EU courts further controversy by adding mining to green rulebook

19th July 2023

By: Reuters


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The European Union will include the mining of critical raw materials in its green investment rulebook as a “priority” to ensure the bloc isn’t left behind on resources needed to boost clean technologies.

Mairead McGuinness, the bloc’s financial services commissioner, acknowledged that such a move is likely to draw more controversy for the EU’s so-called taxonomy that aims to spur investment in climate-friendly economic activities. It’s already been criticized for previous inclusions such as gas and nuclear.

She did not put a timeline on when the commission might propose incorporating mining in the rulebook or detail what kind of criteria might be used.

“We are going to have to do more mining in Europe,” she said at a Bloomberg media roundtable in Brussels Tuesday. “We do not want to create other harms but we also have to be able to say there isn’t a world where there aren’t some challenges. Everything won’t be 100% perfect but it will be an awful lot better to live without fossil fuels.”

The move comes as the EU tries to re-shore clean technology from the US and China to meet its climate goals amid growing geopolitical tensions. The bloc wants to boost domestic mining of critical raw materials so they meet at least 10% of its needs by the end of the decade. The need for lithium — key for electric vehicles and energy storage — could jump 12 times over that period.

Edited by Reuters


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