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.

 

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.

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.

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’s Environmental Footprint (EF) and has helped develop, during the EF Pilot Phase, the ‘Product Environmental Footprint Category Rules (PEFCR) for Metal Sheets in Various Applications’. 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.

Open Letter: EU mineral raw materials – the basis for the future of the EU

The European associations Cerame-Unie, Eurogypsum, Euromines, Euroroc, EUSALT, EXCA European Expanded Clay Association, IMA-Europe, UEPG welcome the Commission Communication “Critical Raw Materials Resilience: Charting a Path towards greater Security and Sustainability”. This document confirms the principles of the Raw Materials Initiative, launched in 2008 with the main objective of assure a sustainable and safe supply of mineral raw materials to the European industry and society, through 3 balanced pillars. We also wholeheartedly welcome the launch of the European Raw Materials Alliance (ERMA) which aims to make Europe economically more resilient by diversifying its supply chains, creating jobs, attracting investments to the raw materials value chain, fostering innovation, training young talents and contributing to the best enabling framework for raw materials and the Circular Economy worldwide.

Euromines Position on the European Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism

The future carbon border adjustment mechanism should be designed in such a way as to address the risk of carbon leakage while fully complying with World Trade Organization rules, maintaining the competitiveness of the European industry and rewarding contributions to a low-carbon Europe.
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 and bring its value added to making Europe the world's first climate neutral continent.

With regards to the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM), Euromines agrees that such a new instrument should be designed in a way that addresses the risk of carbon leakage while fully complying with World Trade Organization rules, maintaining the competitiveness of the European industry and rewarding contributions to a low-carbon Europe. In this context, we are ready to bring our value added to the current in depth assessment aimed at identifying the most efficient instrument that will complement the Emissions Trading System and counteract the risk of carbon leakage by putting a carbon price on imports of certain goods from outside the EU.

Top-down characterization of resource use in LCA

from problem definition of resource use to operational characterization factors for dissipation of elements to the environment

Authors:
Lauran van Oers, Jeroen B. Guinée, Reinout Heijungs, Rita Schulze, Rodrigo A. F. Alvarenga, Jo Dewulf, Johannes Drielsma, David Sanjuan-Delmås, Tobias C. Kampmann, Glenn Bark, Ainara Garcia Uriarte, Pierre Menger, Mats Lindblom, Lucas Alcon, Manuel Sevilla Ramos, Juan Manuel Escobar Torres
The International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment,

Published: 11 September 2020

Purpose
The methods for assessing the impact of using abiotic resources in life cycle assessment (LCA) have always been heavily debated. One of the main reasons for this is the lack of a common understanding of the problem related to resource use. This article reports the results of an effort to reach such common understanding between different stakeholder groups and the LCA community. For this, a top-down approach was applied.

 

Mining with Nature - The Swedish mining and minerals industry’s road map for biodiversity net gain

The road map for increased biodiversity has been produced within a project financed by the strategic innovation programme Swedish Mining Innovation, a joint venture by Vinnova, Formas and the Swedish Energy Agency. The strategic work has been jointly financed by Boliden, LKAB and Svemin.
The project has been led by Ecogain in close cooperation with Svemin’s Nature Working Group. This working group includes representatives from Boliden, LKAB, Nordkalk, Zinkgruvan and Cementa.
The steering committee has been made up of representatives from Svemin, LKAB, Boliden and Swedish Mining Innovation.
The project has run during the period December 2019 – December 2020. This road map is a first step towards the Swedish mining and minerals industry's 2030 target for biodiversity.

Read more on Svemin website.

Amendment of the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) - Euromines Position

Amendment of the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) - Euromines Positions 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, the first segment of most strategic value chains and a critical supplier of materials vital for a transition to a low-carbon society, Euromines welcomes a European Green Deal and is prepared to take the necessary measures to make Europe the world's first climate neutral continent.

The Emission Trading System is one of the most important legal pillars and support systems for the European energy intensive industries. Therefore any amendment brought to it or any of its subsequent acts in the light of the proposed increased climate ambition for 2030 should be based on a stable, consistent, coherent, socio-economically feasible policy framework, allowing the implementation of the most efficient measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while ensuring that long-time goals and the international competitiveness of the industry are not endangered. 

Euromines Position on EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030

Europe has its own natural resources, world-class deposits and still major potential. Today, the European mineral raw materials industry occupies no more than a fraction of 1% of the land surface on a temporary basis. Raw-material supply makes use of geological anomalies that cannot be moved from where they are found. Deposits may be situated in remote (and relatively pristine) areas. 

Metals and minerals from the mining and recycling industrial ecosystem are crucial drivers for transition to a sustainable low carbon economy. Safeguarding supply of critical metals/minerals is essential for strategic autonomy of the EU economy (which does not fully depend on providers outside Europe). 
Looking ahead, considering increasing pressures on land use in and around cities, protection of and support for biodiversity is to become increasingly important for all sectors, particularly including the mining industry.

Euromines supports the preparation of EU nature restoration targets in 2021. The different policies like the Biodiversity Strategy 2030 and the Zero Pollution Action Plan, but also other related policies like the Industrial Strategy and the list of Critical Raw Materials, must be coherent. A proactive dialog between our sector and EU decision makers is key to let our sector interact as source for EU businesses within the unique EU framework of nature protection. The European mineral raw materials industry can contribute with its best practices of biodiversity conservation.

Due to its long mining history, Europe has developed unique competence in rehabilitation and eco-system management and the European mining sector actively supports the conservation of biodiversity.

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