About: Raw materials

Circular economy 14-11-2018

Metals: Friend or foe of the green economy?

The green economy usually brings to mind traditional renewable materials such as wood, biomass, water and earth. Less likely poster children are the big metals that have formed the backbone of the industrial revolution – steel, copper, iron, tin and aluminium.
Circular economy 12-11-2018

Raw power

Vanadium, borate, bismuth, gallium – they may sound like planets from a science fiction movie, but in fact they are some of the most critical elements of the European Union’s economy.  
Circular economy 12-11-2018

Metals in the circular economy

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.
Electric cars 23-05-2018

Blossoming batteries boosted by EU plan

Batteries and storage are set to become even more important as electro-mobility and renewable energy go from strength to strength. That is why EU efforts are meant to help the burgeoning industry compete against the likes of China and electric carmaker Tesla.

There’s no escape from the ‘economics of enough’

If we want to reduce the use of natural resources and energy in absolute terms, a sufficiency strategy is needed to complement the eco-efficiency and circular economy approaches, write Riccardo Mastini and Leida Rijnhout.
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Agrifood 27-03-2018

Flawed Commission advanced biofuel costings fail taxpayers and consumers

Key European Commission documents refer to substantial cost savings when transitioning from conventional to advanced biofuels. This cost saving claim is actively implied but never explained, nor are solid references provided. It is just presented as a fact in important decision-supporting documents.
Circular economy 07-03-2018

Is deep-sea mining worth the risk?

There is no evidence that deep-sea mining will reduce our dependency on land-based mining. We need to end business as usual and act to reduce the demand for these raw materials by making the transition towards a circular economy, write a group of Greens/EFA MEPs.
Energy 17-02-2017

A Canadian circular economy reality

Edmonton has become the first city which turns all non-compostable and non-recyclable household waste into methanol, ethanol and green chemicals. Europe should take notice, writes Lambert van Nistelrooij.

Using sewage to make Europe’s economy truly circular

Sewage sludge is a potentially vast source of nutrients for fertilisers. The Commission is missing a golden opportunity by excluding it from the Fertiliser Regulation, writes Arne Haarr.

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Waste no water - The essential role of nickel

Waste no water – The essential role of nickel

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Water is a fundamental human need. By 2025, the World Bank has estimated that water demand will exceed supply by 40% as the world’s growing population requires more water.
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Nickel Recycling
Climate change 30-01-2017

Nickel recycling

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Recycling nickel is an important factor in nickel life-cycle and an important contributor to global sustainability.

Waste reform: From environmental disaster to economic opportunity

MEPs have the chance to unlock over 800,000 jobs by improving waste management and waste prevention across the EU. If they support progressive waste reform, the benefits will be huge for citizens, businesses and governments, writes Piotr Barczak.
Development Policy 21-10-2016

Oxfam: Our ‘red lines’ on securitisation and conditionality of EU aid

The EU is in the process of reviewing its entire framework for development cooperation, to incorporate the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals, and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change - but there must be 'red lines', Oxfam tells EURACTIV.com.

‘Share the knowledge’ at UN’s Quito summit on cities – or wait until 2036

Some 90% of urban growth over the next 30 years will happen in developing countries. If we squander the chance to set them on the path to sustainability now, it may be lost for ever, write Eva Dic and Maria-Theres Haase.

Germany must change stance on opposition to recycling targets

Sustainable enterprises throughout Europe strongly criticise recent German opposition to circular economy recycling targets. No targets, no measures; and without effective measures, the package loses much of its strength to boost circular design and business models, warn Arthur ten Wolde and Alyssa Jade McDonald-Baertl.

EU and New Zealand: Partnership powers in the Pacific

Small developing states in the Pacific have traditionally relied on imports of fossil fuels. The cost of the fuel, combined with its price volatility, and the islands' geographic remoteness, are all significant strains on these small economies, write Andrew Jacobs and Michalis Rokas.

PVC boss: ‘We will not change our reputation in one day’

IKEA’s decision in the 1990s to ban PVC from its furniture and textile products had a devastating impact on the industry’s reputation. But 15 years after phasing out the most toxic chemicals, the PVC sector believes it is now ready to gain acceptance as a sustainable material, says Brigitte Dero.
Climate change 14-09-2016

Investors fear next financial crisis will be climate-related

A rushed transition to clean energy triggered by extreme weather events linked to global warming “will be very expensive” to swallow for the economy, investors warned policymakers at an event in Bratislava last week.
Energy 12-09-2016

Transition to green economy

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The transition to a green economy requires nothing short of a revolution, transforming society from a culture based on extraction and consumption into one based on sustainability and low carbon energy, transport and agriculture.
Trade & Society 19-07-2016

EU launches WTO action against China raw material export duties

The European Union on Tuesday (19 July) followed the United States to launch a new legal challenge at the World Trade Organization over duties and quotas China imposes on its raw materials exports.

DR Congo’s dystopian urbanisation on show in Brussels

DR Congo’s impasse between an unplanned urbanisation of slum expansion and a dystopian dream world of Dubai-inspired gated compounds is on display at a show in Brussels – the former colonial master of what is now one of the world’s poorest countries.
Development Policy 15-06-2016

Europe’s unique chance to clean up its trade in minerals

Around the world, multinational companies dealing with natural resources are fighting a global battle to access, control and extract precious stones, oil, gas, minerals and even plants, writes Cardinal Oscar Rodríguez Maradiaga.

Europe scores own-goal on bio-based chemistry

In its efforts to encourage displacement of fossil fuels by renewable energy, the EU intervened to promote bio-fuels, but ended up discriminating against production of a wider range of bio-based chemical feedstocks in Europe, writes Marco Mensink.

Circular economy: An investment that pays off

There is a new way of thinking, known as the circular economy, which means that products are designed and produced to be used for as long as possible, easily repaired and, once they reach the end of their lives, recycled or disposed of effectively, writes Karmenu Vella.