The European Parliament has backed the EU roadmap for a more resource efficient Europe with 479 votes in favour, 66 against and 63 abstentions.
Dutch Liberal MEP Gerben-Jan Gerbrandy, who drafted the report on behalf of the Parliament, said: “Implementation of my report would mean economic growth, creation of jobs, and protection for the environment.”
MEPs voted to phase out landfill across the EU by the end of the decade. They also want to ensure that waste that can be recycled or composted is not being incinerated. MEPs also want the European Commission to revise the 2020 recycling targets in Waste Framework Directive.
Gerbrandy’s recommendation that a sense of urgency for resource efficiency should be created was accepted by MEPs. As part of this, they intend to trigger a major overhaul of the secondary material market. The report urged member states to shift the taxation burden, through measures such as reduced VAT on certain secondary materials. VAT would apply in areas where there is a market failure, promotion of innovative collection and sorties technologies.
EU Parliament Green group spokesperson Bas Eickhout said: “Solely focusing on austerity will keep us trapped in an unsustainable debt cycle, 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.”
Friends of the Earth Europe (FoEE) said the vote supports the policies Europe needs in order to cope with a future of more constrained and expensive resources. However, the EU must clear targets to face the challenge of resource scarcity.
FoEE resource campaigner Ariadna Rodrigo said: “To fully benefit from this, it’s vital Europe also addresses its over consumption of the world’s increasingly scarce natural resources by developing targets to reduce Europe’s resource use.”