CRM Alliance Quarterly Newsletter - Summer Edition 2021
Dear Readers,

Welcome to the Summer 2021 edition of the CRM Alliance Quarterly newsletter.

We wish you a pleasant reading!
In this issue
CRM Alliance Updates
  • CRM Alliance's new member & CRM Day
  • BeST German BeResponsible webinar
  • Cobalt Institute Market Report 2020
  • IMA annual conference & monthly newsletter
  • Indium Corporation strategic partnership
  • MMTA Anniversary dinner
  • T.I.C. General Assembly
  • JSW new agreement

Public Consultations
  • Chemicals (REACH) regulation – amendment to the list of substances of very high concern in Annex XIV
  • Chemicals – simplification and digitalisation of labelling requirements
  • EU Renewable Energy Rules – Review
  • EU Energy Efficiency Directive (EED) – Review
  • EU Green Deal (Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism)
  • European Commission adopts Fit for 55 package
  • ITRE publishes draft on a European Strategy for CRMs and opinion-giving Committees adopt opinion
  • Slovenia assumes Council Presidency
  • European Council & European Parliament discuss Batteries proposal
  • European Parliament approves EU Climate Law
  • ECHA publishes report on CLP and REACH
  • Ukraine hosts High-Level Conference for the establishment of an EU-Ukraine Strategic Partnership on Raw Materials
  • EU-Canada Summit establishes Strategic Partnership on Raw Materials
  • The EU and Australia hold 11th round of trade negotiations
  • Relations restarted at EU-US Summit
  • European Commission launches Horizon Europe
  • European Commission publishes Renewed Sustainable Finance initiatives
CRM Alliance Updates
CRM-A's new member & CRM Day

We would like to welcome a new member to the CRM Alliance family: The European Carbon and Graphite Association (ECGA).
CRM Alliance announces the topic of its upcoming CRM Day on 22 September; “Due Diligence and Corporate Sustainability”.
More information will follow soon.
BeST German BeResponsible webinar
BeST held a product stewardship webinar in German titled “Sicheres Arbeiten mit Beryllium” on 22 June 2021.
Cobalt Institute Market Report 2020
The Cobalt Institute published State of the Cobalt Market Report 2020.
IMA annual conference & monthly newsletter

IMA opened the registration for their 78th Annual IMA World Magnesium Virtual Conference, which will take place from 23 to 27 August 2021 and published their June newsletter.
Indium Corporation strategic partnership
The Indium Corporation has formed a strategic partnership with Unicoba Group for the service of their electronic and electro-mechanical materials in Brazil.
MMTA anniversary dinner
MMTA will host its 47th anniversary dinner on Tuesday 12th October 2021 at One Great George Street.
T.I.C. General Assembly
The Tantalum-Niobium International Study Centre (T.I.C.) has announced the date for its 62nd General Assembly. It will be held in London on November 14th to 16th 2021.

JSW new agreement

JSW signed an agreement with the Rybnik County and the School Complex in Czerwionka-Leszczyny to support schools educating future miners.
European Commission adopts Fit for 55 Package
On 14 July, the European Commission adopted a package of proposals to make the EU's climate, energy, land use, transport and taxation policies fit for reducing net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030, compared to 1990 levels. The package includes:

The following proposals are especially interesting to critical raw materials:
The EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) will put a price on carbon and lower the cap on emissions from certain economic sectors every year. The Commission is proposing to phase out free emission allowances for aviation and align with the global Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) and to include shipping emissions for the first time in the EU ETS. To address the lack of emissions reductions in road transport and buildings, a separate new emissions trading system is set up for fuel distribution for road transport and buildings. The Commission also proposes to increase the size of the Innovation and Modernization Funds.

Regarding the Renewable Energy Directive, it will set an increased target to produce 40% of the EU’s energy from renewable sources by 2030. All Member States will contribute to this goal, and specific targets are proposed for renewable energy use in transport, heating and cooling, buildings and industry. The sustainability criteria for the use of bioenergy will be strengthened and Member States will be in charge of designing any support schemes for bioenergy.

A new Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) will put a carbon price on imports of a targeted selection of products to ensure that ambitious climate action in Europe does not lead to ‘carbon leakage'. It will ensure that European emission reductions contribute to a global emissions decline, instead of pushing carbon-intensive production outside Europe. It also aims to encourage industry outside the EU and our international partners to take steps in the same direction.

Lastly, a revision of the Energy Taxation Directive proposes to align the taxation of energy products with EU energy and climate policies, promoting clean technologies and removing outdated exemptions and reduced rates that currently encourage the use of fossil fuels. The new will reduce the harmful effects of energy tax competition, helping secure revenues for Member States from green taxes, which are less detrimental to growth than taxes on labour.
ITRE publishes draft on a European Strategy for CRMs and opinion-giving Committees adopt opinion
On 1 June, the ITRE Committee published their draft report on a European strategy for critical raw materials, with MEP Hildegard Bentele (EPP/DE) as rapporteur. 

The report calls on the Commission to review the criticality assessment methodology before 2023, ahead of the publication of the next list of CRMs, and to create an Important Project of Common European Interest (IPCEI) on CRMs. It also calls on the Commission to pay attention not only to CRMs but also to the potential criticality of other raw materials needed for the twin digital and green transition. 

The report highlights the need to build secondary CRM markets to guarantee constant secondary CRM flows, as well as systematically and strategically build new CRM partnerships and make this endeavour a horizontal task of its external and internal policies. 

Moreover, the rapporteur asks the Commission to diversify supply chains for both primary and secondary sources and warns that Europe’s transition to climate neutrality should not lead to replacing reliance on fossil fuels with reliance on raw materials. 

On 29 June, the ENVI Committee held the final vote on the draft opinion for the ITRE report "a European Strategy for Critical Raw Materials" with 45 votes in favour, 7 against and 24 abstentions. The rapporteur, Sara Matthieu (Greens/EFA, Belgium) published the draft opinion on 24 March. It includes suggestions in the areas of recycling, CRM extraction and mining.

On 13 July, the INTA Committee held the final vote on the draft opinion for the ITRE report "a European Strategy for Critical Raw Materials" with 34 votes in favour, 2 against and 4 abstentions. The rapporteur, Roman Haider (ECR, Austria) published the draft opinion on 26 April. It includes points on the diversification of supply sources of CRMs, stockpiling of raw materials in Europe and enhancement of FTAs when sourcing CRMs.

The provisional timeline of the draft report is the following: 
  • Deadline for opinion-giving committees (INTA, ENVI): 10 September 2021 
  • Vote in ITRE: 27 September 2021 
  • Vote in Plenary: November 2021
Slovenia assumes Council Presidency
On 1 July, Slovenia assumed Presidency of the Council of the European Union, taking over the rotating presidency from Portugal. The head of the presidency is Anže Logar who is the current Minister of Foreign Affairs of Slovenia.
EU Member States hold the presidency according to a rotation system determined in advance. The key responsibility of the presidency country is to manage the work of the Council, particularly by guiding the legislative work of the EU and facilitating dialogue at Council Meetings and with the European Parliament and the Commission.
On 30 June, the Slovenian presidency published its work program for the next six months. The priorities listed in the field of environment and energy are the following:

  • Reach an agreement on a general approach to the legislative act on batteries, as well on the revision of the Waste Shipment Regulation which will help improve the exploitation of secondary raw materials; 
  • Prioritize the implementation of a circular economy, using green technologies to reduce the EU’s dependency on key raw materials;
  • Start negotiations of the revision of Renewable Energy Sources Directive and Energy Efficiency Directive. 

During an ENVI Committee meeting held on 14 July, Slovenian Minister of the Environment and Spatial Planning Andrej Vizja provided further guidance on the priorities of the presidency, which include reaching an agreement on the legislative text of the Batteries and Battery Waste Regulation, as well as establishing a biodiversity framework. Further discussions will be held in informal meetings in the upcoming weeks.  
Slovenia will hold presidency until 31 December 2021.
European Council & European Parliament discuss Batteries proposal
On 10 June, the Environment Council discussed the Batteries Regulation in the frame of the new EU Strategy on Adaptation to Climate Change. The discussions were based on the Council’s progress report on batteries and waste batteries, which identified the following main issues requiring further work, from a political and legal point of view: 

  • The choice of a single legal basis on article 114 TFEU
  • The approach to be followed regarding batteries of light means of transport 
  • Procedure for amending restrictions on hazardous substances.

The Council’s General Approach is foreseen to take place in February 2022. Once the Council and EP have finalized their positions, the trilogues will start in the 1st half of 2022. The Regulation would enter into force on the twentieth day following its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union and would apply from 1 January 2022. 

The Batteries proposal was also discussed at the ENVI Committee in the European Parliament on 15 June. The lead committee of the battery file held its first exchange of views on the Batteries Proposal and invited Commission representatives from DG ENV and DG GROW. MEPs highlighted the following points:

  • The EU must set a global standard on batteries.
  • The electrification of transport is crucial to achieve the climate objectives.
  • All battery materials must be recycled.
  • Imported batteries must follow the same rules as the ones produced in the EU.
  • Industry needs realistic timelines.
  • It is important to avoid duplicating regulations when it comes to the use of chemicals, waste and due diligence issues.
European Parliament approves EU Climate Law
On 28 June, the European Parliament and the Council endorsed the EU Climate Law. It will transform the EU Green Deal’s commitment to be climate neutral by 2050 into a binding obligation. It gives European citizens and businesses the legal certainty and predictability they need to plan for this transition. After 2050, the EU will aim for negative emissions. 

The Climate Law addresses the necessary steps to get to the 2050 target. First, based on a comprehensive impact assessment, the Commission has proposed a new EU target for 2030 of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% compared to levels in 1990. The Commission has proposed to include the new EU 2030 target in the Law.

By July 2021, the Commission will review, and where necessary propose to revise, all relevant policy instruments to deliver the additional emissions reductions for 2030. The Commission proposes the adoption of a 2030-2050 EU-wide trajectory for greenhouse gas emission reductions, to measure progress and give predictability to public authorities, businesses and citizens.

The Regulation will be published in the Official Journal and enter into force 20 days later. 
ECHA publishes report on CLP and REACH
In June, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) published their report on the operation of REACH and CLP in 2021. The five-yearly report offers a detailed image on how the operations have impacted worker and consumer health, competitiveness, innovation, environmental protection and internal market function. The findings of the report will be used to guide the Commission in the coming years. 

The report includes the following message: Over the last five years, the operations of REACH and CLP positively contributed to innovation, competitiveness, and to the functioning of the internal market within the EU.

However, synergies between REACH, CLP and other legislation have often failed to materialise and there is still much that needs to be done to achieve the levels of protection envisaged by the legislators. 

Regarding authorizations, ECHA assessed over 200 applications for authorizations and agrees that the authorization process has been successful at reducing risk to workers, consumers and the environment, and there are clear indications that substitution has been achieved. However, the report states that these outcomes are still inefficient, and that information on available alternatives is lacking. 

When analysing the CLP Regulation, the report states that an increase in the harmonised classification and labelling of carcinogenic, mutagenic and reprotoxic (CMR) substances is expected to induce further risk management measures by employers to protect their workers from exposure to these chemicals at work. 

Lastly, on financing, ECHA confirms that despite the progress since 2016, further efforts are needed to ensure that REACH and CLP operate correctly, such as creating a sustainable financing mechanism for ECHA and stepping up Member States’ contributions to the work of the ECHA committees. 
Ukraine hosts High-level conference for the establishment of an EU-Ukraine Strategic Partnership on raw materials
On 13 July, the EU and Ukraine launched a strategic partnership on raw materials during the High-Level Conference, with the goal of achieving a stronger integration of raw material and batteries value chains. The European Commission Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič and Prime Minister of Ukraine Denys Shmyhal signed a Memorandum of Understanding establishing the partnership. 
The EU-Ukraine Strategic partnership on raw materials is the second strategic partnership launched by the EU, following the partnership concluded with Canada on 15 June.  The partnerships will help to deliver the key objectives of the Critical Raw Materials Action Plan.
The strategic partnership with Ukraine will include activities across the whole value chain for both primary and secondary critical raw materials. The partnership aims to diversify, strengthen, and secure both sides' supply of critical raw materials. Moreover, the partnership aims to develop minerals resources in Ukraine in a sustainable and socially responsible manner.
The EU and Ukraine endorsed a first roadmap, setting out activities and joint projects which will advance partnership during the period 2021-2022. These include:
  • Developing a low carbon strategy and roadmap to decarbonize raw material mining, extraction and processing in Ukraine;
  • Improving the application of Earth-observation programmes and remote sensing to enhance raw material exploration;
  • Establishing joint-venture projects for EU and Ukrainian industrial and investment actors. 

For more information, please click here.
EU-Canada Summit establishes Strategic Partnership on Raw Materials
On 15 June, the EU-Canada Summit was held. The leaders discussed further coordination in trade and established the EU-Canada strategic partnership on raw materials.  
In a Joint Statement by the EU and Canada, the parties affirm their commitment to ending the Covid 19 Pandemic as a main priority, fighting climate change, harnessing the potential of trade, technology and innovation, as well as promoting democratic values. 
The Summit also led to the parties establishing an EU-Canada Strategic Partnership on Raw Materials, covering security integration of critical minerals and raw material value chains and “environmental, social, governance criteria and standards”. 
The EU-Canada strategic partnership on raw materials follows the Commission’s Critical Raw Materials Action Plan published in 2020 and marks the EU’s first strategic partnership on raw materials, followed by the EU-Ukraine partnership concluded on 13 July (See above). The framework setting the ground for the EU-Canada strategic partnership on raw materials was formally adopted on 21 June. 
European Commissioner Breton stated “This partnership with Canada complements our efforts towards EU’s security of supply and diversification of sourcing the raw materials we need for the climate-neutral economy and the twin transition. Canada was a natural choice to setup the first partnership on raw materials. Canada is a like-minded resource-rich country, shares important environmental, social and governance values with the EU and we have CETA, which offered the framework to advance.” 
According to the European Commission, the EU is expected to form its next partnership with Serbia. 
To access the Joint Statement, please click here.
The EU and Australia hold 11th round of trade negotiations
From 1 to 11 June, officials from the European Commission and Australia held the 11th round of negotiations for a trade agreement between the European Union and Australia. 

The discussions were deemed constructive, with both parties sharing a commitment to negotiate and reach a comprehensive agreement. The chapter on professional services was provisionally concluded, while progress was reached in areas such as services and investment, trade in goods, technical barriers to trade, and sustainable development. The chapter on government procurement is nearly complete, but market access remains to be further negotiated. 

For the chapter on Energy and Raw Materials, little progress was made. Negotiators discussed disciplines on Environmental Impact Assessment, Offshore Risk and Safety, Third-Party Access, Regulatory Authority and Access to Infrastructure for Renewables, however no conclusions were reached. 

For trade and sustainable development, substantial progress was made in relation to the articles on the multilateral labour standards and trade and biodiversity. However, negotiators will continue to discuss the EU’s trade and climate as well as the scientific and technical information articles.
The upcoming 12th round of negotiations is scheduled for Autumn 2021. 

To access the Report on the 10th Round of Negotiations, please click here.
Relations restarted at EU-US Summit
On 15 June, the EU-US Summit was held, resulting in the agreement to launch the EU-US Trade and Technology Council (TTC). The TTC will serve as a forum to coordinate global trade and economic and trade issues. The TTC aims to deepen transatlantic trade and economic relations based on shared values. 
The TTC will meet periodically and be chaired by several EU Commissioners and U.S officials, including European Commission Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager, EU Trade Commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis, and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. The TTC will be comprised of various working groups, including “climate and green tech” and “secure supply chains”. 
In a statement by President Van der Leyen and President Michel, the EU leaders explained the upcoming agenda for the TTC, stating that semiconductors will be of initial priority, followed by discussions on international corporate taxation. During a webinar on transatlantic relations held on 15 July, a representative of the Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the EU welcomed the new partnership, expressing the intentions of Slovenia to further progress the launch of the TTC within its term of presidency.  
During the Summit, the EU and the US agreed to suspend for five years the application of tariffs stemming from the Boeing/Airbus dispute. Moreover, the leaders reached an understanding on a Cooperative Framework for Large Civil Aircraft. The two sides expressed their intentions to establish a Working Group on Large Civil Aircraft to avoid future disputes. 
The leaders also agreed to engage in discussions to end the dispute on measures regarding steel and aluminium before the end of the year.  
To access the statement, please click here.
European Commission launches Horizon Europe
On 16 June , the European Commission adopted the main work programme of Horizon Europe for the period 2021-2022. The programme lays out the objectives and specific topic areas for funding opportunities that will receive a total of €14.7 billion in funding. 
Approximately €5.8 billion of the funding will be allocated to projects that develop the science of climate change and solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. For example, the programme includes activities that accelerate the transition towards clean energy or support the circular economy. 
There are several projects relevant to raw materials, including:
  • Innovation for responsible EU sourcing of primary raw materials, the foundation of the Green Deal (RIA)
  • Building EU-Africa partnerships on sustainable raw materials value chains (CSA)
  • Building innovative value chains from raw materials to sustainable products (IA)
  • Identifying future availability of secondary raw materials (RIA)

All open calls for proposals can be accessed via the digital submission platform.
European Commission publishes Renewed Sustainable Finance Initiative
On 6 July, the European Commission published three initiatives in the field of sustainable finance. These initiatives are: (1) a new Sustainable Finance Strategy, (2) a proposal for a standard for European green bonds, and (3) a Delegated Act on the information to be disclosed by financial and non-financial companies based on the EU Taxonomy Regulation
The initiatives revolve largely around the EU Taxonomy Regulation, which is a classification system to establish which investments are environmentally sustainable. 
The Sustainable Finance Strategy Communication sets out legislative proposals the Commission intends to take to achieve sustainable finance. These include, among others, the creation of general framework for labels for financial instruments as well as a review of the EU Taxonomy Regulation reporting requirements, which will include new reporting requirements on social information, such as the respect for human rights and labour standards. 
In addition to the Communication, the Commission has published a proposal for a Regulation on European green bonds. Under the proposed framework, the funds raised by green bonds should be fully spent on projects that are aligned with the EU Taxonomy.
Finally, the Commission has adopted the Delegated Act supplementing Article 8 of the Taxonomy Regulation, which specifies the content, methodology and presentation of information to be disclosed by financial and non-financial companies concerning the environmental performance of their assets and economic activities.  
To access the documents, please click here.
Public Consultations
  • Chemicals (REACH) regulation – amendment to the list of substances of very high concern in Annex XIV (link here) – Deadline on 22 July
  • Chemicals – simplification and digitalisation of labelling requirements (link here) – Deadline on 20 September
  • EU renewable energy rules – Review (link here) – Deadline 10 September 2021
  • EU energy efficiency directive (EED) – Review (link here) – Deadline 10 September 2021
  • EU Green Deal (carbon border adjustment mechanism (link here) – Deadline 10 September 2021