The S&D Group welcomes the Commission proposal for a new EU battery regulation, shaped by the commitment of our Commissioner, Maroš Šefčovič. This proposal is important as it has huge environmental value as well as great industrial and strategic potential. A sustainable and responsible European battery market could create up to 5 million jobs and be worth 250 billion euros by 2025.
The S&D co-ordinator in the environment committee, Jytte Guteland MEP, said:
“The development of batteries offers a path to a sustainable, responsible and green future. The EU Commission’s proposal is timely to ensure a comprehensive and up-to-date framework on batteries at European level, in line with the circular economy rules, the 2030 climate targets and carbon neutrality objective. Once again, Europe is setting a sustainable global standard in one of the fastest growing and most critical global markets for the future.
“I welcome this holistic approach by the Commission. The EU's current Batteries Directive only covers the end-of-life stage, whereas we also need legal provisions on production, performance, durability, greenhouse-gas emissions and due diligence. This legislation is particularly necessary now that the demand for electric vehicles and the electrification of transport is booming. We need to move to zero-emission mobility.
“As progressives, it will be crucial for us to develop a transparent and real due diligence process around the batteries market so that the boom in the sector will no longer contribute to violations of human rights, the rule of law and the environment. We cannot develop a sustainable future in Europe built on the reckless extraction of raw materials in third countries. A new future must be accessible for all. No one must be left behind.”
The S&D vice-president responsible for industrial transformation and transport, Ismail Ertug MEP, added:
“In 2020 alone, €25 billion was invested in the European battery industry – twice as much as in China. Europe is set to become the world's second biggest battery-cell producer.
“Furthermore, the battery regulation is going to set environmental as well as ethical standards that could become global standards, with EU-produced batteries saving up to 50% in CO2 emissions compared to their Chinese equivalents.
“It is also thanks to Maroš Šefčovič that Europe will now become a leader in that industry – although only three years ago most industrial players were reluctant to invest in this emerging market at all. A market that could create 5 million jobs by 2025.
“The European Battery Alliance shows that the EU is able to have a successful industrial policy and this is the S&Ds' approach. With the right strategy it is possible to transform our industry in a faster but sustainable way – in particular the automotive industry. We can safeguard and expand supply chains, and thus create well-paid jobs and combat climate change."