Reindustrialization of Europe – Minerals Industry Contribution
Brussels, 20 November 2014: Today at the Non-Energy Extractive Industry Panel Conference, Euromines presented its position paper: “Minerals Industry Contribution to Sustainable Development”. In the document, Euromines’ members highlight the importance of needing a healthy industrial market within the EU, what the mining industry needs to answer the new European Commissioner’s call for increased investment in the EU and what the mining industry needs to be realise its potential to be a contributor to European recovery over the long-term.
Europe 2020 articulates an aim to return Europe to its leading role in industrial production. Raw materials are essential to Europe’s survival as one of the world’s leading economies. The mining industry has invested heavily in the EU in recent years and has the potential to contribute further to the 2020 strategy through development of new projects and extensions to existing ones.
The following action points summarize the needs of the industry in order to be able to deliver its full potential in enabling the reindustrialization of Europe and the realisation of the EU2020 Strategy:
EU Product Policy should move on from simple “footprint” assessment to the development of full “net benefit assessments” of products and processes in economic, environmental and social terms. Chemicals policy must make better use of best practice risk assessment in setting market conditions.
The EU’s vision of a Circular Economy must not be allowed to counter the important goals of the EU’s Raw Materials Initiative and Industrial Renaissance policy. The essential role that mining & quarrying have to play in achieving any industrial transition towards greater efficiency and less greenhouse gas emissions must be acknowledged if any such transition is to succeed.
All three EU Institutions should throw their political weight behind explicit support for mining as a specific means of achieving economic growth in key regions and Member States of the Union.
The EU should continue its efforts to access international finance and increase foreign investment in Europe – also for minerals exploration, mining & quarrying projects – and provide financial support for investments that target performance exceeding established international standards.
The EU Emissions Trading System should be aimed at achieving one single Greenhouse Gas reduction target rather than multiple targets including efficiency and renewable supply.
Free allocation of emission allowances must continue while ever EU industrial sectors are exposed to carbon leakage. ETS revenues should be recycled into development of the full range of potential emissions reduction and/or sequestration technologies for the EU.
Therefore, the extractive industry especially welcomes the plans of the European Commission – President Jean-Claude Juncker that reindustrialization, smart regulation, economic growth and job creation will be of paramount importance during the next 5 years.
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