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17 Mär 2023

Friends of the Earth Europe

EU: Civil Society criticises new Critical Raw Materials Act for governance gaps, lack of focus on reduction

"New EU Raw Materials Plans Fail to Deliver Justice", 17 March 2023

The European Commission today published its Critical Raw Materials Regulation. It addresses both a new list of 16 ‘strategic raw materials’ and a list of 34 ‘critical raw materials’ the European Commission already defines and has added to. All 16 strategic raw materials are also considered ‘critical’.

Friends of the Earth Europe is deeply concerned that the regulation’s main priority to “ensure the Union’s access to a secure and sustainable supply of critical raw materials”, neglects the fact that our current demand for these raw materials needs to significantly decrease in order for the EU’s green transition to succeed in a just manner. If not, this immense demand will only mean more harm to communities facing mining, to the climate and to the environment...

A certain amount of raw materials will inevitably be needed in green transition technologies, yet the Regulation needs to clearly outline ways of limiting the demand for raw materials across the economy through reduction and sufficiency measures, such as renovating buildings to save on energy, prioritising public transport over private cars, and reducing unnecessary uses such as space exploration and armament. There are some positive measures outlined on recycling, reuse and waste re-mining which will assist towards this, but it is not enough...