Europe must transform itself into a resource efficient economy – and 2013 is the year to work out how

On Friday I attended the second meeting of the high level “European Resource Efficiency Platform” (EREP). I’m Friends of the Earth Europe’s ‘Sherpa‘ in this process, assisting Friends of the Earth Europe’s Director, Magda Stoczkiewicz, who is currently on maternity leave.

EREP was set up by the European Commission in summer 2012, and is made up of a diverse range of organisations organisations including the German and Danish Environment Ministers, Siemens, Unilever, the European Trades Unions Congress and UNEP.

The meeting on Friday agreed a “Manifesto for a Resource Efficient Europe“, which concludes that Europe must transform itself into a “resource-efficient and ultimately regenerative circular economy”. The manifesto also emphasises the importance of setting targets to reduce Europe’s resource use.

In my view the manifesto is an important start, and now we need to see real, specific, policy proposals emerging in 2013. The platform has already identified a good set of priorities, for these policy proposals, and it’s due to come out with specific proposals in a report in June 2013.

Targets are particularly important in my view, as there is massive evidence that targets are an effective way of creating change. In addition, there are a lot of easy wins around, notably in waste policy where there are also very substantial gains to be made by stopping burying and burning of any waste that could be recycled or composted.

We’re going to have a busy first half of 2013 trying to agree some substantive and effective policy proposals….

For more information on Friends of the Earth Europe’s work on Resource Efficiency, see:

http://www.foeeurope.org/resources

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