Over 40 CSOs unite to launch Coalition on Raw Materials

Sustainable energy

Europe– CSO Coalition on Raw Materials has officially launched, bringing together over 40 civil society organizations (CSOs) from the European Union and beyond. This united front responds to the ever-growing demand for raw materials essential for driving global green and digital transitions.

As the world gears up for the IEA Raw Materials Conference on September 28th in Paris, the newly formed coalition is sounding a clarion call for more inclusive dialogues on sustainable raw material policies. It seeks to secure a stronger representation of civil societies in global forums that hold the reins of future raw material strategies.

The surge in demand for raw materials has set an alarming trajectory, one marred by biodiversity loss, environmental violations, and widespread human rights abuses. These repercussions are intricately linked to the expansive value chains that span from mining to the end-of-life management of raw materials. Often facilitated by corruption and lax regulations in many regions, this trend poses a significant threat to vulnerable ecosystems and communities, with the voices of indigenous peoples and locals often drowned out.

In July, the collective of CSOs raised their voices before the Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) and International Trade (INTA) as they voted on the Critical Raw Materials Regulation (CRMR). Their plea emphasized the urgent necessity for thorough assessments of human rights and environmental impacts rather than mere certifications. Furthermore, the group advocated for a substantial reduction in the EU’s raw material consumption by at least 10% by 2030, championing a circular economy approach within the CRMA as fundamental to achieving the goals of the European Green Deal.

The coalition’s vision extends towards a transformative future, guiding EU policies towards sustainability, with the twin goals of preserving both people and the planet. The mandate is clear: shift away from an unsustainable, growth-driven economic model heavily reliant on ceaseless extraction, and embrace one that prioritizes the planet and human rights over profit.

Action points

To pave the way for this transformative change, the coalition is calling for a shift in consumption patterns, moving from extraction to a system that prioritizes resource efficiency and sufficiency. This approach envisages the nurturing of a circular society that not only curtails production and consumption but also champions sharing over ownership. Initiatives such as urban and waste mining are preferred over virgin material extraction. Achieving this necessitates the establishment of binding targets and robust legislative frameworks that can nurture alternative business models.

Moreover, the coalition is advocating for stronger regulatory mechanisms to oversee global corporate operations. Inclusive legislation that holds corporations accountable for upholding human rights and environmental standards is paramount. The coalition proposes designating environmentally sensitive areas as off-limits for mining and imposing a moratorium on deep-sea mining in international and EU waters. Transparency is a linchpin in this new regulatory landscape, with an emphasis on engaging communities transparently through all stages of a mine’s life cycle and promoting openness in EU mining projects.

Unified call for change

The Raw Materials Coalition extends an open invitation to all stakeholders, including governments, businesses, and civil societies, to unite in this endeavor. Together, they aim to amplify the voices that matter, foster discourse rooted in respect for human rights and environmental integrity, and echo the sentiments of grassroots communities. This coalition is not just an initiative; it’s a movement that seeks to ensure a sustainable and equitable future for all.

Wim Raaijen
I am a creative publisher, editor in chief, writer, vlogger and moderator with a journalistic and philosophic based view. Trying to re-invent the concept of publishing, based on platforms and partners, instead of separated media and advertisements. I am interested in industrial subjects like transition, sustainability, safety, energy efficiency, innovation and responsibility.