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EU, Kazakhstan sign agreement on raw materials, battery and hydrogen

  • Nov 8, 2022
EFE Ingles

Brussels, Nov 7 (EFE).- The European Union and Kazakhstan on Monday signed a strategic agreement on raw materials, batteries and renewable hydrogen to boost the green and digital transformation of their respective economies.

The agreement was signed on the sidelines of the COP27 climate summit which is being held in Sharm el Sheikh (Egypt), by the President of the EU Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, and Kazakh Prime Minister Alikhan Smailov, the EU authorities announced in a statement.

The memorandum of understanding, which establishes a partnership between the EU and Kazakhstan, aims to "ensure the development of a secure and sustainable supply of raw and refined materials" and "develop renewable hydrogen and battery value chains, to boost the green and digital transformation of both sides' economies," Brussels said.

"A secure and sustainable supply of raw materials, refined materials and renewable hydrogen is a key layer to help build a new, cleaner foundation for our economies, especially as we move away from our dependency on fossil fuels," Von der Leyen said after the signing.

The head of the EU executive stressed that the agreement with Kazakhstan shows Europe's commitment to work with partner countries on their "shared commitments for a greener and more resilient future."

The commitments are reflected, Von der Leyen said, in the Global Gateway Strategy, as the EU's worldwide infrastructure investment plan is called, and in the objectives of the REPowerEU Plan, the bloc's project to mobilize investment in clean energy and reduce external energy dependence.

The partnership focuses on three areas of collaboration, the European Commission reported.

The first focuses on closer economic and industrial integration in the strategic value chains of raw materials, batteries and renewable hydrogen.

This objective includes the identification of joint projects along the respective value chains, including recycling and attracting private investment; the alignment of high environmental, social and governance (ESG) standards; and modernizing mining and refining processes and technologies through the introduction of new sustainable technologies and practices.

The second area of collaboration will focus on increasing the resilience of supply chains with improved transparency and reporting on measures related to investments, operations and exports.

And thirdly, the two sides are committed to closer bilateral cooperation on capacity-building, skills and research and innovation in, for example, the decarbonization of the critical raw materials value chain, including through the use of renewable energy and digitization; greening and sustainability of mining processes; and the management of industrial mineral waste and extraction of critical raw materials.

To advance in these three areas, the EU and Kazakhstan have committed to develop a roadmap for 2023-2024, with concrete joint actions agreed within six months of signing the partnership.

The actions will be carried out in close cooperation with relevant industrial and financial stakeholders from EU member states and Kazakhstan.

Von der Leyen plans to sign a similar partnership with Namibian President Hage Geingob on Tuesday, for the fourth such strategic agreement on raw materials, following those signed earlier with Canada (June 2021) and Ukraine (July 2021). EFE


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