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Procedure : 2011/2068(INI)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A7-0161/2012

Texts tabled :

A7-0161/2012

Debates :

PV 23/05/2012 - 16
CRE 23/05/2012 - 16

Votes :

PV 24/05/2012 - 10.4
Explanations of votes
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :

P7_TA(2012)0223

Texts adopted
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Thursday, 24 May 2012 - Strasbourg Final edition
A resource-efficient Europe
P7_TA(2012)0223A7-0161/2012

European Parliament resolution of 24 May 2012 on a resource-efficient Europe (2011/2068(INI))

The European Parliament ,

–  having regard to the communication of the Commission on the ‘Roadmap to a Resource Efficient Europe’ (COM(2011)0571),

–  having regard to the communication of the Commission on ‘A resource-efficient Europe – Flagship initiative under the Europe 2020 Strategy’ (COM(2011)0021),

–  having regard to the communication of the Commission on ‘Europe 2020 – A strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth’ (COM(2010)2020),

–  having regard to the communication of the Commission on ‘Improving the delivery of benefits from EU environment measures: building confidence through better knowledge and responsiveness (COM(2012)0095)’,

–  having regard to its resolution of 13 September 2011 on an effective raw materials strategy for Europe(1) ,

–  having regard to the Environment Council conclusions on the Commission's Roadmap to a Resource Efficient Europe adopted on 19 December 2011 (18786/11), the Competitiveness Council conclusions of 29 September 2011 on a competitive European economy, and the Environment Council conclusions of 20 December 2010 on ‘Sustainable materials management and sustainable production and consumption: key contribution to a resource-efficient Europe’,

–  having regard to the EEA report on ‘The European environment – state and outlook 2010’ (SOER2010),

–  having regard to the upcoming United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in Brazil, 20-22 June 2012,

–  having regard to the Commission communication ‘Making raw materials available for Europe's future well-being – Proposal for a European innovation partnership on raw materials’ (COM(2012)0082),

–  having regard to its resolution of 19 January 2012 on ‘How to avoid food wastage: strategies for a more efficient food chain in the EU’(2) ,

–  having regard to Rule 48 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety and the opinions of the Committee on International Trade, the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy, the Committee on Regional Development and the Committee on Fisheries (A7-0161/2012),

A.  whereas the current economic, financial and environmental crisis shows that Europe urgently needs new sources of sustainable economic growth;

B.  whereas the consequences ensuing from a dearth of resources, for example rising prices, are particularly hard to bear for people with less income and in less-favoured regions; whereas, therefore, there is a greater need than ever for synergy between social and environmental policies;

C.  whereas the increasing demand for and overexploitation of natural resources and associated land use change lead to environmental degradation, more rapid climate change, and destruction of the earth's finite natural capital, including biodiversity loss;

D.  whereas the resource scarcity resulting from intense use, price speculation on the commodities markets and dramatically increased global consumption are pushing up raw material prices, with real commodity prices having increased by 147 % since the turn of the century; whereas the EU is likely to face severe challenges in securing access to, and the uninterrupted supply of, key resources; whereas efficient use of raw materials in industry and at political level is recognised to be crucial to meeting these challenges;

E.  whereas switching the economy on to a resource-efficient path which respects planetary boundaries and allows for global population growth and the population levels of future industrialised nations will bring increased competitiveness and new sources of growth and jobs, through cost savings from improved efficiency, commercialisation of innovations, and better management of resources over their whole life cycle;

F.  whereas recycling amounts to more than the collection of recyclable waste, and it is therefore essential for every step along the value chain to be encompassed within future measures;

G.  whereas a future holistic resource policy should no longer merely distinguish between ‘renewable’ and ‘non-renewable’ resources, but should also extend to permanent materials;

H.  whereas the Eurobarometer of March 2011 shows that resource efficiency and sustainable production and consumption are key concerns of EU citizens; whereas it will not be possible in any event to progress towards sustainability unless citizens become directly involved through a change of attitude and a change in society's habits where resource use is concerned;

I.  whereas securing access to and uninterrupted supply of resources is a growing challenge, thanks to increasing resource consumption and water and land use;

J.  whereas a competitive industry enables new investment in more efficient technology;

Priority actions
1 Calls on the Commission to establish Joint Task Forces for the three key areas of food and drink, housing, and mobility in order to develop, as soon as possible, European Resource Efficiency Action Plans with clear resource reduction actions; these Task Forces should complement the work of the EU Resource Efficiency Platform, and should consist of experts from the Commission, Member States, industry, civil society and other key stakeholders, having the role of encouraging partnerships between actors across the value chain;

2.  Urges the Commission and the Member States to remove the obstacles to a functioning European market in recycling and reuse, and to stimulate such a market by fostering the demand for and availability of recycled materials and by-products, through measures which should include the swift further development of stringent end-of-waste criteria and economic incentives, such as reduced VAT rates for secondary materials in areas where there is a market failure, or the promotion of innovative collection and sorting technologies, by 2013; in this context, underlines the urgent need to fully implement all existing waste legislation and step up enforcement and monitoring;

3.  Urges the Commission and the Member States to boost research and technological innovation in order to speed up the transition to a resource-efficient economy; underlines that the ‘Innovation Union’, including Horizon 2020, the European innovation partnership on raw materials, the Eco-Innovation Action Plan and the Knowledge Innovation Centres, is one of the engines for a resource-efficient Europe; calls on the Commission to set up an easily accessible, online ‘best practice’ data bank for resource efficiency;

4.  Urges the Commission and the Member States to agree, by 2013, on clear, robust and measurable indicators for economic activity that take account of climate change, biodiversity and resource efficiency from a life-cycle perspective, for example in the form of a basket of four resource use indicators, namely land footprint, water footprint, material footprint and carbon footprint, and to use these indicators as a basis for legislative initiatives and concrete reduction targets; underlines that this process has to be transparent and include key stakeholders;

5.  Calls on the Commission to propose an extension of the scope of the eco-design directive to non-energy related products, and to come forward with additional eco-design requirements for the overall resource efficiency and performance of products, including recycled content, durability, recyclability, reparability and reusability, in order to improve their environmental impact and promote recycling markets; underlines that any such proposal must be based on comprehensive impact assessments and must be coherent with other relevant regulations;

6.  Urges the Commission and the Member States to integrate the resource efficiency agenda as comprehensively as possible into all other policies, including the overarching economic governance policies such as Europe 2020, and to implement it at local, regional, national, and EU level;

Agenda for future growth

7.  Endorses the Flagship Initiative on a Resource Effic