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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Two European industrial firms announced on Monday a joint venture to recycle battery materials and aluminum from electric vehicles in Norway, where EVs are gaining substantial market share.

Driving the news: The Swedish company Northvolt and the Norwegian aluminum giant Norsk Hydro plan to establish initial recycling operations next year.

  • The company also plans to have a "full-scale recycling plant" at the big battery factory it's building in Sweden.
  • Overall, Northvolt aims to source half its raw materials from recycled batteries within 10 years.

Why it matters: Recycling efforts can cut the ecological footprint of EVs, and the "circular economy" is a pillar of the European Union environmental strategy — it's even name-checked in a major pandemic stimulus proposal last week.

  • And per the Financial Times (subscription), which first reported the joint venture, the Northvolt-Norsk Hydro JV is "part of Europe’s effort to build a green battery industry to take on Tesla and Asian rivals."

What they're saying: "The partnership with Hydro is an important piece of the puzzle to secure an external feed of material before our own batteries begin returning back to us," Emma Nehrenheim, a top environmental exec at Northvolt, said in announcing the plan.

Go deeper

Battery firm QuantumScape taps public markets

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Yet another transportation startup plans to take the shortcut to an IPO and this time, it's a battery company.

What's happening: QuantumScape, a battery startup backed by Volkswagen and Bill Gates, said on Thursday it plans to go public through a reverse merger with Kensington Capital Acquisition Corp.

Australia opposes UN report warning Great Barrier Reef is "in danger"

A green sea turtle swimming among the corals at Lady Elliot island, off the coast of Queensland, Australia. Photo: Jonas Gratzer/LightRocket via Getty Images

The Great Barrier Reef should be included in a list of World Heritage Sites that are "in danger" from climate change, a United Nations committee said in a report Tuesday.

Yes, but: Australia's government said it will "strongly oppose" the recommendation by UNESCO's World Heritage Committee.

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema: Abolishing filibuster would weaken "democracy's guardrails"

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema at the U.S. Capitol building earlier this month. Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) defended her opposition to abolishing the 60-vote legislative filibuster in a Washington Post op-ed published Monday night, saying to do so would weaken "democracy's guardrails."

Why it matters: There have been growing calls from Democrats, particularly progressives, to overhaul the rules as the Senate prepares to vote Tuesday on a massive voting rights package. But Sinema writes in her op-ed that if this were to happen "we will lose much more than we gain."