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Parliamentary questions
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29 November 2018
Question for written answer E-006031-18
to the Commission
Rule 130
Bernd Lange (S&D)

 Subject:  Sustainable, transparent value chain for batteries
 Answer in writing 

Batteries are a key technology for the automotive industry and its competitiveness.

In this context, lithium and cobalt are the core elements for the ever-growing e-mobility sector.

At present, a large portion of the world’s lithium deposits come from Chile, Bolivia and Argentina, and cobalt deposits are similarly geographically constrained: over 50% of the world’s cobalt extraction comes from Congolese mines. This metal is often extracted under inhumane conditions. Areas of conflict connected to the extraction of raw materials include artisanal and small-scale mining, with its concomitant risks, as well as the unstable political situation and the inflammation of armed conflict and human rights abuses.

1. What is the Commission doing to ensure that these essential raw materials in the production of batteries are being extracted under humane conditions, that there is transparency and responsibility throughout the value chain, and that the ecological repercussions of battery production are not transferred to third countries?

2. What is the Commission doing to prevent access to raw materials from being hindered by actions taken by countries rich in raw materials which distort trade and competition?

3. What steps will the Commission take concerning the challenge of recycling to ensure that it ceases to be cheaper to use new raw materials than to reclaim recycled raw materials?

Original language of question: DE 
Last updated: 12 December 2018Legal notice