EU and Canada to Intensify Cooperation on Climate and Raw Materials

by | 27. Nov 2023 - 12:50 | Politics

“Green Alliance” founded to increase competitiveness and cooperation.

Representatives of the European Union and Canada met last week for the EU-Canada Summit in St. John’s in the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador. Topics discussed at the summit included the ongoing conflicts in the Middle East and the war in Ukraine, climate change, renewable energy, artificial intelligence, and critical raw materials. In a joint press release, the participants, including Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, and the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, declared their intention to deepen the exchange in these fields. Establishing a “Green Alliance” is intended to stimulate cooperation and thus strengthen the participating countries’ economies and make them more competitive. Canada will also become part of the Horizon Europe research project on climate change, which aims to promote and advance new technologies and projects.

Raw Materials Heavyweight Canada

In a statement following the summit, von der Leyen highlighted Canada’s raw materials sector and emphasized the North American country’s role for the EU. Without explicitly naming China, von der Leyen addressed the EU’s dependence on “individual countries.” For some raw materials classified as critical, the EU almost entirely depends on imports from China, such as rare earths. The EU is Canada’s second-largest export market for regular goods, and an increase in exports of critical raw materials could further expand this. At the same time, dependencies on China could be reduced. According to von der Leyen, the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between the EU and Canada is already doing a lot to expand joint trade.

Canada has been trying to expand its role in the raw materials sector for some time. Despite enormous reserves of cobalt, copper, and rare earths, for example, the necessary infrastructure for mining and transportation, and therefore access to the global market, is often lacking. The Canadian government launched a multi-billion-dollar fund to finance infrastructure projects at the beginning of the month to close this gap.

Photo: iStock/Oleksii Liskonih

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