European Commission Launches Sustainable Growth Initiative

26 January 2011: The European Commission has launched "A resource-efficient Europe: Flagship initiative under the Europe 2020 Strategy," which set out its views on a strategic framework towards a more sustainable use of natural resources and the shift towards resource-efficient, low-carbon growth in Europe.

The sustainable growth strategy is the seventh and last of the Europe 2020 flagship initiatives, which aim at building smart, sustainable and inclusive growth for Europe. It establishes resource efficiency as the guiding principle for EU policies on energy, transport, climate change, industry, commodities, agriculture, fisheries, biodiversity and regional development. By using synergies across these policy areas, the strategy is expected to contribute to reaching EU objectives to reduce European greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 80 to 95% by 2050, reform the agricultural and fisheries sectors, reduce food insecurity in developing countries, and make the EU more resilient to future rises in global energy and commodity prices.

The strategy lists a number of specific initiatives to be tabled in 2011, including: a low-carbon economy roadmap 2050; a 2020 energy efficiency plan; a white paper on the future of transport; an energy roadmap 2050; a roadmap for a resource-efficient Europe; reforms of the Common Agricultural Policy, the Common Fisheries Policy, Cohesion Policy, energy infrastructure and trans-European transport networks; a new EU biodiversity strategy for 2020; and measures regarding commodity markets and on raw materials. The strategy also notes the need for early action on adaptation to minimize threats to ecosystems and human health, support economic development and help adjust infrastructure to cope with unavoidable climate change. [EU Press Release][Publication: A Resource-Efficient Europe: Flagship Initiative Under the Europe 2020 Strategy]