Improving German raw materials policy (ROHPOLRESS)

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Improved environmental and social standards in the mining industry and an effective governance of the raw material sector belong to the biggest global economic, social and environmental challenges. Germany also pursues the goal of a more efficient resource and material use in the production and consumption processes. Against this background, the federal government has set itself ambitious goals in its sustainability strategy for the reduction of raw material consumption. At the same time it became clear in recent years that the stability of the raw material supply in Germany, which is often dependent on imports, also constitutes an important policy objective.

The federal government responded to these challenges with its own raw material strategy, which was flanked by a "German Resource Efficiency Programme (ProgRess)". In addition, some federal states have developed their own resource policy analyses and strategies. With the establishment of the "Alliance for Raw Materials", the private sector has attempted to increase the supply security through joint investments in mining projects. These strategies and approaches pursue a number of objectives – including increasing the supply security, reducing the raw material consumption and improving the social and environmental impact of raw material production. However, there are significant discrepancies between the respective objectives pursued, governance approaches and the responsible actors.

On behalf of the Federal Environmental Agency (UBA) and in collaboration with the Fraunhofer ISI and the Eco-Institute, adelphi analysed the most important current and planned raw material- and resource-related activities and policies of the federal government, selected provincial governments, the private sector and the European Commission. Existing conflicts of objectives and possible interfaces and synergies were identified and evaluated. The aim of the project was to develop concrete policy recommendations for a more coherent structure of the German raw material and resource policy, especially with regards to the further development of ProgRess.