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EU Works Towards Resource-Efficiency Strategy

20 December 2010: Environment ministers discussed a proposal to establish a strategy on resource efficiency in 2011, as well as preparations for the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD or Rio+20).

The ministers convened during the meeting of the EU Council in Brussels, Belgium, on 20 December 2010. The Council called on the European Commission to give a broad interpretation to resource efficiency, encompassing all natural resources, including energy and non-energy resources, biotic and abiotic materials, water, air, soil, living organisms, ecosystems and biodiversity, and aimed at: achieving higher resource productivity, managing limited resource availability, and decreasing environmental impacts resulting from resource use.

The Council further called on EU member States and stakeholders to support and contribute to a global 10-year framework of programmes (10YFP) on sustainable consumption and production (SCP) for the period 2011-2021, to be adopted in May 2011 at the 19th session of the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD 19). The Council said the 10YFP should accelerate the shift towards SCP and include key environmental policies on resource efficiency and sustainable materials management, as well as key social policies on green and sustainable employment, as an input for the UNCSD.

The Council discussed sustainable materials management (SMM) and SCP as key contributions to a resource-efficient Europe, including on: a sustainable life-cycle approach, a coherent mix of measures to make the use of European materials more sustainable; and systemic innovation and better data and indicators. [Environment Council Conclusions] [Conclusions on Resource Efficiency]