As excitement builds about the opportunities of the new green economy, concerns are growing as well. The economic transition will require new grid infrastructure, new distribution models and, perhaps most importantly, more raw materials, says Kornelis Blok.
Metals are essential components in the manufacturing of smart phones, electric car batteries and other green technologies. In this special report, EURACTIV looks at how the EU's circular economy strategy can help secure Europe's supply of critical raw materials in a sustainable way.
On many issues, the free trade agreement between the EU and Canada is caught in the crossfire. But if the agreement fails, Europe is likely to lose the race for economically essential raw materials, analysts in Germany and Canada predict. EURACTIV Germany reports.
A top Chinese diplomat on Tuesday (19 March) defended his country’s efforts to curb exports of rare earth metals and other vital industrial raw materials to Europe, saying extensive mining had caused environmental problems.
Greenland's prime minister said on Monday (14 January) he has rejected requests from the European Union to block access to its deposits of rare earths, strategically important metals in which China has a near monopoly.
When EU and Chinese leaders meet on Thursday (20 September), they are expected to explore future cooperation amid tensions over the European Commission's investigation into allegations of dumping by China’s solar industry.
Chinese President Hu Jintao's three-day visit to Denmark may ostensibly have been about signing billions worth of business deals, but a stake in Greenland's huge mineral wealth may have been the elephant in the room.
China lost an appeal at the World Trade Organisation on Monday (30 January) in a case about its export restrictions of raw materials. The WTO's final ruling in the case was welcomed by the EU's trade chief and business leaders in Europe.
Vast deposits of rare earth minerals, crucial in making high-tech electronics products, have been found on the floor of the Pacific Ocean and can be readily extracted, Japanese scientists said yesterday (4 July).
Top industrialised nations need to act in concert to challenge China's curbs on rare earths exports and any restrictions by Beijing that could jeopardise manufacturing would be "deplorable", the EU's trade commissioner has said.
Major rare earth-consuming countries should join forces to diversify their supply sources and develop substitutes for such materials, Keiichi Kawakami of the Japanese Ministry for Industry said yesterday (3 February).
With the world's population continuing to grow and demand for energy rising in emerging economies, the world will face a new energy and raw material imperialism, predicts Professor Friedbert Pflüger, director of the newly-founded European Centre for Energy and Resource Security (EUCERS) at King's College, London.