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29 Feb 2024

Competitiveness and Sustainability: EUMICON at the eMobility Expo World Congress

From 13 to 15 February, Valencia hosted the eMobility Expo World Congress, Europe's most important event for sustainable mobility. Stakeholders from all over the world gathered to discuss the future of sustainable mobility, the challenges that geopolitical and economic changes will bring to the fore in the coming years, and the primary role that raw materials can play. There were fascinating and fruitful discussions, which left constructive insights for those involved in mobility, energy, and raw materials, highlighting the importance of competitiveness and sustainability. 

During the panels moderated by our management team, competitiveness, and sustainability materialised in the discussion as two of the most important objectives that Europe should achieve in the digital and green transition. EUMICON's role as a strategic partner of the event was to stimulate the discussion by setting up two high-level panels involving MEPs as well as industry representatives. Building on the Green Deal Industrial Plan, the two discussions focused on decarbonisation and the future of energy and raw materials. Director General, Roman Stiftner, discussed the challenges of decarbonisation with Ms. Isabel García Muñoz, Member of the European Parliament, Mr. Benjamin Krieger, Secretary General of the European Association of Automotive Suppliers (CLEPA), and Mr. Oliver Fernández, Electric Mobility Director at Repsol, a leading Spanish multinational energy company.

Francisca Paulsen, Director of the Brussels Office, moderated the debate on the role of decarbonisation on raw materials with Ms. Meri Rovira, Strategic Marketing Director at La Farga; Mr. Santiago Cuesta, Director General at International Center for Advanced Materials and Raw Materials of Castilla y Leon, and Mr. Pablo Martínez, Chief Strategic Officer at ITRB Group. In both panels, speakers explained the challenges that need to be addressed in the immediate future and what possible solutions can be put in place in order to reach climate neutrality by 2050.

The challenge of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050 through sustainable mobility necessitates a shift from fossil fuels to sustainable alternatives. The objective is essential for reducing environmental impact and promoting low-emission options such as electric vehicles and public transportation, as is developing supporting infrastructure. Reducing emissions from current transportation methods involves enhancing vehicle efficiency through advanced technologies and alternative fuels and promoting responsible sourcing of minerals in electric vehicles and batteries, such as nickel, lithium, cobalt, or zinc among others.

The demand for sovereignty over critical raw materials explores the pivotal role of these resources in achieving carbon neutrality by 2050 and facilitating the transition to sustainable mobility. This shift from fossil fuels to renewable energies underscores the need for raw materials to sustain the energy and battery value chain. 

Addressing the challenges of extraction, processing, and recycling, the panels emphasize the importance of securing raw materials availability in Europe to support the twin transition. International trade is important to ensure diversification of supply, through partnerships with emerging markets and developing economies in the framework of its Global Gateway strategy. It highlights strategies to enhance resilience and secure access to raw materials, thus promoting strategic autonomy. Furthermore, the dialogue focuses on reinforcing Europe's industrial and economic sovereignty by strengthening competitiveness and securing energy supply, essential for this transformative journey toward a sustainable transition.