ILA Blog

Industry must work together to defend its future

By Dr Andy Bush

Our industry is at something of a turning point as we look ahead, which is exactly what we did at the 21st International Pb Conference in Madrid.

Representing such a wide ranging and significant community, it is important that we meet together to ensure we are all aligned in our goals.

Although an exciting time, it is also one of significant change which can only become opportunity if we co-ordinate our efforts across the industry. To do so, we need to acknowledge these challenges together and at our biannual lead conference we took the opportunity to review the landscape.

In 2018 the lead industry in Europe faced some significant legislative challenges. It was only thanks to a strong and effective response that major consequences for our industry were averted.

The threat of REACH authorisation was a wake-up call for the lead and lead battery industries. It told us more clearly than anything else that we need to make our case as powerfully and effectively as possible if we are to avoid similar pressures in the future. Critically, it was the combined efforts of ILA, EUROBAT, and the Lead REACH Consortium which meant the threat was averted.

We’ve got a good story to tell and the right community to tell it.

At Pb2019 we heard a lot about why lead really does matter to a wide range of essential industries. Most decision-makers and regulators have little idea just how widespread and how significant the role of lead is in everything from achieving a circular economy to sending European satellites into space. And that’s before we explain the role of advanced lead batteries in achieving the EU’s mid-century zero-carbon aims.

Despite the positive contribution of lead and lead-based products to economies and societies worldwide the regulatory threats to the industry are still very much alive, and not just in Europe.

A complex landscape of challenges which needs a complex mix of solutions – this is where our ability as interlinked industries to align, co-operate and work together to communicate the importance of our products will be the key tool to further future-proofing. We must get up and shout about how responsible we are as an industry and to engage in the debates that matter to policy makers, be it reducing carbon, creating a circular economy, investing in new jobs and new skills and generating the batteries of the future through cutting edge innovation. Although a seemingly great challenge, our collective work has something to offer in all of these priorities and so we should approach this as an opportunity.

Our industries are helping achieve all these goals – but we need to do more to explain to policy makers and others just what we are doing. At Pb2019 the industry around the world sent out a clear message of co-operation and commitment to working together to achieve not only our goals but the goals of a rapidly changing world economy.

 

ILA Blog


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Andy Bush

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