France’s signing of raw materials deals with Canada and Australia is an important step for European “commodities diplomacy”, the French energy ministry said on Wednesday (27 September).
French Energy Transition Minister Agnes Pannier-Runacher signed a cooperation agreement with King on the same day after Australian Resources Minister Madeleine King warned the EU in Brussels on Wednesday about stalling investment in critical minerals.
In the morning, Pannier-Runacher signed a similar agreement with his Canadian partner.
“We have agreements with countries [Australien und Kanada] “We have signed agreements that share our values and practices,” the French minister’s office said.
Australia and Canada are rich in resources such as nickel, lithium and copper – all key metals listed in the EU Critical Raw Materials Act (CRMA), which aims to ensure the security of the EU’s energy transition.
However, Panneer-Runacher’s office confirmed that these contracts were not directly related to the goods.
“Through this joint study, the French and Australian governments will explore ways to overcome barriers to establishing sustainable supply chains for critical minerals,” King added in a press release.
The deals are bilateral and not part of the EU strategy for trilateral cooperation on critical raw materials agreed in June between France, Germany and Italy.
Parliamentary Secretary of State for the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Francesca Brantner also welcomed King on Monday for a discussion on bilateral strategies.
The EU is already negotiating a free trade agreement with Australia, including access to important Australian minerals.
On Thursday, Australia, Germany, France and other countries will have an opportunity to discuss further at the IEA Critical Minerals and Clean Energy Summit, attended by more than 90 policy, institutional and financial decision makers.
“This is the first time the IEA has organized a summit on this issue,” Pannier-Runacher’s office said.
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