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United Kingdom watchdog proposes not classifying key battery material as toxic

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on The Financial Times enjoy below

🗞️ Driving the news: The UK's safety regulator, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), suggests not labeling lithium chemicals as “toxic”, a move that might support investments in the country’s electric vehicle (EV) supply chain
• This decision might cause the UK to diverge from EU regulations on the matter

🔭 The context: Lithium, vital for electric car batteries, is seeing global governments incentivizing its mining and processing
• While the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) recommended the classification of three lithium compounds as “reproductive toxicants” last year, the HSE has expressed reservations about following suit

🌎 Why does it matter for the planet: As the world pivots to green energy, lithium regulations have far-reaching effects
• Such decisions can steer investments and mold the global electric car industry's future

⏭️ What's next: The UK government will make the final decision on HSE’s proposal
• Should the UK abstain from labeling lithium as toxic, it may benefit future UK-based lithium refineries by offering them cost and regulatory advantages over their European peers

💬 One quote: ”The reduced regulatory ambiguity in the UK can only help in luring investments for lithium mining and refining” (Roland Chavasse, from the International Lithium Association)

📈 One stat: By 2030, the UK’s electric vehicle production might require lithium valued nearly $1 billion, compared to Europe’s projected $13.4 billion, according to CRU Group

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