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Resource use and efficiency

Commission's proposals more of a road-sign than a roadmap

The European Commission today adopted its roadmap for resource efficiency. The Greens welcomed the fact that the Commission recognises the importance of resource efficiency but regretted the absence of clear targets and new concrete measures aimed at improving resource efficiency. Commenting on the roadmap Green MEP Bas Eickhout said:

"While this roadmap is a welcome step in putting resource efficiency higher on the EU agenda, the lack of clear targets and new concrete measures make it more of a road-sign than a roadmap.

"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. It is therefore disappointing that instead of proposing clear and robust resource efficiency targets to steer investments and eco-innovation, the Commission relies on voluntary milestones to improve our use of resources. Regrettably, any decision on resource efficiency targets is delayed until 2013. We are already reaching our planet's resource boundaries and we need to send the message that our economy needs to create more with less now rather than tomorrow or in three years time.

"The Commission's proposals are further undermined by the absence of new concrete initiatives that can be implemented immediately. It is doubtful that the voluntary approach outlined by the Commission will suffice to realise a resource-efficient Europe. Shifting taxation from labour to resource use is one clear way of promoting more efficient use of resources but the Commission has failed to present clear proposals to this end. The Greens believe the Commission should come forward with a Resource Taxation Directive, such as by broadening the scope of the existing Energy Taxation Directive. This would send a clear signal for investors and ensure greater resource efficiency."