“The publication of the Critical Raw Materials Act shows that the Commission acknowledges the crucial role of metals and minerals, and copper specifically, in enabling the EU’s transition towards a climate neutral continent, and commits to securing the EU’s access to these raw materials” said Bernard Respaut, Chief Executive of the European Copper Institute.
The Commission rightly labels copper as a strategic raw material. Copper is indispensable for the energy transition, given its importance for electrification and its widespread use in the main decarbonisation technologies. With the increasing demand for wind farms, solar PV, heat pumps, electric vehicles and other net zero technologies, global copper demand is forecast to double by 2050. Europe will therefore need more copper to enable the fast deployment of the technologies needed to decarbonise its economy.
Bernard Respaut continued: “We applaud the Commission for listing copper as a strategic raw material. Copper producers in the EU can deliver. There is potential to increase copper mining, processing and recycling capacity in the EU and our members are committed to doing this sustainably. Through their comprehensive Pathway to Net Zero, copper producers in the EU have committed to bringing their scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions to net zero by 2050. They are also making efforts to increase recycling.”
But this potential is currently hard to unlock due to long delays in permitting processes as well as the complex, burdensome regulatory environment in the EU. Together with today’s high electricity prices, which reduce the global competitiveness of electro-intensive industries in the EU, this makes the EU a difficult place to invest.
“We welcome the ambitious 2030 production goals set by the Commission. We look forward to working together with the co-legislators to make sure that the Act delivers tangible improvements that will allow achieving these goals on the ground” Bernard Respaut added.
About the European Copper Institute
The European Copper Institute (ECI) is the leading advocate for the copper industry in Europe and the European arm of the International Copper Association (ICA). Our members mine, smelt, refine and recycle copper for use across the economy, in the electricity system, buildings, transport and industry.
Aurelio Braconi, Director Material Stewardship
Tel: +32 (0)49 041 0623