34 “critical” raw materials essential to the economy

  • The European Union recently published a new law that classifies 34 raw materials as “essential” to the European economy.
  • These raw materials are essential to Europe’s green and economic ambitions and almost all of them come from China.
  • The United States and the United Kingdom have also introduced new laws and important differences can be seen between the lists of important raw materials.
  • Also read: The gas crisis led to a soft cut in Europe’s CO2 emissions – and now the real challenge begins

To ensure that global carbon dioxide emissions are reduced to zero by 2050, most governments are striving for innovative technologies that can help achieve this goal. These technologies are often highly dependent on a number of raw materials in rapidly increasing demand that can only be found in a few countries.

For this reason, the European Union, the United States and the United Kingdom have developed strategies to secure the supply of these materials in the future.

For example, in March the European Union published the Critical Raw Materials Act, which introduces a series of measures to ensure access to and make these important raw materials accessible to all.

The law also contains a list of 34 raw materials essential to Europe’s green ambitions. ABN AMRO Analysts you have in the analysis Compare the differences between the EU, US and UK lists. This can be seen in the table below.

Source: ABN Amro

The European Union considers two main criteria: economic importance (economic interestEI) and supply risk (supply risks, SR.). Two examples of raw materials that meet these criteria are lithium and titanium.

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Lithium is essential to the EU’s green drive, as it is used in batteries in electric vehicles and energy storage. Titanium is important for another reason: The metal is widely used in aerospace and defense, ABN AMRO reports.

China is the main supplier of lithium, titanium and 19 other important raw materials. So the EU wants to ensure that we reduce dependence on China for important raw materials. To this end, goals were set for the European extraction of this raw material:

  • 10 percent of the annual mineral consumption in Europe must be extracted,
  • 40 percent of the annual consumption of manufactured materials must come from Europe by 2030,
  • 15 percent of annual consumption must come from recycling by 2030.

Also read: Lithium prices drop due to slumping demand for electric cars in China

Megan Vasquez

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