NEWS | September 28, 2023
The struggle for Robert Habeck’s one billion euros heavy raw materials fund will continue in the fall with renewed energy. The majority of the traffic light coalition has already given the green light for the prestige project, but Habeck still needs to convince the FDP. Maybe we can help him a little.
Will the FDP approve the fund?
The funding for the fund consists of two halves. The first part can be taken by Habeck from the Climate and Transformation Fund (KTF) under his supervision. For the second part, federal funds are needed, which requires approval from the traffic light coalition partners. The Chancellor’s party SPD and the Greens are already in agreement. According to Handelsblatt, Habeck could also convince the FDP. He may only need to ensure that the funds are not withdrawn from important FDP projects such as the funds for the German Aerospace Center (DLR).
Robert Habeck has many theoretical arguments
Here, Robert Habeck could make a case. After all, space travel also requires technology metals. Hafnium is used in rockets due to its heat resistance. There are also many other arguments for the fund that Habeck could present. Europe must increasingly prepare for collateral damage from the trade war between the USA and China. The recent announcement of export controls on Gallium and Germanium could be just the beginning. Additionally, the EU Commission has set a target to source only up to 70% of a raw material from a single third country by 2030. With mine opening times of up to 10 years, even with immediate approval of the fund, it will be very challenging to become independent of China in such a short time. An example of this is rare earths, which still come from the Middle Kingdom to over 90%.
Other EU countries are also establishing raw materials funds
Exploration is definitely the order of the day. Other European countries have already realized this. For example, France has launched a two-billion-euro fund together with private investors. Italy has also established a fund of one billion euros. We reported on this (https://noble-bc.de/insights/warnschuss-china-kommt-robert-habecks-rohstoff-fonds-jetzt-doch). These countries are putting pressure on Germany. Robert Habeck’s French counterpart, Le Maire, is said to have told him that he cannot understand why Germany, as the financially strongest state in the EU, remains inactive on this issue. What is emerging here is not just political pressure. It is the awakening awareness of raw materials in Europe due to the crises of our time. Nobody can resist this, not even the FDP.
Storage still the most important supply instrument for now
For now, storage will be the most important tool for securing industrial supply. China can imitate Russia’s tactics with gas using rare earths and technology metals at any time to exert political pressure. Privately storing companies like Noble BC allow our companies to continue production. They also offer investors the opportunity to invest in the raw materials of the future with attractive return prospects.