The EU is exposed to blackmail in regard to the crucial raw materials needed for the green transition making it therefore necessary to ensure stable supply through the diversification of sources and circular economy, according to the Euro parliamentarians in the report adopted on Wednesday.
At this week’s plenary session of the European Parliament, with 543 votes ‘for’ and 52 ‘against’ the representatives adopted the report on the European strategy related to essential raw materials, as reported by the portal N1.
“Crucial raw materials are absolutely essential for renewable energy sources”, Heldegard Bentela, rapporteur on this topic from the European People’s Party pointed out and cautioned that the EU is exposed to blackmail in this regard.
For a large number of crucial raw materials, the EU depends on unstable, corrupted, and authoritarian regions in Asia and Africa. An example is a cobalt, an element of key importance for the green transition which arrives to the market for the most part from DR of Congo. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) predicts that world demand for crucial raw materials, the quantity of which is limited in nature could double by 2060 and that dependence on them could soon replace the dependence on fossil fuels. At the same time the EU took on the commitment to achieve climate neutrality by 2050 and it cannot do so without these raw materials required for wind farms, solar panels, and electric vehicles,
It is noted in the adopted report that the EU is presently ensuring only one percent of the raw materials for wind energy, less than one percent for lithium-ion batteries and fuel cells, only two percent of raw materials relevant for robotics, and one percent of raw materials for photo-voltage assemblies based on silica. “We have to act quickly in order to ensure access to crucial raw materials”, Bentele warned.
The report calls upon the EC to establish incentive programs that would promote innovations in the field of sustainable mining of crucial raw materials in the EU and to set the transition to a circular economy as a priority, reducing thus the EU’s dependence on imports. According to the estimates of the United Nations, up to 90 percent of the world’s electronic waste is illegally traded or else ends up in landfills. The report also calls for the development of an enhanced partnership with various world regions, particularly in Africa the southern part of which meets 71 percent of the needs for platinum, 92 percent for iridium, 80 percent for rodium and 93 percent for ruthenium.