The European Parliament today voted to set out its position on the EU resource efficiency roadmap presented by the Commission last year. The Greens welcomed the outcome of the vote, which strengthened the Commissions proposals, with Green environment spokesperson Bas Eickhout stating:
"The EP has today voted to flesh out the Commission's proposals on resource efficiency. Resource efficiency should be a core priority for the EU, with a view to promoting innovation, reducing our dependence on imported resources and helping to achieve the EU's climate, energy and environmental goals. Europe is the region most dependent on imports and, clearly, reducing our absolute consumption of imported resources should be an urgent priority now the era of cheap and plentiful resources is over."
Green environment spokesperson Satu Hassi added:
"While the approach outlined by the Commission was well intentioned, it was more of a bare statement of intent. The EP has today strengthened this approach by calling for concrete measures and clear targets for resource use. We hope EU governments will now act on this and maximise the potential of resource efficiency. This implies a much greater focus on reuse and recycling of resources, notably metals, which not only makes economic sense but would reduce the environmental problems linked to extraction."
Bas Eickhout concluded:
"Recent experience has shown that solely focusing on austerity will keep us trapped in an unsustainable debt cycle and that we should instead move to smart taxation in order to stimulate investment in the green economy. It makes absolute sense to have price signals making scarce factors like resources more expensive to reflect their true cost and abundant factors like labour less expensive. The EP has today rightly called for a shift in the taxation burden from labour to pollution and the wasteful use of resources. This will not only boost employment, it would also be a step forward for a resource-efficient Europe."