RECORDING: Public lecture by Maive Rute „Global race for cleantech and critical raw materials. Europe between China and the US"

The Deputy Director-General of the European Commission’s Directorate General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, Maive Rute, will visit the University of Tartu and deliver a public lecture Global race for cleantech and critical raw materials. Europe between China and the US” in the Institute of Social Studies at 16:15 on 16 May. The lecture is in English. Those interested can attend it on site in Tartu (Lossi 36215) or online in Worksup. For participation please register in advance.

Main takeaways from Maive Rute's lecture

  • In today's changed global economy, we have to think more and more about what we can do to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from consumption and economic activity. The EU has promised to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030.
  • Dealing with climate issues is closely related to investments. If the world's largest economies increased their investments to the level of 20–30 years ago, they would cover half of the investments needed to transition to renewable energy and a more circular economy.
  • Today, China is the largest investor in solar panels, batteries and other clean technologies. If Europe wants to be successful in the global race for clean tech with China and the USA and an influential player in the changed global economy, we need to think today about how to build the factories and technologies needed for low-emission industries in the future.
  • The goal of the EU's new Net-Zero Industry Act is to increase the production of net-zero technologies by, among other things, investing more in innovation and skills as well as improving market conditions.
  • Europe is heavily dependent on imported raw materials needed to transition to a more sustainable and digital future. In 2030, global demand is likely to outstrip the supply of critical raw materials such as cobalt or lithium and rare earth elements. The EU's Critical Raw Materials Act aims to limit and diversify the supply of critical raw materials from third countries, expand local mining and improve the recycling of raw materials.

The world is moving towards a new economic model based on renewable resources. This also forces businesses to keep pace with the change to survive. Under the US Inflation Reduction Act, $360 billion will be channelled into green technologies and the deployment of electric vehicles by 2032. According to Rute, it is just one example of the huge investments made in the accelerating race to develop future technologies. “Both supporters and critics have referred to Europe’s green transition as primarily a climate policy. But the European Green Deal also represents an opportunity to build new value chains in the fast-growing market of renewable energy, electric cars or digitalisation,” Rute explained. In the lecture, she will explain in more detail how Europe’s recent Net-Zero Industry Act, the Critical Raw Materials Act and other new initiatives help reduce Europe’s strategic dependence on China and Russia, ensure the availability of green raw materials, and encourage entrepreneurs to set up businesses in Europe.

Rute’s lecture will be followed by a panel discussion with Anna-Kati Pahker, doctoral student in the Deep Transitions research group of the University of Tartu Institute of Social Studies, and Peep Mardiste who teaches energy policy and security issues at the University of Tartu Johan Skytte Institute of Political Studies. Margit Keller, the head of the Centre for Sustainable Development will lead the discussion.

At the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, Maive Rute is responsible for industrial policy. Her areas of expertise include the greening of enterprises, the resilience of supply chains and Europe’s economic security, the promotion of investments, the modernisation of public procurement and standardisation, and the protection of intellectual property.

Rute started work at the European Commission as a director for entrepreneurship policy in 2005. From 2009–2019, she was a top research and innovation manager at the European Commission. Previously, she worked in Estonia as the CEO of Kredex and the Deputy Governor of Eesti Pank, the central bank of Estonia.

The public lecture is organised by the University of Tartu’s Institute of Social Studies, Johan Skytte Institute of Political Studies, Centre for Sustainable Development and the team of the project “Rejuvenating Democracy in the EU” of Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence.


To plan the number of seats in the lecture room, we ask you to inform us in advance of your participation in the form below: 

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