consumption. The EU member states and the European Parliament must review and finalize the proposed law.

Cooperation with reliable trading partners worldwide is critical to the success of reducing dependence on China and other countries, according to Commission President Ursula von der Leyen’s statement. The EU will continue to work with its global partners to achieve this.

The automotive industry has criticized the proposal. The German automotive industry association VDA regards the proposal as inadequate, stating that the unrealistic targets for self-sufficiency, recycling, and import quotas have fallen short of expectations and requirements. Meanwhile, the German Chamber of Industry and Commerce indicated that catching up with acceleration approval process for important raw material projects in mining, further processing, and recycling is beneficial. However, the state’s guidelines to expand raw material supply to companies are deemed unnecessary.

Reducing Europe’s dependence on China and other countries regarding raw materials is crucial. The proposed law regarding mining, processing, and recycling strategic raw materials within the EU aims to achieve this. Working together with reliable partners worldwide is also fundamental in attaining this goal, according to the Commission’s statement.

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