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S&Ds spearhead ambitious regulation to clean up battery industry


13 Jun 2023


Climate & Environment

The European Parliament is set to approve a regulation aiming to make a wide range of batteries safer and more sustainable.

Batteries are a key technology for Europe’s energy transition, and are essential in order to pave the way to zero-carbon mobility and the effective storage of renewable energy resources. It is, however, of utmost importance to reduce the carbon footprint of the entire lifecycle of batteries, from production to waste.

Thanks to the leadership of the S&D Group, the European Commission’s proposal has been significantly improved. We have successfully included in the scope of the regulation – initially designed for portable, industry, electric vehicle and automotive batteries – the increasingly used e-bikes and e-scooters. We have also strengthened the obligations for due diligence by companies, who will have to demonstrate that the materials used for their manufacturing are responsibly sourced. 

Today’s regulation also sets out a number of requirements ranging from provision of information, labelling, carbon footprint reduction of batteries, mandatory recycled material content to collection targets for waste batteries. The number of lithium batteries to be recycled in the European Union is expected to increase by 700 between 2020 and 2040.

S&D MEP and European Parliament’s chief negotiator, Mr Achille Variati, said:

“The battery regulation is a triple win for the environment, the economy and consumers. In the Parliament, our Group has strived to lay down the foundation for a stronger EU recycling industry, particularly for lithium as well as for a competitive industrial sector, which will be crucial for the bloc’s energy transition and our strategic autonomy.

“We have also fought to ensure portable batteries will be designed so that consumers can easily remove and replace them on their own.”

S&D MEP and Coordinator of the committee on the environment, public health and food safety, Tiemo Wölken, said:

“Batteries will work for the climate and the energy transition only if they become more sustainable. The regulation makes battery recycling the norm, no longer an exception. It also restricts the use of substances that might be harmful to human health or the environment, as well as increases the share of recycled materials.

“It will be up to the battery industry to account for the cleaning up of their whole value chain, starting with the assessment of their current environmentally-harmful practices and the design of measures to fix them.”