Critical raw materials for whom?
Brussels/Paris, 07 November 2023 -The EU Critical Raw Materials Act, or CRMA, is in the final stages of its adoption. Framed as the European law to secure our green and digital transitions, a new report, “Blood on the Green Deal” published today by two lobby watchdogs, the Observatoire des Multinationales in Paris and Corporate Europe Observatory in Brussels, questions those green credentials.
Publicly presented as climate-friendly legislation, the CRM Act has turned into an "open bar" for industry, which has actively lobbied to make sure that the metals they profit from enjoy the same public support and environmental deregulations as those that are genuinely useful for the climate transition.
The report documents how the aerospace and defence industries and their allies in the Commission and in capitals have been successfully lobbying to ensure new mines will soon be opened to build weapons. In particular, the defence and aerospace sectors have made sure that the official EU list of critical minerals would indeed include aluminium and titanium, two metals that are essential to their interests but of limited use (especially titanium) for the climate transition.
Lora Verheecke, researcher from Observatoire des Multinationales, says: “Mining is a dirty business in Europe and elsewhere. Before the law is adopted, we need a real political discussion about European consumption of critical raw materials. Arms should be excluded from this usage.”
Bram Vranken, researcher from Corporate Europe Observatory and expert on the EU defence lobby adds: “The arms industry has lobbied for years to get easier access to critical materials. It has now opportunistically used the climate emergency to finally get the public support and environmental deregulation it wanted. The CRM Act will not make our economy greener, but will undoubtedly make a killing for an industry involved in exporting weapons across the world.”
Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO) is a research and campaign group working to expose and challenge the privileged access and influence enjoyed by corporations and their lobby groups in EU policy making.
Observatoire des Multinationales (Multinationals Observatory) is an online investigative media and watchdog on corporations and corporate power, focusing mostly but not exclusively on large French companies.
For more information contact:
Lora Verheecke - Researcher, Observatoire des Multinationales (FR, ES, EN): 00 32 4 86 31 00 34 - firstname.lastname@example.org
Bram Vranken, Researcher and campaigner at Corporate Europe Observatory
Notes to editor
The Commission webpage on the Critical Raw Materials Act.
Briefing by the European Parliament on the CRM Act:
The authors also collected some working documents, with the position of most Member States, from the Council, which are available upon request.