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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
PDF 146kDOC 76k
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 Efficient Europe and the Roadmap to a Resource Efficient Europe and its 2050 vision, including its milestones; calls on the Commission to put forward swiftly all legislative and other initiatives that are necessary to achieve the milestones and to ensure that all EU policies are coherently aligned to them and to the overall EU vision for creating a low-carbon economy by 2050, by, inter alia, cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 80-95 % compared to 1990 levels; recalls that decoupling economic growth from resource consumption is essential for improving Europe's competitiveness and reducing its resource dependency; recommends that the Commission should ensure that a stable legislative framework is maintained so as not to jeopardise long-term investment;

8.  Stresses the importance of resource efficiency for achieving the goals of the Europe 2020 strategy; believes that the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme for Research and Innovation should play a vital role in this respect; calls on the Member States to adopt national resource efficiency roadmaps which include specific measures and targets, in line with the objectives of the EU Roadmap;

9.  Calls on the Commission to propose, by the end of 2012, a new Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) policy framework, establishing a process for identifying the priority products or services which contribute the most to the key global consumption areas (water, land, materials and carbon), in line with the consumption indicators laid down in the Resource Efficiency Roadmap; this should be accompanied by legislative proposals addressing priority products and services with the relevant tools, including mechanisms that can improve supply chain resource efficiency and the possibility of setting minimum requirements or best performance benchmarks through implementing measures;

10.  Maintains that actions intended to achieve greater resource efficiency must in no case be confined to the public sphere, and therefore calls on the Commission, the Member States and businesses to base their economic strategies on radically improved resource efficiency leading to a decoupling of economic growth from resource consumption; believes also that there is a need to focus on both the efficiency and effectiveness of resource use;

11.  Underlines the urgent need to act now in order to support innovation and investment in new techniques and business models, including sectoral industrial strategies and sustainable business models such as a leasing society, and to create the incentives that will bring benefits for the economy; emphasises the key role of the private sector, including SMEs, in delivering green economic growth,

12.  Underlines that Europe as a recycling society needs to reuse and recycle to a large extent its own waste and produce secondary raw materials in the most efficient way.

13.  Calls for the development of an SME-friendly standard for the use of resources based on concepts such as the Global Compact;

14.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to fully integrate the resource efficiency objectives into the European Semester on economic policy coordination; urges the Member States to confirm this requirement in the European Council; calls on the Commission to provide further details as to how the Member States' progress towards greater resource efficiency will be assessed, in concrete terms, as part of the European Semester process;

15.  Emphasises that the first-mover advantage in resource efficiency can capture growing markets, recalling that the EU holds roughly one-third of the world market for environmental technologies;

Transforming the economy

16.  Recalls that a reduction in resource use is urgently needed in order to avoid upcoming problems such as resource scarcity and rising resource prices;

17.  Notes that for the transition to a resource-efficient economy to be realised, market prices need to fully reflect the degree of resource scarcity, as well as all costs entailed in the production process; emphasises that markets stimulate resource efficiency if prices reflect the true cost of resources used; calls for implementation of the life-cycle approach in the accounting process and for internalisation of external environmental costs in accordance with the ‘polluter pays’ principle;

18.  Endorses the Commission's commitment in the Roadmap to developing market-based instruments to enable negative externalities to be included in market prices, thereby reflecting the true cost of using resources and their environmental impact;

19.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to develop incentives that encourage companies and public bodies to measure, benchmark and continuously improve their water, land, material and carbon footprints, as well as measures to extend the producer responsibility principle and to remove barriers that hold back resource efficiency;

20.  Urges the Member States to make a shift towards environmental taxation emphasises that this should allow for cuts in other taxes such as those on labour, increase competitiveness and create a level playing field, and pave the way for technological development; calls on the Commission and the Member States to monitor and compare the effects of this instrument;

21.  Urges the Commission to research the development of a hierarchy model with a view to ensuring the highest added value of resource use without compromising the environment;

22.  Urges the Commission and the Member States to adopt, without delay and by 2014, concrete plans based on a clear definition for phasing out all environmentally harmful subsidies by 2020, including subsidies that incentivise inefficient use of renewable resources, and to report on progress through the National Reform Programmes;

23.  Urges the Commission to investigate opportunities for setting up EU-wide extended producer responsibility schemes to drive performance in all Member States, including those where reuse and recycling rates are much lower than the EU average;

24.  Emphasises the importance of the role that citizens and civil society organisations play in bringing about change and transforming the economy; stresses the need to develop awareness strategies and strategies to alter consumer behaviour and avoid rebound effects;

25.  Underlines the need to secure a sustainable European supply of raw materials, sufficient to meet the needs of a growing recycling sector and having the effect of expanding Europe's open economy and generating jobs;

26.  Calls for stronger requirements on Green Public Procurement (GPP) for products and services that have significant environmental impacts and contribute the most to consumption of key global resources (water, land, materials and carbon), as laid down in the Resource Efficiency Roadmap; urges the Commission to assess where GPP could be linked to EU-funded projects; calls for efforts to promote joint procurement and networks of public procurement officers in support of GPP by the end of this year, on the understanding that this must not create a competitive disadvantage for public enterprises;

27.  Calls for environmental information requirements to be extended to cover conventional mass consumer goods; supports national tests for environmental labelling, and urges the Commission to work on developing a harmonised European method for calculating a product's environmental footprint, with a view to providing consumers with more information on products not covered by existing schemes, such as the eco-labelling, energy labelling and organic farming labelling schemes;

28.  Highlights the importance of an all-encompassing label including, but not limited to, resource use in product information; asks the Commission and the Member States to take the necessary steps to improve current labelling regulation through integration of labels, allowing consumers to make, in one overview, well-informed and sustainable choices;

29.  Urges the Member States to ensure full implementation of the EU waste acquis, including minimum targets, through their national waste prevention and management strategies and plans; reiterates that the existing targets regarding collection and separation need to be further elaborated and set for the highest and qualitatively best recovery of materials in each phase; highlights, consequently, the need for EU funding to give priority to activities higher up the waste hierarchy, as stipulated in the Waste Framework Directive (e.g. by prioritising recycling plants over waste disposal); calls on the Commission to consider the need to improve and harmonise calculation methods and statistics relating to waste, in order to provide a reliable basis to promote recycling;

30.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to take more effective action to combat illegal shipments of waste, especially hazardous waste, to non-EU countries and, in particular, to strengthen the appropriate monitoring systems; suggests that a ‘European external waste policy’ be established with a view to spreading the best European waste treatment standards beyond the confines of the EU;

31.  Points out that more than 20% of food is disposed of as refuse, and calls on the Commission and Member States for concrete actions to significantly reduce food waste; points out, moreover, that it is not only food which is wasted, but also the resources used for food processing and packaging;

32.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to put greater emphasis on information, education and awareness-raising, especially regarding the sorting of waste, reuse and recycling, bearing in mind that education has a direct impact on resource efficient habits;

33.  Calls on the Commission to streamline the waste acquis, taking into account the waste hierarchy and the need to bring residual waste close to zero; calls on the Commission, therefore, to make proposals by 2014 with a view to gradually introducing a general ban on waste landfill at European level and for the phasing-out, by the end of this decade, of incineration of recyclable and compostable waste; this should be accompanied by appropriate transition measures including the further development of common standards based on life-cycle thinking; calls on the Commission to revise the 2020 recycling targets of the Waste Framework Directive; is of the opinion that a landfill tax – as has already been introduced by some Member States – could also help achieve the above ends;

34.  Points out that existing landfills could serve as raw material depots (urban mining), but that there is little in the way of research findings on the subject;

35.  Calls on the Member States to expand their work on guidelines for the development of standards for recycled materials through the European Committee for Standardisation (CEN);

36.  Calls on the Commission to ensure policies drive cascading use of natural raw materials and favouring highest value-added and resource-efficient products over energy generation, taking into account in particular greenhouse gas mitigation potential;

37.  Urges the Commission also to promote such a cascading approach in the case of use of biomass, favouring recycling and highest value-added and resource-efficient products, such as bio-based products and industrial materials, over bioenergy;

38.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to set up a programme to create awareness and provide guidance to companies, especially SMEs;

39.  Stresses that in order to be meaningful a life-cycle approach must be based on accounting which is as accurate as possible; in this context, insists that when implementing the Fuel Quality Directive suppliers should apply a separate default value for tar sands;

40.  Highlights the importance of research, development and innovation for speeding up the transformation to a resource-efficient Europe; notes that greater innovation is particularly needed in environmentally friendly material exploration and extraction, agriculture, chemistry, waste treatment and recycling, water management, reuse potential, and the substitution of environmental impacting material, technologies and design for reducing materials and energy use, renewable energy, and energy efficiency; points out that granting tax credits linked to reduced resource use would also benefit innovation, research and development;

41.  Recalls that resource efficiency should aim to help the EU boost its technical performance with a view to extracting more from raw materials across the value chain (in the context of mining, processing, refining and recycling);

42.  Calls on the Commission to investigate how resource efficiency in the EU's mining and processing industry can be boosted in order to increase competitiveness and sustainability, inter alia by promoting the uptake of new technologies and enhancing the production of by-products alongside base metals;

43.  Urges Member States to consider the establishment of centres for innovation technologies to support the extraction, recycling and reuse of useful components from mining waste products and facilitate the subsequent use of mining waste products, located in various types of waste repositories and in the construction industry, as well as the handling of this type of waste storage in an environmentally safe way;

44.  Draws attention to the need to use alternative products, altering energy- and material-intensive consumption patterns whilst achieving the same level of performance, as well as alternative raw and other materials, thus making manufacturing processes less energy-intensive;

45.  Urges the Commission to examine the effects of a tax on resources and virgin raw materials, and in particular any side-effects, such as non-sustainable substitution, tax avoidance or shifting economic activities to third countries;

46.  Stresses the importance of skills and training; calls on the Commission and the Member States to engage in close dialogue with the social partners, academia and industry in this context; calls on the Commission and the Member States, in collaboration with industry and academia, to support resource efficiency through special university programmes and scholarships; further supports, in that context, exchange programmes in this field, such as the Erasmus Mundus Minerals and Environmental Programme.

47.  Stresses the need to invest in the recycling of raw materials and rare earths, given that the mining, refining and recycling of rare earths have severe environmental consequences unless they are properly managed;

Natural capital and ecosystem services

48.  Emphasises that biodiversity is essential to the existence of human life and the wellbeing of societies, both directly and indirectly, through the ecosystem services it provides; welcomes and supports the EU biodiversity strategy up to 2020, including all its targets and actions; highlights the importance of mainstreaming biodiversity protection, also within a resource-efficient Europe;

49.  Welcomes, accordingly, the fact that special measures have been drawn up to control invasive species, and calls for them to be implemented without delay;.

50.  Stresses the importance of water as a natural resource that is vital for both humankind and ecosystems; recalls the increased pressure on the availability and quality of safe and secure water resources due to factors like deforestation, urbanisation, population and economic growth and climate change; highlights the need for a multi-level approach in managing our water resources, emphasising the role of local and regional authorities in the context of the Flagship Initiative for a Resource Efficient Europe;

51.  Urges the Commission also to calculate and disclose the costs of the environmental damage arising as a consequence of the EU's agriculture and fisheries policies;

52.  Calls on the Commission to make use of best practice in the field of resource efficiency in order to draw up appropriate criteria and start pilot projects for several resources, for example phosphorus, with a view to achieving virtually 100% reuse by 2020 and optimising their use and recycling; emphasises that such pilot projects should receive direct funding from the EU;

53.  Takes the view that Europe's resources should be managed in a more strategic and environmentally sound manner; believes that a greater effort should be made to manage existing resources in the EU, in particular minerals, metals and timber, as well as energy resources including fossil fuels; stresses the EU's potential ability to meet its own needs for raw materials, and calls on it to reduce its dependence on imports of raw materials produced by environmentally unsustainable methods;

54.  Takes the view that the industries in the Member States need increasingly to rely on domestic raw materials; points out that the management of domestic resources should ensure that they are not wasted;

55.  Highlights the importance of sustainable agriculture, leading to diminishing imported land use and a reduction in Europe's carbon footprint;

56.  Believes that consumer awareness plays a crucial role in improving resource efficiency in food consumption, and supports initiatives at local, national and EU level to promote more sustainable food consumption patterns;

57.  Draws attention to the role of renewable natural resources, such as forests, in resource efficiency; calls on the Commission to encourage the use of renewable, bio-based, recyclable, and environment-friendly raw and other materials; points out in particular that the use of low-emission renewable materials, such as wood, for building purposes is resource-efficient;

58.  Stresses the need to boost forestry protection in the EU and consolidate the associated risk prevention methods, given that forestry resources and the environmental qualities of wood represent considerable natural capital; calls for the establishment of financial instruments for the funding of forest fire and parasite prevention measures; calls on the Commission, together with the timber industry, to examine the scope for specific measures aimed at the sustainable exploitation of forestry resources, in particular via pilot projects; advocates better use of the forestry measures already in place under the EU's various policies, in order to improve the economic value of forests and ensure greater availability of wood, for example through replanting work under rural development programmes;

59.  Emphasises that nutrient losses to the environment through agricultural production create heavy external costs for ecosystems, human health and the climate; calls on the Commission to introduce modern nutrient management techniques with a view to reducing nutrient loss levels as production intensifies;

60.  Points out that the CFP reform package is a key component of the resource-efficient Europe flagship initiative; considers that maximum sustainable yield, preventing discards, cleaner and more efficient engines, more selective fishing gear, an international level playing field, and fleet overcapacity are issues that need to be addressed for an environmentally and economically sound fishing and aquaculture sector; emphasises, furthermore, the social and economic importance of small-scale coastal fleets;

Governance and monitoring

61.  Urges the Commission to adopt, in consultation with all key stakeholders, robust and easily understandable indicators, e.g. for land footprint, water footprint, material footprint and carbon footprint, in order to monitor progress towards the targets; these indicators should be based on integrated accounting tools and on consistent and widely accepted, scientifically based methodologies, and should be explicitly defined so to apply throughout the EU, to policy-making and private actors alike; they should, furthermore, take the full life-cycle impacts into account and measure the resources entering the economy in order to enable all aspects of resource scarcity to be addressed, thus integrating hidden flows; cautions that the suggested resource productivity indicator will not provide the information required;

62.  Reiterates the importance of a set of coherent, measurable, clear and verifiable sectoral targets, including an overall target, in order to implement the vision and milestones of the Roadmap; recognises the complexity of the subject and the consequent need for a solid scientific basis; calls on the Commission to put forward on that basis a concrete proposal for such targets for the EU and the Member States, at the latest within a year of adoption of the relevant indicators, and to ensure that all EU policies are consistent with the targets set; considers that the milestones included in the Roadmap should be considered as targets until more detailed ones are set; calls on the Member States to include corresponding targets in their own resource efficiency strategies;

63.  Stresses that specific resource efficiency indicators are crucial in all areas of policy, and calls on the Commission to integrate resource efficiency indicators into all its impact assessments; also considers that a ‘fitness check’ along the lines set out in Commission communication COM(2010)0614 should be a mandatory part of every impact assessment;

64.  Calls on the Commission to enforce the full implementation of existing legislation, with particular respect to water legislation, in order to exploit all opportunities to the fullest extent possible;

65.  Welcomes the EU's Fuel Quality Directive (FQD) as an important step in a life-cycle approach to resource consumption, and insists that when implementing it suppliers should apply a separate default value for tar sands;

66.  Considers that the 7th EAP should provide the right policy framework for achieving the vision, milestones and targets of the Roadmap towards a resource-efficient Europe;

67.  Calls on the Commission to screen EU policies and assess inter alia the National Renewable Action Plans and Common Agricultural Policy from the viewpoint of their impact on resource efficiency;

68.  Considers a resource-efficient Europe to be a suitable framework for creating green jobs for all and without discrimination.

69.  Maintains that efficient use of resources is frequently hampered by cumbersome administrative procedures; calls on the Commission to simplify the authorisation processes in order to enable resource efficiency to be implemented to better effect; welcomes, in this respect, the Commission's initiative on the Transparency Directive;

70.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to develop public information and education campaigns aimed at increasing the take-up of products derived from recycled waste;

71.  Calls for action to ensure that the most efficient use of resources is a key consideration within regional policy; stresses that resource efficiency needs also to be addressed at regional and local level, taking into account the potential, handicaps and different development levels of Europe's regions; and stresses the need for local and regional authorities to align their resource efficiency measures with the Europe 2020 strategy;

International dimension

72.  Considers the efficient and sustainable use and allocation of resources to be a key element of EU industrial policy which should also inform the Union's external relations now and in the future; believes, in this regard, that trade in environmental goods and services is an instrument of sustainable economic and social development which is beneficial in both commercial and environmental terms;

73.  Takes the view that a fair, open and non-discriminatory multilateral trading system and the protection of the environment should be mutually reinforcing and should work to the benefit of local communities, provided multilateral trade rules are reformed in order to better respond to environmental challenges and basic human needs;

74.  Asks the Commission to incorporate issues related to raw materials, such as (a) export limits and (b) investment aspects, to a greater extent in current and future negotiations carried out by the EU on a bilateral or multilateral basis;

75.  Stresses that a fair opening-up of global markets to environmental goods and services encouraging sustainable consumption creates export opportunities and new jobs related to the diffusion of new green technologies, innovation and competitiveness, and leads to lower prices, higher quality and greater consumer choice;

76.  Welcomes the work carried out in the course of the World Trade Organisation's Doha Round of trade negotiations on the reduction or elimination of tariff and non-tariff barriers to trade in environmental goods and services, and strongly encourages the Parties to continue to work – independently of the future of the Doha Round – towards a clear definition of environmental goods and services that would incorporate corporate social responsibility, EU environmental standards and fair trade principles;

77.  Reasserts that all current bilateral and regional European trade agreements need to include an ambitious chapter on sustainability, as in the case of the most recent Free Trade Agreements of the European Union with the Republic of Korea, Colombia and Peru, and Central America; considers that the chapters on social and environmental sustainability should be placed on an equal footing with the commercial aspects of the deal, and therefore calls on the Commission to make those chapters subject to the dispute settlement provisions of future FTAs;

78.  Considers that the inclusion of tariff preferences for environmental products and services produced in a socially responsible way in the Generalised System of Preferences could generate added value in the area of the EU's trade with developing countries and act as a further incentive to achieve the objectives of the Europe 2020 strategy and the Union's long-term climate and energy goals;

79.  Believes that, in the context and run-up to the Rio +20 conference, a new and reinforced debate that involves all UN member states, civil society and trade unions, in particular on the effectiveness of the voluntary character of corporate social responsibility, is needed;

80.  Stresses that EU eco-innovation stimulates greater resource efficiency outside our borders, thereby reducing the depletion of global resources; therefore urges the Member States to strengthen their national resource efficiency strategies and to share their knowledge in a global forum such as the Rio+20 summit; maintains that fast-growing worldwide consumption and dwindling raw material stocks imply a need for investment in global resource efficiency;

81.  Points out that the upcoming Rio +20 Earth Summit could be an important forum for discussing the issues of resource efficiency and sustainable development; believes that a new set of sustainable development goals (SDGs) could fill the MDG gaps and could become a powerful successor global project that recognises the inextricable links between the environment and every dimension of development; urges the EU and its Member States to play a decisive and positive role at this conference in order to meet the challenges of establishing an inclusive and green economy on a global scale;

o
o   o

82.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission and the Governments and Parliaments of the Member States.

(1) Texts adopted, P7_TA(2011)0364.
(2) Texts adopted, P7_TA(2012)0014.

Last updated: 1 August 2013Legal notice