Euromines feedback to Legislative proposal on substantiating green claims using PEF

Euromines has made significant contributions to the science of Life Cycle Assessment, on which the Environmental Footprint methods are based (click here¬†for a full list of peer-reviewed publications). Since 2013, Euromines has been actively engaged in the European Commission‚Äôs Environmental Footprint (EF) and has helped develop, during the EF Pilot Phase, the ‚ÄėProduct Environmental Footprint Category Rules (PEFCR) for Metal Sheets in Various Applications‚Äô. Through our involvement in the EF Pilot Phase, the PEF Guidelines have been improved, but not all the defined shortcomings have been resolved to ensure that the methodology is sufficiently robust for use in EU policy, and does not lead to inappropriate results. In particular, the need to develop a better method of assessing the impacts of Resource Use in the years to come has been formally expressed and the European Commission has committed to invest jointly with the industry in the development of an alternative approach to better quantify the potential for conservation of resources.

Read the full version of the Euromines feedback to Legislative proposal on substantiating green claims using PEF.

Public consultation for the EU climate ambition for 2030 - Euromines Position

Euromines welcomes a European Green Deal to put Europe on the right track to a sustainable future and believes that the EU climate aspiration for 2030 should carefully assess how to increase the ambition in a manner that best contributes to sustainable and inclusive growth and enhances economic competitiveness through accelerating innovation and developing Europe’s industry. It is crucial that in the transition towards becoming climate neutral, the industry maintains and even improves its competitiveness. 

In light of the above, Euromines brought additional comments to its contribution to the public consultation for the EU climate ambition for 2030 and for the design of certain climate and energy policies of the European Green Deal, as per the attached document.

European Green Deal Strategy for Adaptation to Climate Change - Inception Impact Assessment

As the recognized representative of the European mineral raw materials industry covering more than 42 different metals and minerals and employing 350.000 directly and about four times as many indirectly, Euromines welcomes a European Green Deal to put Europe on the right track to a sustainable future. We also believe that an updated Strategy for Adaptation to Climate Change should focus both on prioritizing policy areas and actions where EU interventions can be most effective as well as on assessing how to increase ambitions in a manner that best contributes to sustainable growth and enhances economic competitiveness.

In this context Euromines is prepared to take the necessary steps and bring its value added to a climate-resilient society, fully adapted to the unavoidable impacts of climate change, with reinforced adaptive capacity and minimal vulnerability.

The first segment of most value chains, the raw minerals sector is a supplier of critical materials and products to many sectors of the economy. With regards to climate change adaptation, the European minerals sector secures the availability of essential materials needed for a climate neutral, service and welfare orientated, circular and resource efficient economy. For example, the new infrastructure for alternative energies requires an increased use of metals and minerals, in particular steel for pipelines; copper and graphite for electricity cables, generators and electric motors; aluminium, primarily for electricity cables; and a host of other metals and minerals including phosphorous, potassium and nitrogen for biomass production. Also, solar photovoltaic panels and thermal systems use a combination of up to 22 non-ferrous metals, silicon, chemicals (e.g. organic electrolytes) and a specific type of flat glass.

Euromines Position on the New Industrial Strategy for Europe

Euromines is publishing its position on the European Commission Brussels, Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the European Council, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions A New Industrial Strategy for Europe (10.3.2020 COM(2020) 102 final). One key element of implementing Europe’s Green Deal successfully must be increasing the resilience of value chains and bringing back value chains to Europe.

To this end industrial value chains need

  1. attractive economic, administrative and social conditions,
  2. planning security, reliability and consistency throughout the political framework, and
  3. a clear strategic focus on maintaining value adding industrial production in Europe.

Raw materials are essential to Europe’s survival as one of the world’s leading economies. The mineral raw materials industry has invested heavily in the EU in recent years and has the potential to contribute further to the recovery strategy through development of new projects and extensions to existing ones.

Euromines would like to highlight that Europe has its own mineral resources, world-class deposits and still major potential. By increasing domestic mineral production, Europe becomes less dependent and improves its sustainable supply chain.

 

Euromines Annual Report 2019

The Euromines Annual Report 2019 is now available! This year, we present what Euromines is doing to secure supply chains in a rapidly changing world. The European mineral raw materials sector supports a wide variety of industries through the supply of raw materials, and in this role as well as within the mining sector itself, we must prioritise both sustainable efforts and competitiveness.

As Euromines President Mark Rachovides states in the Foreword:

‚ÄúToday‚Äôs decision makers‚Äô contexts, terms of reference, priorities and language have changed. They want and fear different things that reflect a new consensus, whether we like that or not, and that is an opportunity, not a threat.‚ÄĚ

As always, we are certain in the ability of Euromines and our members to rise to the occasion and find solutions to today’s challenges.

Abiotic resource use in life cycle impact assessment‚ÄĒPart I- towards a common perspective

At the beginning of the SUPRIM project, there was no global consensus on the assessment of impacts from the use of abiotic resources (minerals and metals), in life cycle impact assessment (LCIA). Unlike with other impact categories such as global warming, there is not just one single, explicitly agreed-upon problem arising from the use of abiotic resources. The topic is complex and new methods are still being developed, all with different perspectives and views on resource use. For this reason, the SUPRIM project initiated a consensus process together with members from the research and mining communities, with the aim to obtain an understanding of different stakeholders’ views and concerns regarding potential issues resulting from the use of resources. This paper reports on this consensus process and its outcomes. Insights from this process are twofold: First, the outcome of the process is a clear definition of the perspectives on abiotic resources which form the starting point to further refine or develop LCIA methods on abiotic resource use. Second, the process itself has been a challenging but valuable exercise, which can inspire the evolution of other complex issues in life cycle impact assessment, where research communities face similar issues as experienced with abiotic resources (e.g. water and land use, social LCA, etc.).

Abiotic resource use in life cycle impact assessment‚ÄĒPart II ‚Äď Linking perspectives and modelling concepts

Starting from a lack of consensus on how to consistently assess abiotic resource use in life cycle assessment, a  structured approach was developed to enable a classification of perspectives on resource use, based on the socalled role of resources. Using this classification, this paper focusses on analysing links between perspectives and modelling concepts, i.e. the conceptual implementation. To analyse the modelling concepts for a selection of existing LCIA methods and other modelling approaches, the concept of the system model is introduced. It defines the relevant inventory flows to be assessed by the LCIA method, and, at the same time, to be considered in the characterization model, and how the flows and stocks of resources used to calculate the characterization factors are positioned in relation to environment (nature) and economy (technosphere). For consistency, they should be aligned with the position of inventory flows and, at the same time, reflect the perspective on resources taken by the method. Using this concept, we critically review a selection of methods and other modelling approaches for consistency with the perspectives on resource use, as well as for their internal consistency. As a result of the analysis, we highlight inconsistencies and discuss ways to improve links between perspectives and modelling concepts. To achieve this, the new framework can be used for the development or improvement of LCIA methods on resource use.

EIT Raw Materials SUPRIM Project brochure

Resource accessibility for humans in the future is a complex concept and therefore needs to be adequately understood and reflected. The general equations for characterisation Life Cycle Impact Assessment models developed by the SUPRIM project represent a new state-of-art and are the most reliable of their kind thanks to the unique mix of expertise existing within the project consortium.

The proposed SUPRIM method responds to the European Commission’s call to develop a life-cycle based impact assessment method for resource use based on dissipation concepts for use in its Product Environment Footprint and Organisation Environment Footprint methodologies.

Euromines position on Revision of the EU Industrial Emissions Directive

Euromines welcomes a European Green Deal to put Europe on the right track to a sustainable future and is prepared to take the necessary measures to make it the world's first climate neutral continent. At the same time, we believe that policy efforts should be aligned with the fundamental principle of sustainable development, ensure the essential current needs and safeguard the needs of future generations while contributing to economic, social and environmental development. Primary production of metals and minerals, which remain abundant, will play an important role in production processes to 2050 and increased sustainable supply from European sources will be needed in order to make a sustainable transition. The mining sector is well regulated and unavoidably diverse because each operation is developing a unique natural phenomenon. Inclusion of extractive industries in the IED is unlikely to bring additional protection of human health and the environment because the least impacting techniques and technologies are already required by mining and quarrying authorities in the EU Member States.

Euromines Position on Draft Climate Law

As the recognized representative of the European mineral raw materials industry covering more than 42 different metals and minerals and employing 350.000 people directly and about four times as many indirectly, Euromines welcomes a Climate Law aiming to assess what would be required to have a more balanced reduction pathway from 2020 to 2050 and to specify what is necessary when increasing the GHG emissions reduction targets by 2030.

As the first segment of most value chains and a critical supplier of materials vital for a transition to a low-carbon society, the mineral raw material industry is prepared to take the necessary actions aimed at turning Europe into the world's first climate neutral continent and contribute to a sustainable and inclusive growth. At the same time, we believe that the Climate Law should form the basis of a stable, coherent, socio-economically feasible policy framework allowing the implementation of most efficient measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while ensuring that long-time goals and the international competitiveness of the industry is not endangered. In this context, one of the main purposes of the Climate Law should be to ensure an integrated approach to consistency, stability, and predictability along the whole value chain.

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