The EU Critical Raw Materials (CRM) Act is part of the answer to the metals supply challenge in Europe. In a new position paper, T&E argues that the European Commission’s proposal is a good start that strikes a balance between securing supply of critical metals on the one hand and preserving environmental safeguards on the other.
However, for this to work, the Act must tackle the problems in line with European values: this means resilience alongside uncompromised compliance with high social & environmental standards with local communities on board. This balance is key for MEPs and governments to keep in co-decision.
The position paper recommends:
- Strategic Projects across the critical metals value chain, notably in processing, recycling & mining from waste. T&E analysis shows there can be sufficient processing capacity in lithium, cobalt and (with a push) nickel to meet Europe’s 2030 goals.
- Environmental and social safeguards cannot be compromised, and should be strengthened in the area of indigenous peoples’ rights and waste management.
- Certification schemes can only be used where these have multi-stakeholder governance and independent audits; they should not be the sole indicator of compliance.
- The regulation should support companies to scale industrial recycling in Europe, including efforts to keep batteries’ waste (“black mass”) in Europe.
To find out more, download the position paper.