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We need a secure supply of critical raw materials to ensure a successful energy transition and the competitiveness of our industry, say S&Ds

Date

23 Nov 2021

Sections

Trade & Society

The Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament call for better recycling, reuse and substitution of critical raw materials. This conclusion was made in a report to be voted this week in the plenary of the European Parliament.

MEP Mohammed Chahim, vice-president of the S&D Group and S&D negotiator on the European strategy for critical raw materials, said:

“This is a huge challenge, but also a great opportunity for EU research and development. The pathway towards climate neutrality will lead to a strong increase in the demand for critical raw materials. The products and technologies that we need to develop and deploy to make the energy transition a reality - batteries, digital applications and solar panels for example - all contain a certain amount of critical raw materials like lithium, titanium, natural graphite, cobalt, silicon metal, phosphorus and others.

“With the Covid-19 crisis, we have seen the consequences of the disruption of supply chains. That’s why we cannot stay at the mercy of third countries, which in addition, have lower social and environmental standards for sourcing. The S&D Group in the European Parliament calls to reduce the current reliance on a few non-EU countries. Responsible sourcing in the EU should be based on an effective social dialogue promoting workers’ health and safety, securing decent jobs and working conditions, as well as with the consent of local communities and with prior environmental and biodiversity impact assessment.

We, the Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament, call to develop functional markets for secondary critical raw materials flows and thus strengthen the EU’s industrial ecosystem and retain jobs in the manufacturing industry. For instance, we encourage the European Commission to propose minimum recycled content targets and dedicated recycling targets for critical raw materials, with a robust monitoring framework.”

The document comes after months of work in the EP’s committee on industry, research and energy and is in fact the European Parliament’s reaction to the communication by the European Commission on the issue of critical raw materials more than a year ago.

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