EU could ban dirty battery imports, says Commission VP

(EurActiv, 9 Dec 2019) Batteries that do not meet rigorous green standards could be banned from the European market, Commission Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič warned on Monday (9 December), as the EU executive approved €3.2 billion of state aid for some home-grown projects.

The EU is working on environmental standards for batteries that aim to land the bloc a chunk of a market that could be worth a quarter of a trillion euros by 2025, under its so-called Battery Alliance.

On Monday (9 December), Šefčovič told reporters that battery imports from Southeast Asia could be excluded from the European market if they do not meet certain criteria.

When asked if changes to the EU legal framework might result in bans, the Slovak official said: “I think that if they would not respect the standards, then yes.”

“We clearly have to do what other economies and markets are doing, we have to respect their standards,” the Commission VP said.

The upcoming list of green criteria that batteries have to meet will range from how sustainable the raw materials used in manufacturing are to how clean the energy used in construction is.

EU policymakers have realised that the bloc will not be able to compete with imports from China and Korea on price and sheer volume immediately, so they have targeted the environmental angle in order to capitalise on growing demand for electrification.

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EurActiv, 9 Dec 2019: EU could ban dirty battery imports, says Commission VP