Éditoriaux de l'Ifri Édito Énergie

The need for a strategic recycling approach to take up the challenge of critical metals Edito Energie, December 2018

In September 2010, China stopped all exports of rare earths and associated products to Japan, depriving Japan’s industry of essential raw materials. This decision highlighted the tensions around the trade of critical materials and China’s monopoly on a group of particular metals. Western countries had already taken some initiatives so as to reduce, or at least to analyse their vulnerabilities in the segment of critical materials. 


As early as 2008, the European Commission developed the initiative for critical materials (Raw Materials Initiative), which is based on three pillars: the sustainable and legal production of mineral raw materials, the control of European Union supply routes and a strategy of resource efficiency through recycling. It has also led to the preparation and adoption of a list of critical materials.

This brief is available in French only: Face au défi des métaux critiques, une approche stratégique du recyclage s’impose

Critical materials Energy Mines Recycling Renewables China