Time is running out for EU decisive action on resource efficiency, warns Bankwatch
As the European Commission prepares to launch the Roadmap for a resource-efficient Europe, CEE Bankwatch Network warns that EU climate targets cannot be achieved in the absence of binding energy efficiency and sectoral resource efficiency targets, backed up by appropriate financial support.
22 April 2011
Brussels — As the European Commission prepares to launch the Roadmap for a resource-efficient Europe , CEE Bankwatch Network warns that EU climate targets cannot be achieved in the absence of binding energy efficiency  and sectoral resource efficiency targets, backed up by appropriate financial support.
“Over the past months, we have learnt that without more decisive action, the EU energy efficiency target for 2020 could be missed by almost half. It is therefore urgent that the resource efficiency Roadmap introduces stricter conditionalities on member states,” comments Bankwatch resource campaigner Marijan Galovic. “Additionally, resource efficiency needs to be streamlined in all EU financial instruments, from the EU Budget to loans by the European Investment Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.”
According to Bankwatch, some of the technological solutions prioritised at EU level squander scarce public resources on investments which are not beneficial for the long-run. For example, carbon capture and storage (CCS) does not reduce energy consumption in the long-term and implies a continued reliance on dirty energy production like coal mining. Importing and processing uranium for nuclear energy from non-EU countries also increases the energy dependence and vulnerability of the EU.
At the same time, the great potential of resource and energy efficiency measures remains unfulfilled. Over 550,000 net new jobs could be created if targets for recycling municipal waste would be raised from 50 to 70 percent and made compulsory.  In central and eastern Europe, energy efficiency measures could reduce between 40 to 60 percent of emissions coming from buildings, which in their turn account for 40 percent of all GhG emissions in Europe.
“The European Commission needs to make sure available EU and national funds are used intelligently, to reduce energy consumption, rather than to provide short-term fixes which lock us in high consumption, resource intensive patterns,” added Galovic. “This means mainstreaming energy and resource efficiency measures in all EU policies and making sure that financial resources are used in line with the EU waste hierarchy which emphasises the prevention of waste production.”
For more information, contact:
CEE Bankwatch Network resource campaigner
Mobile: +385 988 499 82
CEE Bankwatch Network EU Funds coordinator
Mobile: + 32 484 056 636
Notes for the Editors:
1. The European Commission is preparing a Roadmap for a resource-efficient Europe as part of the resource-efficient Europe Flagship Initiative of the Europe 2020 Strategy. The period of public consultation in view of the Roadmap ended on April 22.
2. The EU has set out the goal of improving energy efficiency in the block by 20 percent by 2020, but has so far failed to make this objective binding for member states.
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Institution: EU Funds
Theme: Energy & climate | Resource efficiency