On 28 September, the ITRE Committee adopted the report "A European Strategy for Critical Raw Materials", led by MEP Hildegard Bentele (EPP, Germany). The report was adopted with 59 votes to 2 and 13 abstentions.
The report included compromise amendments of the following topics:
Challenges and opportunities
Specify of the mining sector
CRM and beyond/future demand
EU (financial) instruments and actions
Building secondary markets
Industrial waste processing and recycling
Collection systems, product design and substitution
Sustainable sourcing from the EU
Expertise and skills
Trade, partnerships and agreements
Imports and sustainable sourcing in 3rd countries
While the overall report is positive, and identifies important challenges for the CRM industry, there are a few debatable statements relating to mandatory recycling targets and substitution.
The following articles are interesting to mention:
Compromise 3.2. further notes the favourable circumstances for low-emission and sustainable mining activities in the EU and asks to further explore sourcing possibilities in CRM rich Member States
Compromise 5.8f. Calls on the Commission to propose science-based sustainability criteria for defining what constitutes a sustainable investment in the mining sector under the Taxonomy Regulation
Compromise 11.19b. Notes the opportunity for the development of battery value chain from the responsible and sustainable sourcing of CRMs, such as graphite, cobalt and lithium, from new projects in Europe;
Next steps: the report will be voted at the Plenary in November 2021.