Press Release: Henrike Hahn, MEP (The Greens/ EFA): Critical Raw Materials Act needs highest possible environmental and societal standards

MEP Henrike Hahn, Deputy speaker of the German Delegation, industrial policy spokeswoman of the European Group and shadow rapporteur of the Greens/EFA group on the Critical Raw Materials Act, comments:

"The leaked draft of the Critical Raw Materials Act is once again a blind call for ‘higher-faster-further’ of more mining in Europe. We need Critical Raw materials in Europe for Green technology, space and defence and other important appliances. Nevertheless, we have to be very specific in our demand calculation of raw materials to be able to take up appropriate measures.

The 'Substitution of Raw Materials' that is advocated for by the Greens has to be searched with a magnifying glass in the draft leak version of the European Commission, while the necessity of circular economy as a sustainable tool and alternative in the long term perspective to mining is at least acknowledged.

We see in the draft version of the CRMA potential timeframes to speed up environmental assessments and procedures on consulting the public which can be problematic: Mining in Europe should be a well-coordinated, supervised and monitored process of a well-balanced policy ensuring our European strategic autonomy and competitiveness of our European industries. Mining in Europe should meet the highest (not only 'high' as the Commission implies) environmental and societal standards possible. Reducing the complexity and increasing the efficiency of extraction projects should not sacrifice the environment and people's needs in the corresponding mining regions.

The permit granting process remains in the CRMA leak still unclear between the European Commission and the national competent authorities - and questions like ‘who guards the guardians' and who supervises the highest EU-wide possible standards in the Union still have to be discussed.

Furthermore, the “additional private sources of financing” of strategic projects remain strangely undefined in the Commission's perspective with an open door for geopolitically dubious investors.

It remains also unclear how the Commission plans the monitoring of the supply risks involving national authorities related to critical raw materials to get a realistic demand calculation.

The positive openness to transparency of the Commission on the subject of the supply risk for critical raw materials might clash with the reality of data availability as it was necessary for the Chips Act. In this sense, the selection of the benchmarks on coordination of strategic stocks still to be discussed as well. The European Parliament will have to discuss the European Commission's perspective on lots of details."


I would be happy to answer any further questions.

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