The theme of this year's World Environment Day is "green economy: does it include you?" The EP's answer is a resounding "yes". It is championing moves towards a low-carbon, resource-efficient and socially-inclusive green economy in many policy areas ranging from agriculture, energy and transport to green jobs, hailed by many as a possible way out of the current crisis.
A green economy based on renewable energy will stimulate Europe's technological development, says Spanish Christian-Democrat Zalba Bidegain, vice-chair of the economics committee. "Moreover, this green economy will allow us to find new ways to generate jobs, wealth and respect the environment."
Green economy and jobs
In a resolution on a resource-efficient Europe, adopted 24 May, the EP said the EU must make a better use of resources to boost economic growth and protect the environment.
It also called for a shift towards taxes on environmentally harmful practices and away from taxes on labour and proposed cutting VAT on some materials produced from recycled waste, to help promote innovation.
Employment committee chair Pervenche Bères, says the green sector will be able to produce many jobs: "Minimising energy consumption, reducing waste and pollution or even safeguarding biodiversity, a green job may take several forms. Simply put, it benefits the environment."
"The more we do now the easier it will be in the future. Either we take a lead in promoting a low carbon economy or we get left behind. This is an opportunity to promote investment and stimulate technological innovation. It will leave Europe stronger not weaker," UK Liberal Chris Davies said about green energy:
A resolution on green energy voted in March supports the EU strategy to cut CO2 emission 80-95% by 2050 but wants concrete targets including inclusion of aviation emissions in the emissions trading system, binding renewable energy targets by 2030 and curbs on emissions from ships and agriculture.
- Celebrated 5 June, it commemorates the first UN Conference on the Human Environment in Stockholm in 1972