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EEA Highlights Employment, Innovation Benefits of a Green Economy

EEA15 July 2014: The European Environment Agency (EEA) has released a report, titled 'Resource-efficient green economy and EU policies,' which describes a range of policies with environmental and economic benefits that can help Europe create jobs and encourage innovation.

The report explores ways in which European economies can drive more efficient material resource use as part of the transition towards a green economy. It states that, despite gradually improving environmental trends, the EU needs a fundamental reorientation of its economy in order to meet its long-term objectives, such as cutting its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 80-95% compared to 1990 levels by 2050, which, the report states, will not be possible by relying solely on incremental efficiency gains.

EEA Executive Director Hans Bruyninckx emphasized innovation as “the single most important driver to change the inefficient way we currently use resources,” a primary enabling factor highlighted by the report.

The report suggests that resource efficiency can also be improved through fiscal reforms, for example by reducing labor taxes, and taxing inefficient resource use and environmental pollution instead, noting that countries with the highest environmental taxes rank highly for eco-innovations and competitiveness.

The report highlights open circulation of green knowledge as a factor that can open new opportunities, underscoring the availability of financial resources as the most important enabling condition for the long-term transition to a green economy. [EEA Press Release] [Publication: Resource-efficient Green Economy and EU Policies]