Why is Europe so dependent on China’s rare earths?

Europe is extremely dependent on overseas trade for elements like cobalt, lithium, graphite, titanium and rare earth elements. Germany and other EU countries rely heavily on imports of raw materials for use in key technologies, such as batteries, robotics and renewable energies. Often on one single supplier country like China. China supplies 98 percent of the EU’s rare earths, which are required in wind and solar energy equipment and battery production. Only one percent of the raw materials needed to make batteries come from the EU. The pandemic and the war in Ukraine have made the bloc’s self-insufficience all too clear. Brussels now wants to use the Raw Materials Act – an initiative to reduce its reliance on just a few countries and make supply chains more resilient in the face of crises. That could be done by encouraging more mining and recycling of resources within the EU.