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Brussels, 8 June 2011

Environment: Commissioner Janez Potočnik welcomes European Parliament votes on the Beyond GDP Report and on a new Regulation on Environmental Economic Accounts

"I warmly welcome the results of two votes in Parliament yesterday and today – one on the Report on Beyond GDP, and the other on a new Regulation on Environmental Economic Accounts. These outcomes clearly demonstrate that there is broad consensus, shared by other EU institutions, that human development and wellbeing is about more than what we can measure through monetary values. We need an additional measuring system to complement GDP. GDP does not cover goods and services that have no value on markets, like a clean environment, goods produced in households or recreation activities. This is why we need to move forward with the "beyond GDP" concept, and create new indicators to measure environmental, social and well-being issues. This will also help policymakers monitor progress more effectively, and enable us to communicate more clearly about targets that go beyond economic activity and affect the environment and society. The additional indicators will be pointers to the changes needed if we are to reach key sustainability objectives, and move towards a more resource-efficient economy. The first concrete follow-up from the 2009 roadmap (GDP and Beyond: Measuring Progress in a Changing World) is the new Regulation on Environmental Economic Accounts, which was approved in the European Parliament plenary yesterday. This is the first of several actions that can be taken in the short and medium term to develop more inclusive indicators and improve our knowledge base about the economy, society and the environment, and its adoption is a clear sign that things are moving in the right direction. Work will now continue to ensure the Commission delivers on the promises made in the 2009 Roadmap."

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