EU Commission tables action plan for critical raw materials

Maroš Šefčovič, EU Commission Vice-President for
Interinstitutional Relations and Foresight, and Internal
Market Commissioner Thierry Breton presented the
action plan in Brussels on Thursday.
03.09.2020 − 

The European Commission plans to map the extent to which secondary materials from EU stocks and waste can contribute to the supply of critical raw materials. The inventory is to be completed by 2022 and list identified "viable recovery projects". This effort is one measure included in the EU Commission's new "Action Plan on Critical Raw Materials Resilience" published on Thursday. As indicated in the title of the Commission's communication, the action plan is intended to "chart out a path towards greater security and sustainability". Within the plan, the European Commission addresses both primary raw materials supply and the strengthening of resource efficiency and the circular economy. 

The action plan was presented along with a foresight study and an updated list of critical raw materials. The previous version of the list, released in 2017, has been extended from 27 to 30 raw materials. Lithium, bauxite, titanium and strontium were added to the list, while helium was removed due to its declining economic importance.

"For e[lectric]-car batteries and energy storage alone, Europe will for instance need up to 18 times more lithium by 2030 and up to 60 times more by 2050. As our foresight shows, we cannot allow ourselves to replace current reliance on fossil fuels with dependency on critical raw materials," said Maroš Šefčovič, the Commission Vice-President for Inter-Institutional Relations and Foresight. 

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