Without access to raw materials there is no green and digital transformation – confirms the 2022 Strategic Foresight Report

Last week, the Commission adopted the 2022 Strategic Foresight Report – “Twinning the green and digital transitions in the new geopolitical context”.

As highlighted in the press release: The current geopolitical instability confirms the need to not only accelerate the twin transitions but also reduce our strategic dependencies. In the short term, this will continue affecting energy and food prices, with a significant social fallout. In the medium- and long-term, for instance, sustainable access to raw materials critical for the twin transitions will remain of paramount importance, adding pressure to move to shorter and less vulnerable supply chains and to friend-shoring wherever possible.

Maroš Šefčovič, Vice-President for interinstitutional Relations and Foresight said: “We must avoid a dependency trap when it comes to critical raw materials. Because without them, there simply is no green and digital transformation.” And added: “In the report, we note that the EU’s use of lithium, a key component for electric mobility, is projected to increase by 3,500% by 2050. But Chile currently holds 40% of the world’s lithium deposits, while China hosts 45% of global lithium refining capacities.”

Euromines would like to emphasize:

  • The more ambitious the climate targets the faster more raw materials are needed.
  • International Energy Agency predicts an increase of up to 6 times overall and up to 42 times for specific minerals
  • Potential for recycling 30-40 % up to 2030 will not be sufficient to achieve the stock for a functioning Circular Economy
  • European primary raw materials mitigate supply risks while demonstrating the highest environmental and sustainability performance.
  • Raw materials depending industries in the EU provided 206 billion EUR of added value

Rolf Kuby, Director General of Euromines highlights: “European mining is a key enabler of the green and digital transition!”

2022 Strategic Foresight Report is available here(link is external).

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