Balancing Raw Material Demands: Navigating Environmental Rights and Community Concerns in the Critical Raw Materials Act
The European Commission introduced the Critical Raw Materials Act (CRMA) in March 2023 to boost domestic production of vital materials for green and digital advancements, aiming to reduce dependence on foreign sources. However, prioritizing self-sufficiency could overlook limited domestic reserves. The Commission's approach seems dismissive of community concerns.
The CRMA outlines "strategic raw materials" with accelerated permits, but this raises concerns about community rights and environmental protection. Transparency, public involvement, and the right to refuse mining projects are pivotal. Access to justice must be upheld, enabling challenges to authority decisions. Negotiating the CRMA should focus on reducing consumption, recycling, and adhering to stringent environmental standards for sustainable mining that involves local and Indigenous communities.
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