20 Mar 2023, 12:15
Julian Wettengel

Germany and Japan vow deeper cooperation to secure raw material supply

Clean Energy Wire

Japan and Germany have agreed stronger cooperation to ensure sufficient supply of raw materials in areas critical to transforming their economies, such as semiconductors, clean energy, hydrogen and batteries. A joint government statement said that a faster global energy transition is important to tackle the challenges energy security, climate crisis and geopolitical risks in a holistic manner. The two governments agreed that the national resource agencies (JOGMEC in Japan and BGR in Germany) will cooperate more closely to guarantee raw material supply security. The institutions will exchange know-how to “increase the scope for action”, said German Chancellor Olaf Scholz at a press conference, without providing details. “At the same time, this also creates a common view on the question of how investments in raw material exploration can take place elsewhere,” said Scholz. Companies from both countries could cooperate and jointly invest in way which is fair to the third countries. Raw materials should “perhaps also reach the first processing stage” in the countries where they are extracted, said the chancellor. “That would strengthen the ability of many countries to develop.”

Scholz and several ministers travelled to Japan over the weekend for the first official Japanese-German government consultations – a format that Germany is already running with several other countries. Japan and Germany agreed that cooperation among like-minded democracies was vital amid supply chain issues caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and its consequences for energy deliveries and security policy, had also heightened the need for more cooperation. Critical raw materials such as lithium or cobalt are needed to make many products - such as battery cells for electric vehicles - which are key to the transformation to climate neutrality.

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