Brussels, 5 June 2012
How can we do more with less? Commission gathers high-level input on resource-efficient growth
Today Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik launched the European Resource Efficiency Platform to provide high-level guidance and advice on policy measures designed to transform the European economy towards a more sustainable growth path. Resource efficiency is a pillar of the Europe 2020 strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth, and is therefore a top priority for the European Commission. The primary task of the Platform will be to determine how to achieve the milestones and vision set out in the Commission's Roadmap to a resource-efficient Europe, including the ultimate vision of decoupling resource use and its impacts from economic growth.
Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik said: "We need people of high calibre and broad experience to help us address the challenge of how to transform our economies to a resource efficient growth model. We will have to become more resource efficient whether we like it or not, and the earlier we do so the better for our Europe's competitiveness and for our environment. The first meeting of the Platform today increases my confidence that we will be able to meet the challenge."
The Platform is chaired by John Bruton, a former prime minister of Ireland and EU Ambassador to the US. Its 34 members include five European Commissioners, four Members of the European Parliament, nine business leaders from various sectors, four environment ministers, and members of international organisations and institutions, civil society and academia. The intention is to combine the members' backgrounds and skills to provide useful guidance to the European Commission, Member States and market actors.
Platform Chair John Bruton said "I am delighted to be able to work with such a group. I am confident that we will be able to use the experience and knowledge of the members to guide business and policy makers on the best ways to achieve resource efficiency."
The main principles guiding the European Resource Efficiency Platform's (EREP) work include reflecting interlinkages between issues, seeking added value and impact, and producing tangible outcomes to feed into policy developments.
The EREP is part of a wider Commission move to bring together stakeholders and promote dialogue on resource efficiency challenges and opportunities. Anyone interested in contributing to the debate is invited to participate via an online platform, also being launched today, which will be home to a series of exchanges and consultations in the coming months.
The working groups are scheduled to produce a first set of recommendations in approximately 12 months, and a second by the end of its mandate mid-2014.
The Europe 2020 Flagship initiative on resource efficiency called for a Roadmap to define medium and long-term objectives on resource efficiency and means to achieve them. The resulting Roadmap to a resource-efficient Europe aims to transform Europe's economy into a sustainable one by 2050 and outlines how we can achieve the resource-efficient growth that is essential for our future wellbeing and prosperity. The Roadmap recommends an integrated approach requiring structural changes across many policy areas and sectors at European and Member States levels, focusing on the resources under most pressure. The Roadmap recommends a variety of instruments, including legislation, market-based instruments, the refocusing of funding instruments and the promotion of sustainable production and consumption.
For more information on resource efficiency see:
Joe Hennon (+32 2 295 35 93)
Monica Westeren (+32 2 299 18 30)