EU’s Resource Strategy and Its Objectives
Resources are essential for economic activities and social welfare. However, the securing of resources has become increasingly challenging due to global demand increase, supply instability, climate change, and environmental issues.
Particularly, critical resources such as rare earths and lithium rely on a few countries like China and Russia, posing a strategic challenge for the European Union (EU).
Therefore, on May 17, 2023, the EU announced a new resource strategy. Its aim is to balance resource security and sustainability, and it sets forth the following four policies:
Strengthening resource mining and processing capabilities.
Promoting investments in low-carbon technologies such as renewable energy and electric vehicles (EVs).
Driving resource efficiency and a circular economy.
Establishing trade agreements and cooperative relationships with reliable third countries.
Through this strategy, the EU seeks to achieve the following four goals:
Enhance resilience to environmental issues and climate change.
Contribute to economic growth and job creation.
Address regional and social disparities.
Strengthen strategic autonomy and geopolitical influence.
The EU’s resource strategy is positioned as part of the European Green Deal, which was announced in 2019. The European Green Deal aims to achieve climate neutrality across the entire EU by 2050, necessitating a transition to a resource-efficient circular economy.
In implementing the resource strategy, the EU calls for cooperation with member states, industries, civil society, and others to develop a shared vision and action plan. Additionally, the EU aims to collaborate with the international community to establish global rules and standards for resource management.
Japanese Reactions to the EU’s Resource Strategy
What are the reactions of Japanese people to the EU’s resource strategy? Let’s take a look at comments and articles found on the internet for reference.
Many Japanese people seem to view the EU’s resource strategy as something that can be instructive for Japan as well. Particularly for critical resources like rare metals and plastics, some feel that measures such as diversifying supply sources, reviewing stockpiling systems, and strengthening supply chains are necessary. Additionally, there are those who believe that transitioning to a circular economy and sustainable products is important to enhance resilience to environmental issues and climate change.
Some Japanese individuals perceive the EU’s resource strategy as an opportunity to enhance Japan’s competitiveness and influence. Especially in advanced industries such as electric vehicles and AI-powered devices, there is a demand for technological development and innovation that effectively utilizes resources like rare metals and plastics. Some believe that Japan has a competitive advantage in these fields. Furthermore, there are people who think that by establishing cooperation with the EU, it is possible to formulate shared visions and action plans and establish global rules and standards for resource management.
However, there are also those who recognize that the EU’s resource strategy poses challenges and necessitates adjustments for Japan. Particularly, in order to comply with the new requirements and regulations set by the EU for products and packaging, Japanese companies need to demonstrate adaptability and flexibility. Additionally, some individuals feel the need to be cautious when participating in trade agreements and cooperative relationships led by the EU to ensure that Japan’s desired policies and interests are not compromised.
This concludes the article on the reactions of Japanese people to the EU’s resource strategy. The EU is expected to continue actively addressing resource issues, and Japan is called upon to reevaluate its own strategy, cooperate, and compete accordingly.
Consultant: I think the EU’s resource strategy is a comprehensive and ambitious plan that balances resource security and sustainability. Japan should also learn policies that promote a circular economy without relying too heavily on imports.
Environmental activist: I believe the EU’s resource strategy is a positive step towards addressing global challenges such as climate change, biodiversity loss, and ocean pollution. Japan should take more action, such as reducing plastic waste and greenhouse gas emissions.
Rare metal blogger: The EU’s resource strategy poses a threat to Japan’s competitiveness and influence in advanced technology fields such as xEV, AI, and IoT. Japan should strengthen its supply chain for rare metals and other critical minerals, as well as its innovation capabilities.
Trade company employee: I see the EU’s resource strategy as an opportunity for cooperation for Japan. Together with the EU and other like-minded countries, we can establish common rules and standards for global resource management. Japan should also diversify its sources of supply and invest in resource development projects in third countries.
NGO staff: I think the EU’s resource strategy is a model that other regions and countries should follow. Japan should support the EU’s efforts, promote sustainable production and consumption, and consider environmental impacts and human rights protection in the resource supply chain.
Manufacturer: The EU’s resource strategy poses challenges for Japanese companies. As the EU imposes new requirements and regulations on products and packaging, Japanese companies need to adapt and respond flexibly to maintain access to the EU market.
Research institute member: I believe the EU’s resource strategy reflects the influence and leadership of the EU in setting global norms and standards. Japan should actively participate in international discussions and negotiations and assert its own interests.
Student: I think the EU’s resource strategy is future-oriented and fantastic. I also want to work in a job related to the circular economy in the future. I hope Japan develops environmentally friendly products and services that can compete with the EU.
Housewife: I think the EU’s resource strategy is good for consumers. If there are more repairable, durable, and easily recyclable products, it can save money and be better for the planet. I would be happy if it becomes easier to choose such products in Japan too.
Teacher: I believe the EU’s resource strategy also relates to education. Children need to learn about the principles of a circular economy and resource issues. Japan should promote educational reforms and nurture talents with a global perspective.