The European Union (EU) is unveiling new strategies to ensure its industry can compete globally in producing clean tech products and accessing the critical raw materials required for the green transition. The EU executive’s Net-Zero Industry Act and Critical Raw Materials Act, both part of its Green Deal Industrial Plan, aim to position the bloc as a leader not only in cutting carbon emissions but also in the technology needed to achieve it. However, there are concerns that the EU is falling behind in this race.
The Net-Zero Industry Act seeks to ensure that the EU’s industry becomes climate-neutral by 2050. It outlines measures such as increasing energy efficiency, boosting the production of renewable energy, and supporting the use of low-carbon technologies. Meanwhile, the Critical Raw Materials Act aims to secure the EU’s supply of the raw materials required for clean technologies, such as lithium, cobalt, and rare earth metals, which are essential for the production of batteries, wind turbines, and electric vehicles.
The EU’s move comes as the United States and China are investing heavily in their green tech industries and securing critical raw materials. According to the European Association of Metals, the EU’s share of global production of battery metals such as lithium and cobalt is currently less than 10%, while China produces over 70%. The EU is also dependent on imports of raw materials such as rare earth metals, which are crucial for the production of wind turbines and electric vehicles.
The EU’s plan has been welcomed by environmental groups, who have long been calling for more ambitious action to address the climate crisis. However, some business groups have expressed concerns about the impact of the new regulations on the competitiveness of EU industry. The EU will need to strike a balance between achieving its climate goals and ensuring the competitiveness of its businesses.
In conclusion, the EU’s Net-Zero Industry Act and Critical Raw Materials Act are part of a broader strategy to ensure the bloc remains competitive in the green tech industry and secures its supply of critical raw materials. However, the EU faces stiff competition from the US and China in this race. The EU will need to balance its climate goals with the competitiveness of its businesses to succeed.