Opportunities for EU & Japan Industrial and Innovation Cooperation in the Circular Economy for Strategic Metals
This 2-hour webinar will begin on 23 June at 9:30 in Brussels (16:30 in Tokyo). "Circularity" underpins the 2021 EU-Japan Green Alliance agreed by European Council President Charles Michel, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Prime Minister of Japan Yoshihide Suga. They agreed to deepen the EU-Japan "policy dialogue and cooperation on supply chain sustainability, circular economy and resource efficiency" and to collaborate in multilateral frameworks to seek "concrete action in support of a global just transition to a climate neutral, resource efficient and circular economy".
The EU and Japan also agreed to "cooperate to develop principles on circular economy and resource efficiency for stakeholders such as businesses and investors". The Green Alliance also referred to the EU-Japan Centre for Industrial Cooperation as a facilitator to build EU-Japan business cooperation, including to further promote business cooperation in third countries' markets. These commitments build on previous actions to boost EU-Japan cooperation on circular economy issues, including an EU 2018 Circular Economy Mission to Japan, and on EU and Japanese actions to promote domestic circular economies and on EU and Japanese actions to address the sustainability of resources.
A 2020 EU-Japan Centre Minerva report – Japan's circularity: A Panorama of Japanese Policy, Innovation, Technology and Industry Contributions towards Achieving the Paris Agreement - gives an overview of Japan’s circular economy strategy. As the roll-out of clean energy and mobility technologies (batteries, PV, windmill magnets, electrolysers, fuel cells, etc.) to decarbonise society and achieve climate neutrality by 2050 accelerates, pressure on the "strategic metals" used in cleantech is increasing. Many countries see securing the availability of these critical raw materials as key to ensuring their strategic autonomy and the resilience of their post-Covid industrial strategies.
International agencies, policymakers and industry recognise that a circular economy approach to the whole lifecycle (product development, process development, use, collection and dismantling) of clean energy and mobility technologies is vital. The EU and Japan are strategic partners in many areas and share similar circular economy approaches – working with stakeholders to develop appropriate legislative framework, invest in innovation to find the best solutions and structure their industrial ecosystems along value chains.