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Survey finds mismatch in resource efficiency policies
Submitted by Peter on Thu, 13/10/2011 - 12:12.
A survey conducted by the European Environment Agency (EEA) has revealed a wide range of policy approaches to improving resource efficiency among member states, but also that only a few have supported these with specific action plans or targets.
Targets tend to relate to particular sectors or resources. For example, 8% of Bulgaria’s arable land should be farmed organically by 2013, and Hungary should reduce its waste generation by 20% by 2020. These are normally driven by EU requirements and are usually related to waste, energy use and energy efficiency, reducing GHG emissions, and increasing the share of land used for organic farming. Very few countries took a coordinated holistic approach to resource efficiency.
A mismatch was therefore observed in the different approaches to resource efficiency. It was identified by most countries as a priority in economic strategies that have a broad application. However, the policy measures that have been implemented to increase resource efficiency have a smaller application, being located primarily in environmental or sectoral policies. It is unclear, then, whether policy intervention should be focussed on the economy whole or on specific sectors.
The EEA suggests that the EU should play a key role in resource efficiency policymaking, with more guidance and strategy being provided to member states. It also considers that a greater EU contribution would help to create a common understanding of the concept of resource efficiency, where there is currently some confusion. By providing clarity and direction, the EU would be able to help member states in achieving their goal of greater resource efficiency.
For more information and to download the report, please click here.