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

REPORT     
PDF 300kWORD 195k
8 May 2012
PE 480.877v02-00 A7-0161/2012

on a resource-efficient Europe

(2011/2068(INI))

Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety

Rapporteur: Gerben-Jan Gerbrandy

AMENDMENTS
MOTION FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT RESOLUTION
 EXPLANATORY STATEMENT
 OPINION of the Committee on International Trade
 OPINION of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy
 OPINION of the Committee on Regional Development
 OPINION of the Committee on Fisheries
 RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

MOTION FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT RESOLUTION

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 an absolute 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, in line with the report on an effective raw materials strategy for Europe (2011/2056(INI));

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. 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;

29. 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;

30. 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;

31. 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;

32. 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;

33. 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;

34. 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);

35. 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;

36. 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;

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

38. 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;

39.Calls on the Commission to make it clear that the collection and treatment of separately collected waste for recycling from private households should not be entrusted only to public undertakings;

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. Calls on the Commission and Member States to assess the economic value of ecosystems and integrate these values into reporting and accounting systems by 2015;

49. 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;

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

51. 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;

52. 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;

53. 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;

54. 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;

55. 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;

56. Highlights the importance of sustainable agriculture and dietary changes in order to reduce animal protein intake , leading to diminishing imported land use and a reduction in Europe’s carbon footprint;

57. 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;

58. 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;

59. 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 EUs 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;

60. 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;

61. 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

62. 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;

63. 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;

64. 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;

65. 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;

66. 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;

67. 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;

68. 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;

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

70. 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; 71.  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;

72. 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

73. 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;

74. 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;

75. 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;

76. 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;

77. 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;

78. 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;

79. 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;

80. 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;

81. 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;

82. 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;

°

° °

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

(1)

Adopted Texts, P7_TA-PROV(2011)0364.

(2)

Adopted Texts, P7_TA-PROV(2012)0014


EXPLANATORY STATEMENT

“The world economy is slowly, and unevenly, coming out of the worst crisis most of us have ever known. While dealing with immediate problems such as high unemployment, inflationary pressures or fiscal deficits, we have to look to the future and devise new ways of ensuring that the growth and progress we have come to take for granted are assured in the years to come.” OECD, Green Growth 2011

The challenges are clear: our planet is growing towards 9 billion people in 2050, the amount of middle-class consumers will almost double to more than 3 billion people the coming ten years, according to the FAO food production must increase with 70% by 2050, and already now 60% of the world’s ecosystems are degraded or used unsustainably.

What Europe needs is a new agenda for future growth. This new agenda will demand a paradigm shift. A new way of thinking towards our production and consumption patterns. It will require not only technical, but also institutional changes and social innovation. The new agenda for future growth will guarantee Europe a high level of prosperity and quality of life.

The Roadmap for a Resource Efficient Europe gives the analysis and sets the first steps towards this new agenda. But it does not reflect the necessary sense of urgency. We simply cannot afford to take ten, twenty years for the transformation towards a circular economy. The highly competitive world we live in and the spectacular rise of emerging economies do not give us this much time. The European Commission sets the right direction, but is not sufficiently concrete in the steps that should be taken.

It is Parliament’s task to set priorities and to push the Commission, Member States and industry towards a more ambitious agenda. For that reason this house should not simply follow the structure of the Roadmap, but first define its priorities and set the criteria for a new agenda for future growth, in order to strengthen its position and send a clear political signal.

The main challenges are: 1) To create a strong common agenda with the public and private sector. The transition towards a circular economy is a societal challenge and should be embraced by all. 2) To radically improve the European use of secondary materials and create the right incentives for avoiding and reusing waste. 3) To make resource efficiency and sustainability a top priority in innovation programs both at European and at national level. 4) To change the way we measure our wealth and economic growth by taking into account environmental sustainability, natural capital and resource efficiency. 5) To set new product criteria for all products entering the European market by extending the scope of the Ecodesign directive with recycled content, durability and reusability.

The new agenda for future growth means that ‘business as usual’ is no option. This will be a difficult political exercise. It requires courage and vision. And the strength to stand for a longer term agenda. We need to seriously rethink existing subsidies. Many of these are not only harmful for the environment, but also hamper innovation. Especially now, in times of austerity government subsidies and stimulation packages need to focus on strengthening our economies in a structural way. This requires phasing out of harmful subsidies, which creates new opportunities.

The political debate often focuses on the matter of targets and indicators. And the scientific world has worked and continues working on the further development of these. Indeed, we need to get the data right. But we already know enough about the direction to take. We cannot afford waiting for the perfect indicators and targets, which always seem to be reachable within a few years. We do have sufficient knowledge to politically move forward now. The fine tuning can be done later.

This is not just a European agenda. Also at national, regional and local level the new agenda for future growth should be embraced. The Eurobarometer shows the willingness of European citizens to play an active role in this agenda. By consuming more sustainably, by minimising waste, through better collection and selection of waste. This attitude proves that becoming more resource efficient is not a top down exercise, but can be promoted from two sides. Top-down and bottom up. Local politicians play a crucial role with regards to citizen participation. Resource efficiency is a concept our citizens embrace, let us do the same.

Internationally, this is also the only way forward. The EU should play a leading role by pushing this new agenda for future growth at the Rio+20 summit. The transition towards a green economy is inevitable. A more efficient use of resources is an integral part of the green economy. The EU should use its political and economic strength to pull other parts of the world into the same direction.

In order to ensure our own well-being and give future generations the possibility to enjoy the same benefits as we do, we need to start operating within our planet’s boundaries, and decouple our economic growth from our resource use.


OPINION of the Committee on International Trade (18.4.2012)

for the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety

on a resource-efficient Europe

(2011/2068(INI))

Rapporteur: Salvatore Iacolino

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on International Trade calls on the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions in its motion for a resolution:

1.  Regards the efficient and sustainable use and allocation of resources as a key element of the European Union’s industrial policy which should also inform its 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, to the benefit of both trade and the environment;

2.  Underlines that decoupling economic growth from resource consumption is essential to improve Europe’s competitiveness and reduce its resource dependency;

3.  Has clearly ascertained that the intensive use of global resources, particularly non-renewable ones, is dangerous for the planet and also threatens the security of energy supplies;

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

5.  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 include corporate social responsibility, EU environmental standards and fair trade principles;

6.  Points out that the upcoming Rio +20 Earth Summit could be an important forum to discuss 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;

7.  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;

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

9.  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;

10. Calls for the development of an SME-friendly standard for the use of resources based on ISO 26000 and concepts such as the Global Compact;

11. Welcomes the focus on green public procurement (GPP) in the EU’s Resource Efficiency Roadmap, which is placing additional requirements on products and projects with a significant environmental impact; calls on the Commission to work towards more stringent rules for resource-efficient procurement, including within the WTO’s plurilateral Government Procurement Agreement (GPA);

12. Welcomes the EU’s Fuel Quality Directive (FQD) as an important step in a life-cycle approach to resource consumption and insists that, in the implementation of the FQD, suppliers apply a separate default value for tar sands;

13. Is concerned about the distorting effect that fossil energy subsidies have on world trade, their impact on climate and their cost to the public purse; welcomes the G20’s commitment to phase out these subsidies; calls on the EU to assume international leadership on this matter and calls on the Commission to come up swiftly with proposals for a timetable to phase out these subsidies in the EU; reiterates Parliament’s request that the Commission and Member States inform it about loans granted by export credit agencies and the European Investment Bank to projects that have a negative impact on the climate;

14. 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 these chapters subject to the dispute settlement provisions of future FTAs;

15. Considers that including 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 European Union’s trade with developing countries and act as a further incentive to achieve the objectives of the Europe 2020 strategy and the EU’s long-term climate and energy goals;

16. Emphasises that increases in resource productivity represent a factor of competitiveness for EU industrial policy, that resource efficiency is a key ally in significantly reducing consumption and dependency on energy imports, and that technologies for efficiency create development opportunities in many third countries, including developing countries.

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

27.3.2012

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

26

0

4

Members present for the final vote

William (The Earl of) Dartmouth, Damien Abad, Laima Liucija Andrikienė, Maria Badia i Cutchet, David Campbell Bannerman, Daniel Caspary, Marielle de Sarnez, Yannick Jadot, Metin Kazak, Bernd Lange, David Martin, Vital Moreira, Paul Murphy, Godelieve Quisthoudt-Rowohl, Niccolò Rinaldi, Helmut Scholz, Peter Šťastný, Robert Sturdy, Gianluca Susta, Keith Taylor, Iuliu Winkler, Jan Zahradil, Paweł Zalewski

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Josefa Andrés Barea, Catherine Bearder, George Sabin Cutaş, Mário David, Elisabeth Köstinger, Jörg Leichtfried, Jarosław Leszek Wałęsa

Substitute(s) under Rule 187(2) present for the final vote

Gabriel Mato Adrover


OPINION of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (26.1.2012)

for the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety

on a resource-efficient Europe

(2011/2068(INI))

Rapporteur: Kent Johansson

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on Industry, Research and Energy calls on the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions in its motion for a resolution:

1.  Stresses the importance of resource efficiency to achieving the goals of the Europe 2020 strategy; underlines the fact that decoupling real economic growth from resource consumption, notably of materials, is essential to improve Europe’s industrial competitiveness and reduce its current relative dependence on imported resources, in particular raw materials; believes that the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme for Research and Innovation should play a vital role in this respect; 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; 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;

2.  Points out that water is a vital resource that needs to be protected and managed efficiently in the EU; takes the view that, given that drainage basins are mostly on the territory of several Member States, joint investment is needed for water management;

3.  Points out that the success of resource efficiency policy greatly depends on its being consistent with all relevant internal and external EU policies and on the political commitment of Member States to implementing it; urges the Commission to propose clear, measurable and verifiable targets as well as indicators and measures – including specific objectives and concrete legislative initiatives, which should be underpinned by the necessary funds and financial mechanisms – so as to ensure that the flagship proposal is successful; asks the Commission to ensure that the roadmap for a resource-efficient Europe is consistent with the EU raw materials strategy;

4.  Supports the Commission’s idea of shifting the tax burden away from labour towards energy and environmental taxation; believes, however, that in many sectors a tax on mineral resources is not an adequate fiscal tool for increasing resource efficiency; welcomes the intention to encourage Member States to phase out environmentally harmful subsidies (EHS) more quickly by preparing plans and timetables and to report on those as part of their National Reform Programmes; notes that this should be achieved in a way that does not harm the EU’s competitiveness or increase the risk of carbon leakage; urges the Member States to promote new technologies and sustainable growth by, inter alia, ensuring that their public procurement policies better reflect resource efficiency; believes that activities aimed at developing criteria and promoting the uptake of those criteria by public authorities should be strengthened;

5.  Notes that indirect taxation or the removal of existing subsidies are not appropriate tools for increasing resource efficiency, as they may lead to negative externalities in various sectors and raise social equity concerns; points out that any increase in the total cost of raw materials may also result in investment being taken out of the EU;

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

7.  Highlights the fact that many industry sectors have substantially increased their efficiency in using resources, driven mainly by enormous price increases; stresses, however, that boosting resource efficiency requires a profound change in society’s consumption patterns, together with changes in production which are performance- rather than trend-driven and are achievable through new solutions for efficient resource management and policies delivering the most benefits for the EU in terms of growth, jobs and energy security; calls, therefore, for:

– investment in innovative business models;

– extra attention to be given to the reuse of raw materials by investing in the design of products which function reliably over a longer period (from the time they are placed on the market until the end of their useful lives), which, once they wear out, are easy to deal with in terms of recycling and waste management, and which can easily be repaired and re-used;

– investment in research on new sustainable mining and metals processing technologies;

– extension of the scope of the eco-design directive, based on an impact assessment, to cover criteria such as resource efficiency, recycled material rates, durability and reusability and the full implementation of that directive;

– the adoption of a top-runner programme as an effective incentive mechanism for improving performance;

8.  Calls on the Commission to streamline resource efficiency within the ‘Integrated Industrial Policy’ and ‘Innovation Union’ flagship initiatives, which should include the development of long-term sectoral industrial strategies and policies needed to assist the transition to a low-carbon and resource- and energy-efficient economy;

9.  Calls for swift implementation of the Waste Framework Directive and in particular of the waste hierarchy, which should aim at prioritising prevention, reuse, recycling and other recovery over disposal methods whilst continuing progressively to reduce landfill;

10. Draws attention to the need for alternative products to be used, altering energy- and material-intensive consumption patterns whilst achieving the same level of performance, and the need for alternative raw and other materials to be used, making manufacturing processes less energy-intensive;

11. Notes that the surest way to achieve resource efficiency without hampering European industrial capability ,growth potential and competitiveness, and to improve the availability and performance of the technologies required for more efficient resource use and greater economic competitiveness, is to invest in research, development and innovation; calls, therefore, for:

– European R&D&I efforts to be aligned with resource efficiency objectives;

– sufficient funding to be allocated, as part of Horizon 2020 (under the programmes relating to societal challenges and industrial competitiveness) and in the context of specific instruments for SMEs, to research and innovation programmes focusing on resource efficiency and to research on new substitution materials;

12. Stresses the importance of using its own resources to make European industry more competitive and innovative; emphasises the role of new mining technologies in promoting sustainable mining;

13. Calls on the Commission to produce, as quickly as possible, accurate life-cycle-based indicators for measuring resource consumption, so as to be able to design effective resource efficiency policies, adapt to future trends and manage real and artificial shortages of raw materials;

14. Welcomes the publication by the Commission of the new Eco-Innovation Action Plan, as committed to in the Innovation Union plan, and calls for its sustained implementation;

15. Notes that resource efficiency should not be an end in itself, but rather an indispensable tool for achieving development, growth, sustainability, competitiveness, employment and prosperity for EU citizens and businesses;

16. Takes the view that natural materials, including enhanced wood and enhanced mineral materials, can be used successfully as substitutes for the building materials used today;

17. Points out that a lack of end users is a major obstacle to the full recycling of differentiated municipal waste; takes the view that innovative technologies and financial support schemes for SMEs are essential in order for high-quality, market-driven products to be produced using these resources;

18. Calls for the European Innovation Partnerships and Knowledge Innovation Centres envisaged in the field of raw materials to address not only the sustainable exploitation, management and recycling of resources, but also prevention, reuse and substitution;

19. 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;

20. 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 timbers as well as energy resources including fossil fuels; stresses the EU’s potential ability to meet its own needs for raw materials, and calls for it to reduce its dependence on imports of raw materials produced by environmentally unsustainable methods;

21. Takes the view that the industries in the Member States ought increasingly to rely on domestic raw materials; points out that the management of domestic resources should ensure that they are not wasted and that they are used for the benefit of local communities, for example through tax revenue or jobs in raw material processing plants situated near the places in which they are used;

22. Underlines that, in order to ensure mineral resources security for the Member States, it is essential to work on the basis of sustainable development by protecting fossil fuel deposits, developing potential resources and coming up with a proper policy on the exploitation of mineral resources;

23. Stresses that the EU’s forestry resources have great potential to contribute to its energy efficiency targets and offer a sustainable means of increasing energy efficiency in its building sector;

24. Urges the EU to promote the use of biomass, a renewable raw material, in the production and use of bio-sourced products;

25. 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 EUs 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;

26. 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;

27. Stresses the importance of increasing checks on illegal exports of waste in order to retain valuable raw materials within the EU;

28. Highlights the increased global competition for resources and ‘technology metals’; stresses that European political and technological leadership in global sustainable development, the EU’s competitive position and the ‘green jobs’ potential in the EU are highly dependent on a secure supply of these imported resources; calls for the creation of European added value through the development of:

– an EU industrial innovation policy based on the reduce, re-use, recycle and substitution principles;

– a comprehensive strategy for a sustainable supply of raw materials to the EU, in particular rare earths and elements, including from EU sources; notes that this strategy should also include an EU trade policy based on transparency, reciprocity and respect for democracy, the environment and sustainable development in exporting countries;

29. Calls for additional attention to be devoted to innovative technologies making it possible to recover and reuse valuable raw materials, such as landfill mining and urban mining;

30. Calls on the Commission to strengthen advisory services on resource efficiency, particularly for SMEs, for example by consolidating such programmes administered by the European Agency for Competitiveness and Innovation (EACI); calls on the Commission to support SMEs in this area by promoting the sharing of best practice among Member States and providing access to relevant research under FP7 and Horizon 2020;

31. 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.

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

25.1.2012

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

54

0

0

Members present for the final vote

Gabriele Albertini, Amelia Andersdotter, Zigmantas Balčytis, Ivo Belet, Bendt Bendtsen, Jan Březina, Reinhard Bütikofer, Maria Da Graça Carvalho, Giles Chichester, Jürgen Creutzmann, Pilar del Castillo Vera, Dimitrios Dritsas, Christian Ehler, Vicky Ford, Gaston Franco, Adam Gierek, Norbert Glante, András Gyürk, Fiona Hall, Jacky Hénin, Kent Johansson, Krišjānis Kariņš, Lena Kolarska-Bobińska, Philippe Lamberts, Bogdan Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz, Angelika Niebler, Jaroslav Paška, Vittorio Prodi, Miloslav Ransdorf, Herbert Reul, Teresa Riera Madurell, Jens Rohde, Paul Rübig, Salvador Sedó i Alabart, Francisco Sosa Wagner, Konrad Szymański, Britta Thomsen, Evžen Tošenovský, Ioannis A. Tsoukalas, Claude Turmes, Vladimir Urutchev, Adina-Ioana Vălean, Alejo Vidal-Quadras

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Antonio Cancian, Francesco De Angelis, Seán Kelly, Werner Langen, Zofija Mazej Kukovič, Vladko Todorov Panayotov, Mario Pirillo, Vladimír Remek, Peter Skinner, Silvia-Adriana Ţicău


OPINION of the Committee on Regional Development (29.11.2011)

for the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety

on a resource-efficient Europe

(2011/2068(INI))

Rapporteur: Derek Vaughan

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on Regional Development calls on the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions in its motion for a resolution:

1. Welcomes the flagship initiative on resource efficiency, which must include all of Europe’s resources including raw materials such as fuels, minerals and metals and also resources such as food, soil, water, air, and the natural environment; underlines that the policy should promote the sustainable use of resources and focus on investment in sustainable development of territories to secure smart, sustainable and inclusive growth in Europe which contributes to security of energy supply, more energy efficient transport whilst realising the potential of green jobs and competitiveness of European undertakings and improving the quality of life for present and future generations and ensuring intergenerational solidarity;

2. Stresses the need to focus investments on energy efficiency, renewable energies, energy efficiency of buildings and clean transport as well as on regional infrastructure for renewable energies, especially in disadvantaged regions; invites Member States to reinforce the contribution of structural funds to sustainable growth in the current programming period and asks the Commission to assess the modified operational programmes in an unbureaucratic and quick way;

3. Points out that, despite the efforts of the EU and the national, regional and local authorities, significant dysfunctions are still occurring in the context of shared resource use; stresses, accordingly, that in order to achieve a resource-efficient Europe, increased coordination and synergies between a wide range of policy areas and their various instruments, together with sharing best practice in the context of networks of local and regional authorities which relate to the management of regional funds, should be implemented at local, regional, national and EU level with a view to ensuring their effectiveness and promoting a joint strategy for resource use; points out that regional policy already has a coordinated and integrated approach in place; notes that trade-offs between certain policy areas exist, and these need to be encouraged with clear, evidence-based guidance;

4. Points to the crucial role of regional policy in supporting initiatives aimed at efficient use of resources, in particular in connection with building energy efficiency, investment in research, innovation and sustainable development, owing to its long-term development programmes, decentralised administration system and the incorporation of the EU’s priorities for sustainable development which makes it especially suitable for achieving the goal of more efficient resource use; in light of the debate on results-based policy, calls for programmes and practices to ensure that the most efficient use of resources is a key consideration within regional policy and considers that these priorities should be taken into account in future legislation on regional policy, emphasising projects which promote resource efficiency in Europe;

5. Draws attention to the importance of groups of regions and Member States drawing up joint strategies for effective resource use; stresses, in this connection, the important role that European territorial cooperation can play in securing coordinated strategies of this kind, as well as the urgent need to invest in cross-border energy and environmental infrastructure with a view to ensuring that resources are protected and moved more effectively; calls, furthermore, for macro-regional strategies focusing, in particular, on environmental protection and energy supply and independence to be drawn up;

6. Emphasizes that resource efficiency should be addressed at regional and local level – taking into account the potential, handicaps and different development levels of European regions – and regional and local authorities as well as civil organizations, citizens and other stakeholders should be directly involved in the initial planning and subsequent implementation of relevant measures under the partnership principle appropriately funded under technical assistance; this approach, coupled with a public awareness strategy, would lead to a greater feeling of responsibility and closer identification with the goals of resource efficiency at all levels and it’s role in combating climate change; stresses the need for local and regional authorities to align measures of resource efficiency with the EU 2020 strategy and include these measures into the broader territorial pacts which cover all flagships;

7. Recommends to the Members States that they involve the sub-national levels, including the local level, directly from the outset in defining priorities, planning of measures and in their implementation; further recommends that a consultation with citizens is undertaken to provide a platform for discussion and information as the public will be key to implementing these measures and will be the ultimate beneficiaries of a resource efficient Europe;

8. Stresses the need for a common set of indicators that will enable the full effect of the measures adopted at sectoral level to be assessed, and believes that the Commission must be involved in determining those indicators;

9. Points out that decision-takers at national and regional level must be fully aware of the importance of decoupling growth from resource use; calls on every Member State and region to make further efforts in the efficient use of resources and to support funding for R&D in this field; stresses in this context that the targets must be achievable and affordable and that they must have a link to the long-term objective and the road leading to it;

10. Considers that transparency in respect of cohesion policy and its programming cycle, allocation of expenditure and access to information for potential beneficiaries of the structural funds are key prerequisites for achieving the overall objectives of cohesion policy;

11. Stresses that innovation and research are needed in order to attain more sustainable production and consumption patterns.

12. Recalls that the ERDF must continue to meet the complementary goals of efficient use of resources and the fight against energy poverty;

13. Stresses that both entrepreneurs and consumers have an important key to a resource-efficient Europe in their hands;

14. Stresses the need to promote the financial engineering tool JESSICA for energy infrastructure and energy efficiency projects in urban areas.RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

23.11.2011

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

34

0

0

Members present for the final vote

Luís Paulo Alves, Jean-Paul Besset, Victor Boştinaru, Zuzana Brzobohatá, Alain Cadec, Francesco De Angelis, Tamás Deutsch, Rosa Estaràs Ferragut, Brice Hortefeux, Danuta Maria Hübner, María Irigoyen Pérez, Seán Kelly, Mojca Kleva, Constanze Angela Krehl, Petru Constantin Luhan, Elżbieta Katarzyna Łukacijewska, Riikka Manner, Iosif Matula, Erminia Mazzoni, Lambert van Nistelrooij, Jan Olbrycht, Monika Smolková, Georgios Stavrakakis, Csanád Szegedi, Nuno Teixeira, Oldřich Vlasák, Kerstin Westphal, Hermann Winkler, Joachim Zeller

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Andrea Cozzolino, Ivars Godmanis, Karin Kadenbach, Vilja Savisaar-Toomast, Derek Vaughan


OPINION of the Committee on Fisheries (24.1.2012)

for the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety

on a resource-efficient Europe

(2011/2068(INI))

Rapporteur: Catherine Trautmann

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on Fisheries calls on the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions in its motion for a resolution:

1.  Recalls that on 13 July 2011 the Commission proposed a major reform of the EU common fisheries policy (CFP), which, given that its aim is to ensure that living marine resources are exploited sustainably, is a key component of the resource-efficient Europe flagship initiative;

2.  Points out that, in the CFP reform package, the Commission proposes to introduce a maximum sustainable yield (MSY) approach in order to bring fish stocks up to healthy levels and maintain them in a healthy condition; calls on the Commission to clarify the MSY approach, in particular with regard to multi-species fish stocks;

3.  Believes that the long-term aspiration should be to allow fish stocks to recover to levels that can exceed MSY and generate maximum economic yields on a sustainable and long-term basis, and therefore calls on the Commission to undertake such research as is necessary and then to bring forward proposals to build on the current proposals for CFP reform and move towards a position that will be environmentally and economically more advanced;

4.  Agrees with the Commission’s view, as outlined in the CFP reform package, that the practice of throwing unwanted fish overboard is a waste of resources; points out, however, that, with a view to improving the situation, consultations need to be held with fishermen and other stakeholders in order to find solutions adapted to the reality of their working conditions; calls on the Commission to strengthen the measures to conserve over-exploited fish stocks, so as to ensure that the activities of the EU fishing industry are ecologically, economically and socially sustainable;

5.  Recognises that fleet overcapacity remains one of the main obstacles to achieving sustainable fisheries; takes the view, however, that the Commission’s current proposal for the introduction of transferable fishing concessions as a means of reducing fishing capacity and increasing the economic viability of fisheries at no cost to the taxpayer remains highly controversial, in particular in the light of the impact that the possible concentration of fishing capacities in the hands of a reduced number of actors could have on marine ecosystems and on the economy of the sector;

6.  Emphasises the social and economic importance of small-scale coastal fleets in certain regions and calls for specific measures to support green, smart and inclusive growth and contribute to sustainable, low-impact fishing and aquaculture;

7.  Points out that the EU fishing fleet is a major user of fossil fuels and that further progress needs to be made in the field of eco-design, in particular with a view to developing more efficient and cleaner engines for fishing vessels;

8.  Recalls that the resource efficiency flagship initiative also encompasses the protection of ecosystems; points, in this connection, to the research and development efforts that need to be made in order to produce more selective fishing gear, and to the potential synergies between stock management and conservation of protected species;

9.  Emphasises that the EU’s external actions, in particular in its external commercial relations, must be consistent with the principles and objectives of the CFP and must provide a level playing field for the fishing and aquaculture industries of the Member States.

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

24.1.2012

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

22

0

0

Members present for the final vote

Kriton Arsenis, Alain Cadec, Chris Davies, João Ferreira, Carmen Fraga Estévez, Pat the Cope Gallagher, Dolores García-Hierro Caraballo, Marek Józef Gróbarczyk, Carl Haglund, Ian Hudghton, Iliana Malinova Iotova, Werner Kuhn, Isabella Lövin, Gabriel Mato Adrover, Guido Milana, Maria do Céu Patrão Neves, Ulrike Rodust, Raül Romeva i Rueda, Struan Stevenson, Catherine Trautmann

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Ioannis A. Tsoukalas

Substitute(s) under Rule 187(2) present for the final vote

Bogdan Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz


RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

25.4.2012

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

48

3

5

Members present for the final vote

Elena Oana Antonescu, Kriton Arsenis, Sophie Auconie, Pilar Ayuso, Paolo Bartolozzi, Sandrine Bélier, Lajos Bokros, Nessa Childers, Yves Cochet, Chris Davies, Anne Delvaux, Bas Eickhout, Edite Estrela, Jill Evans, Elisabetta Gardini, Gerben-Jan Gerbrandy, Nick Griffin, Matthias Groote, Françoise Grossetête, Jolanta Emilia Hibner, Dan Jørgensen, Karin Kadenbach, Christa Klaß, Eija-Riitta Korhola, Holger Krahmer, Corinne Lepage, Peter Liese, Kartika Tamara Liotard, Zofija Mazej Kukovič, Linda McAvan, Radvilė Morkūnaitė-Mikulėnienė, Vladko Todorov Panayotov, Gilles Pargneaux, Antonyia Parvanova, Andres Perello Rodriguez, Mario Pirillo, Pavel Poc, Frédérique Ries, Oreste Rossi, Daciana Octavia Sârbu, Carl Schlyter, Horst Schnellhardt, Richard Seeber, Bogusław Sonik, Claudiu Ciprian Tănăsescu, Åsa Westlund, Glenis Willmott

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Jacqueline Foster, Julie Girling, Judith A. Merkies, Miroslav Mikolášik, Vittorio Prodi, Michèle Rivasi, Struan Stevenson, Anna Záborská, Andrea Zanoni

Last updated: 10 May 2012Legal notice