Europe ready for resource efficiency

25 April 2012

Parliamentary support for robust measurement of Europe's resource use

European politicians laid foundations for a resource efficient Europe today, with wide political support shown for the need to measure Europe's resource use. This is a crucial first step towards reducing Europe's resource use, according to Friends of the Earth Europe, but the European Commission must follow suit in order for Europe to gain the benefits greater resource efficiency brings.

The parliamentary committee working on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety today voted overwhelmingly in favour of indicators to measure Europe's use of water, land, materials and carbon. This vote demonstrates the need to move away from the European Commission's current ineffective resource productivity indicator, which lacks transparency and is not fit for purpose.

Ariadna Rodrigo, resource use campaigner at Friends of the Earth Europe, said: "This is a very strong signal from the European Parliament that Europe is ready to embrace the significant environmental and economic benefits that resource efficiency brings."

"Europe can no longer remain passive about its overconsumption of natural resources, nor can it ignore the negative environmental, social and economic impacts of overconsumption."

The European Commission's Roadmap towards a Resource Efficient Europe favours the development of resource use indicators, but the Parliament has been very clear there is only one scientifically robust way to measure Europe's resource use: by adopting the water, land, carbon and material footprint indicators.

Ariadna Rodrigo continued: "Support for indicators that measure the land, water, carbon and materials that Europe uses is a pivotal milestone towards reducing resource use and the financial savings this entails.

Today's vote sends a clear message to the European Commission that the political will to put Europe on a truly resource efficient path is there – further delay in adopting the indicators would be a missed opportunity."

With wide support for the four indicators, Friends of the Earth Europe calls on the European Commission to adopt them without delay, in order to put in place European resource reduction targets by 2013. Resource reduction targets are the only way to ensure that Europe reaps the environmental, social and economic benefits [1] of resource efficiency.

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NOTES:

[1] Resource efficiency could bring significant financial savings across Europe – UK government-funded research shows €28 billion Euros could be saved in the UK alone