10 December 2020

Cobalt Institute statement on the proposed European battery regulation

Guildford, Thursday 10th December, 2020:

The Cobalt Institute welcomes the proposed legislative measures announced today by the European Commission pertaining to the consolidation of targets linked to the recycling of raw materials used in battery production. Additional elements of the proposal points at a functional model for the responsible sourcing of Cobalt.

The announcement today supports the robust standards and frameworks already in place within the cobalt industry, such as the Cobalt Industry Responsible Sourcing Assessment Framework (CIRAF), frameworks and standards which play an important role in tackling unethical labour practices.

Speaking about the proposed legislation, Dr. Adam McCarthy, President of the Cobalt Institute said, “There is clearly a need to update batteries legislation and the proposed regulation does many things right.

“The Cobalt Institute welcomes the proposed model for due diligence requirements. There are many robust standards in existence that can help companies mitigate risks in their supply chain and applying these to more companies will drive up standards.

“Additionally, while the focus on recycling is correct, the European Commission should also ensure it addresses the durability of batteries. A longer-lasting battery can support the environment in the same way that recycling does, by reducing the life time emissions of the battery and reducing waste materials. Certain critical raw materials such as cobalt are essential to batteries, and by default to the achievement of Green Deal and progressive climate change ambitions,” he continued.

“There continues to be a need to source cobalt on the global marketplace, and the Commission needs to ensure free and open trade can continue. In addition to this, the Commission should assess how the chemicals management rules interface with these battery proposals.”

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