New EU resource flagship must steer energy savings and resource potential for central and eastern Europe
Reacting to yesterday’s communication by the European Commission of its ‘resource-efficient Europe – flagship initiative under the Europe 2020 strategy’, CEE Bankwatch Network is welcoming the agenda set by Brussels to ensure the sustainable use of raw materials, their extraction and processing but warns that this rhetoric must translate into action if the EU and particularly new Member States are to meet ambitious energy and climate change objectives.
27 January 2011
Brussels, Belgium — Reacting to yesterday’s communication by the European Commission of its ‘resource-efficient Europe – flagship initiative under the Europe 2020 strategy’ , CEE Bankwatch Network is welcoming the agenda set by Brussels to ensure the sustainable use of raw materials, their extraction and processing but warns that this rhetoric must translate into action if the EU and particularly new Member States are to meet ambitious energy and climate change objectives.
In a detailed submission sent to the Commission before the initiative’s publication , Bankwatch had urged that the initiative do more to mobilise domestic financial resources like those under the Structural and Cohesion Policy to help new Member States in central and eastern Europe (CEE) invest more sustainably in areas like resource and energy efficiency.
Marijan Galovic, Bankwatch resource campaigner said, “This new initiative is commendable for including objectives ‘to make the EU a ‘circular economy’ based on a recycling society with the aim of reducing waste generation and using waste as a resource.’
“At the same time, CEE countries need to link financial support from the EU to the principles outlined in the initiative to overcome years of inaction in areas like waste management, where EU funds were used primarily for burying and incinerating waste. Such a seismic shift in these countries, which currently lag behind old Member States in terms of recycling commitments, would pay a double dividend by reducing waste management costs and creating additional jobs.”
Bankwatch is also urging the Commission to rethink its strategic priorities in the area of energy efficiency, as research has shown that Structural and Cohesion Policy funds are not being fully employed in CEE where the potential is great to decrease energy consumption .
Ondrej Pasek, Bankwatch energy campaigner in the Czech Republic, said of the initiative, “We know that in the Czech Republic for instance, energy savings in the building sector alone could reach nearly 60 percent if just efficiency investments are made.
“So it is alarming that the Commission has recommended both carbon capture and storage and nuclear energy generation as its priority areas. CCS does not reduce energy consumption in the long-term and requires a continued reliance on dirty energy production like coal mining. Importing and processing uranium for nuclear energy from non-EU countries will also increase the energy dependence and vulnerability of the EU.”
For more information
Resource campaigner, CEE Bankwatch Network
Mobile +385 988 499 82
Energy campaigner, CEE Bankwatch Network
Mobile +420 608 381 602
Notes for editors
1. Full details available from the Commission’s website at http://ec.europa.eu/resource-efficient-europe/
2. See this letter to Environment Commissioner Potocnik at the Bankwatch website: https://bankwatch.org/documents/letter_EC_ResourceEfficiencyInitiative_19Jan2011.pdf
3. See the Bankwatch report ‘Potential unfulfilled: EU funding and Cohesion policy can do more for sustainable climate and energy development in central and eastern Europe’ https://bankwatch.org/documents/Potential_unfulfilled.pdf
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Institution: EU Funds
Theme: Energy & climate | Resource efficiency