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Energy: A critical raw material in its own right?

(EurActiv, 30 Nov 2020) Access to affordable energy is a key factor underpinning the competitiveness of European industries. But as the green transition gains momentum, pressure is building to put a higher price signal on energy and CO2 emissions, leaving regulators in a quandary.

When the European Commission presented its action plan on critical raw materials in September, the focus was deliberately placed on “non-energy” raw materials.

Yet, access to “low-carbon energy at competitive prices” is a fundamental building block for the competitiveness of European industries, the EU executive admits.

“Industry is the motor of growth and prosperity in Europe,” Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said as the EU executive presented its new industrial policy back in March.

“This is more important than ever as Europe embarks on its ambitious green and digital transitions,” she added, referring to the European Green Deal, which aims at cutting planet-warming emissions down to net-zero by 2050.

Green policies, once seen as a trade-off with industrial competitiveness, are now firmly placed at the heart of Europe’s revamped industrial agenda, with von der Leyen branding the Green Deal as “Europe’s new growth strategy”.

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EurActiv, 30 Nov 2020: Energy: A critical raw material in its own right?