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RECHARGE stresses the French Presidency’s role in the Batteries Regulation dossier

Date

19 Jan 2022

Sections

Energy

Brussels, 19.01.2022 - The French Presidency of the Council of the EU will today present its programme during the European Parliament plenary session. RECHARGE welcomes the Presidency’s programme, establishing that the “Presidency will speed up negotiations on the Batteries Regulation, which responds to major industrial challenges and has a high level of ambition in terms of reducing the carbon footprint of Europeans and the strategic autonomy of the EU”, and would like stress the Presidency’s crucial role in concluding the Council’s approach on the open dossier.

Following the important progress made during the Slovenia Presidency, France has established its steering note, as seen last week. The Presidency, aiming to finalise the Council's negotiations on the Battery Regulation during its term, identified a number of substantial elements: The debate has not been finalised in particular on hazardous substances (Art. 6), carbon footprint (Art. 7), recycled content (Art. 8), and supply chain due diligence policies (Art. 39). The French Presidency will now be pivotal in ensuring a robust and facts-backed Council position, which will ultimately ensure that measures deliver on advancing the decarbonisation and energy transition and that the European batteries value chain becomes a competitive global leader, able to set sustainability standards for the rest of the world. Moving forward, RECHARGE would like to reiterate some of our key policy calls:

  • We call on policymakers to prioritise game-changing legislative measures such as due diligence and carbon intensity (see Articles 7, 39), compared to low-impact measures (see Articles 8, 10). If correctly implemented, both the carbon footprint and comprehensive due diligence across the supply chain (including manufacturing and recycling), have an unsurpassed steering potential to push European competitiveness based on sustainability and responsibility.
  • We call on policymakers to avoid overlaps with existing, especially horizontal legislation, as is currently the case with the introduction of a REACH-like restriction mechanism (see Articles 6 and 71). Substances use (incl. the waste phase – see here) in articles, such as batteries, is already regulated by the horizontal REACH Regulation. Substances management at the workplace, including the manufacturing and recycling phase, is already regulated under OSH.
  • A very cautious approach is necessary on recycled content, including science-based review clauses and safeguard measures against the risks connected to ex-ante specified minimum recycled content targets. RECHARGE has put forward its concern on the recycled content provisions on multiple occasions, especially with regards to the fact that these measures benefiting non-European value chain actors disproportionately, are thereby risking setting back European efforts to create a thriving battery ecosystem, and even jeopardising the transition to e-mobility should there be recycled raw material shortages. We would like to draw your attention to a recent RECHARGE study on the impact of the sustainability measures proposed in the Batteries Regulation and the feasibility of the implementation and control of these measures.

For more information on the industry's position, visit our dedicated Batteries Regulation page.

**ENDS**

RECHARGE is the European industry association for advanced rechargeable and lithium batteries. Founded in 1998, it is our mission to promote advanced rechargeable batteries as a key technology that will contribute to a more empowered, sustainable and circular economy by enabling decarbonised electricity and mobility, and cutting-edge consumer products. RECHARGE’s unique membership covers all aspects of the advanced rechargeable battery value chain: From suppliers of primary and secondary raw materials, to battery and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), to logistic partners and battery recyclers. www.rechargebatteries.org

Contact: Kinga Timaru-Kast, Public Affairs & Communications Director, ktimaru-Kast@rechargebatteries.org, +32 486 996 870

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