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EU’s minerals strategy: what’s ethical vs what’s critical

July 20, 2023by Anrike Visser

First published by EUobserver

“The battle between the Global South and North is on. In one corner sits the transition to green economies and electric vehicles. In the other corner, development and basic human rights.

The fight, of course, is over minerals.

While the EU is busy listing critical minerals and worries about geopolitical tension, resource-rich, and often developing, countries worry about the severe environmental and social impact of mining.

In the EU, this tension can be felt between the proposed Critical Raw Materials Act on the one hand, and on the other hand the 2017 EU Conflict Minerals Regulation, the adopted EU Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive, and the proposed ban on products made with forced and child labour.

For example, two minerals (tantalum and tungsten) are both listed as conflict minerals and identified as critical to the EU.

The Conflict Minerals Regulation is currently being evaluated, but since its inception cases have emerged hiding the origin of conflict minerals including gold.” […]

Read the full article at EUobserver.

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