ECAs to play significant role in securing Europe’s critical materials

(Global Trade Review, London, 23 April 2023) Export credit agencies (ECAs) are set to play a vital part in the EU’s Critical Raw Materials Act (CRMA), introduced to help secure supplies of metals and minerals needed for the transition from fossil fuels to sustainable energy.The act is part of the EU’s bid to minimise the effect of rocketing prices and supply chain disruptions in the wake of Russia’s war with Ukraine and the pandemic, as well as to mitigate its reliance on a small number of countries, including China, for access to minerals and metals essential to the production of more environmentally friendly energies.It also intends to set up an EU export credit facility and a critical raw materials “club” aimed at all countries interested in strengthening global supply chains. The EU’s list of critical raw materials includes nickel, lithium, aluminium, cobalt and graphite, which are crucial for technologies such as solar photovoltaic panels and electric vehicles. Major investment is required to set up upstream, midstream and downstream operations in Europe.