The European Union body that has been charged with coming up with policy on resource efficiency has set out its manifesto ahead of producing detailed policy recommendations in June 2013.
Chaired by former Irish prime minister John Bruton, the European Resource Efficiency Platform has set out six items in its manifesto that it will recommend policy on. These are:
- Encouraging innovation and accelerating public and private investment in resource-efficient technologies, systems and skills, also in SMEs through a dynamic and predictable political, economic and regulatory framework, a supportive financial system and sustainable growth enhancing resource-efficient priorities in public expenditure and procurement
- Implementing, using and adopting smart regulation, standards and codes of conduct that a) create a level playing field b) reward front-runners and c) accelerate the transition, and d) take into account the social and international implications of our actions
- Abolishing environmentally harmful subsidies and tax-breaks that waste public money on obsolete practices, taking care to address affordability for people whose incomes are hardest-pressed. Shifting the tax burden away from jobs to encourage resource-efficiency, and using taxes and charges to stimulate innovation and development of job-rich, socially cohesive, resource-efficient and climate-resilient economy
- Creating better market conditions for products and services that have lower impacts across their life-cycles, and that are durable, repairable and recyclable, progressively taking the worst performing products off the market; inspiring sustainable life-styles by informing and incentivising consumers, using the latest insights into behavioural economics and information technology, and encouraging sustainable sourcing, new business models and the use of waste as raw materials
- Integrating current and future resource scarcities and vulnerabilities more coherently into wider policy areas, at national, European and global level, such as in the fields of transport, food, waste and construction
- Providing clear signals to all economic actors by adopting policy goals to achieve a resource-efficient economy and society by 2020, setting targets that give a clear direction and indicators to measure progress relating to the use of land, material, water and greenhouse gas emissions, as well as biodiversity. Such indicators must go beyond conventional measures of economic activity, help guide the decisions of all actors, and assist public authorities in timely action. All organisations above a meaningful size and impact must be held accountable to measure and report key non-financial progress indicators on a comparable basis.