Critical raw materials (CRMs) are resources essential to the economy but with high supply risks. As Europe transitions to climate neutrality, due to their importance in the manufacturing of clean energy technologies, demand for CRMs has increased. However, the recent souring of International Relations has proven that the EU must reduce its dependence on imported CRMs. To do this, the EU will therefore have to develop new domestic sources in a socially and environmentally responsible manner. This requires building trustworthy frameworks that address public concerns about mining impacts.
Europe’s climate goals, as exemplified by initiatives such as the Green Deal and Circular Economy Action Plan, require a fresh approach that includes responsible mining of CRMs even within environmentally protected areas.