EU sounds alarm on critical raw materials shortages – by Michael Peel and Henry Sanderson (Financial Times – August 2020)

Brussels/London – The EU’s over-reliance on imports of critical raw materials threatens to undermine crucial industries and expose the bloc to supply squeezes by China and other resource-rich countries, the European Commission will warn member states this week.

Shortages of elements used to make batteries and renewable energy equipment could also threaten the bloc’s target of becoming climate neutral by 2050, a report by the Brussels executive will say.

The document is part of an urgent focus in Europe on security of imports of vital goods, as the coronavirus pandemic triggers transport disruption and growing tensions between western capitals and Beijing.

“The pandemic has revealed Europe’s dependencies in certain products, critical materials and value chains,” Thierry Breton, EU industry commissioner, told the Financial Times.

“The era of a conciliatory or naive Europe that relies on others to look after its interests is over.”

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