Daniel Caspary MEP: Raw materials ‘need a sustainable deal, not a green deal’

(EurActiv, 19 Nov 2019) A sustainable deal would tackle not only CO2 emissions but also the social and economic development of Europe and the countries where raw materials are mined, says centre-right MEP Daniel Caspary.

Daniel Caspary is a German MEP from the centre-right European People’s Party (EPP), affiliated to Angela Merkel’s CDU. He is a member of the European Parliament’s Committee on International Trade and chair of the Delegation for relations with the countries of Southeast Asia and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). 

He spoke to EURACTIV’s Laura Cole.

Are critical raw materials high on the European Parliament’s agenda at the moment?

For the trade committee and development committees it is an important topic, but elsewhere it is not recognised as a top priority. The difficulty with raw materials is that prices always go up and down. At the moment the prices are down so it seems everyone else except the European Commission have forgotten about it a bit.

When prices shot up in 2011, and the price of oil was high, it came to everyone’s attention. But even from industry it seems there is less interest than a few years ago. It’s good that the Commission is working on this issue but most of the MEPs are not aware. This is a newly-elected Parliament and it has not been an issue yet.

That being said, the prices will one day be high again. We don’t know for which raw materials and when but for a sustainable business case perhaps it would be better to be aware of it.

Keeping to a 2°C global warming scenario will mean a 1,000% increase in demand for battery metals, according to the World Bank. Do you think there is recognition of the raw materials the transition technologies require, and how most efficiently to use them?

No, there is not a link yet. Look at the young people in our market places at the moment. They are asking for decarbonisation in Europe but only a few are asking who will have to pay the price and where. And more importantly, how we avoid paying that price.

External link

EurActiv, 19 Nov 2019: Daniel Caspary MEP: Raw materials ‘need a sustainable deal, not a green deal’