European Union countries have reached an agreement to increase proposed targets for recycling and processing raw materials as part of their green transition. Additionally, aluminium has been included in the list of essential minerals. The Critical Raw Materials Act is a key component of the EU’s strategy to ensure competitiveness with the United States and China in the production of clean technology products and accessing necessary raw materials.
In March, the European Commission suggested that EU extraction of 16 “strategic raw materials,” such as lithium and copper, should reach 10% of EU annual consumption by 2030. The recycling target was proposed at 15%, and processing at 40%, with a requirement that no more than 65% of a material should come from a single third country.
According to EU diplomats, EU countries have now agreed to raise the recycling target to 20% and the processing target to 50%. Furthermore, they have proposed adding aluminium, alumina (aluminium oxide), and bauxite (the primary aluminium ore) to the list of strategic raw materials. Bauxite was already classified as one of the 34 “critical raw materials,” which includes strategic raw materials as well as items like arsenic and coking coal.
The Critical Raw Materials Act aims to streamline permitting procedures for projects related to critical raw materials, implement monitoring to address potential supply risks, promote increased recycling efforts, and encourage diversification of imports. The final text of the law will need to be agreed upon by the Council (representing EU countries) and the European Parliament, with the latter expected to establish its position in October. Negotiations between the Council and Parliament are intended to conclude by the end of the year.
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