The European Commission has unveiled its plans to position the European Union as a global leader in green manufacturing and secure access to critical raw materials needed for the green transition. With global investment in green technologies set to triple by 2030, the EU’s Net-Zero Industry Act and Critical Raw Materials Act, part of its Green Deal Industrial Plan, aim to ensure that the bloc is at the forefront of carbon emissions reduction and the technologies required for it.
To achieve this, the EU plans to expand its network of trading partners to e.g. Australia, Canada and Chile. The supply of essential minerals for the green transition, such as rare earths and lithium, is currently dominated by China. But the EU is seeking to avoid dependence on a small number of partners by limiting third-country sourcing to no more than 65% of any key raw material.
Russia’s recent invasion of Ukraine has highlighted the need for the EU to diversify its essential material supply chains. To do so, the EU plans to recognise mining or raw material processing as “strategic projects” that would benefit from streamlined permits and access to financing.
Furthermore, the EU has set a target of producing at least 40% of the products required for “net-zero” technologies, such as solar power and fuel cells, by 2030. The bloc aims to achieve this in part by simplifying the granting of permits for green projects. Additionally, the EU has set a carbon capture goal of 50 million tonnes by 2030, which is among the “net zero” technologies the EU recognises, including advanced nuclear processes.
The European Commission’s strategy is a significant step towards ensuring that the EU leads the green transition, securing access to essential materials, and reducing the bloc’s carbon emissions.
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EU announces plans to lead the green industrial revolution, Reuters, 2023-06-16