Resource efficiency confirmed as key aim of EU up to 2020


The European Council has confirmed that resource efficiency is a key goal of the latest environment action programme.

Adoption of the legislation to implement the programme follows an agreement that was reached during informal discussions with the European Parliament on 19 June 2013 and has now been confirmed by the Council.


The seventh Environment Action Programme is called Living Well, Within the Limits of Our Planet and replaces the sixth programme that expired in July 2012.

It sets out nine priority objectives for EU environment policy in the period up to 2020. These are:

  • To protect, conserve and enhance the Union’s natural capital
  • To turn the Union into a resource efficient, green and competitive low-carbon economy
  • To safeguard the Union’s citizens from environment-related pressures and risks to health and wellbeing
  • To maximise the benefits of the Union’s environmental legislation by improving implementation
  • To improve the knowledge and evidence base for environment policy
  • To secure investment for environment and climate policy and address environmental externalities
  • To improve environmental integration and policy coherence
  • To enhance the sustainability of the Union’s cities
  • To increase the Union’s effectiveness in addressing international environmental and climate challenges.

The programme builds on policy initiatives in the Europe 2020 strategy, such as the EU climate and energy package, the communication on a roadmap for moving to a low-carbon economy in 2050, the EU 2020 biodiversity strategy and the roadmap to a resource efficient Europe.