The ODG, together with 42 other civil society organisations from across Europe, joined the position paper on the EU Critical Raw Materials Act released on Monday 10 July. This paper has been presented ahead of the vote on the law by two of the EU Committees. Civil society organisations denounce that economic and industrial agendas are put above environmental regulation and the rights of local communities. This legislation is key to the green transition, and must not prioritize the interests of the industry before anything else.
Civil society organisations have sent a letter to the European Commission, promoted by groups from the global south. This letter has been drafted to express civil society’s concern that the current EU Raw Materials Bill lacks effective environmental, social and governance safeguards.
About the Critical Raw Materials Act:
The European Commission identifies Critical Raw Materials (CRMs) as elements central to the European economy, underpinning its identification of CRMs on their economic importance and supply risks. The European Union (EU) is dependent on imported materials, predominantly sourced from a few countries.
The dependency on foreign materials has been thrown into the spotlight by the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent energy crises, underscoring the EU’s vulnerability to supply chain disruptions. Looking ahead, the demand for CRMs is expected to escalate, stoking resource competition on a global scale.
The EU recognizes 34 CRMs, amongst which is a select group of 16 materials deemed as strategic raw materials. These elements are not only critical for current industries but are also integral to emerging sectors like green technology, digital transformation, defence, and aerospace.
To address these challenges, the European Commission proposed the EU Critical Raw Materials Act (CRMA) on 16 March 2023. This legislation is crafted to bolster the Union’s ability to extract, process, and recycle these strategic raw materials and diversify its import sources beyond non-EU countries, thereby creating a more resilient and sustainable supply chain.
The debate is now in the hands of the Committees and it is expected that the CRMA is expected to be approved in the autumn by the European Parliament.