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Specialist EU platform underlines need to ‘do more with less’

Europe – The European Commissioner for the Environment, Janez Potočnik, aims to ‘€˜transform the European economy towards a more sustainable growth path’€™ with the launch of the European Resource Efficiency Platform (EREP). The new initiative comprises 34 high-level members, including several Members of the European Parliament, who will strive to provide both guidance and practical advice.

Mr Potočnik said: ‘€˜Resource efficiency is my guiding priority as Environment Commissioner. We have for too long treated our economy, environment, and wellbeing as separate. Now we face a situation where resource efficiency is not a choice, a policy option ‘€“ it is inevitable. We must act before we are forced to by collapses, resource shortages and price hikes.’€™

Certain that ‘€˜only a sustainable exit from the crisis can prepare the EU for the economy of the future’€™, the Commissioner has dubbed resource efficiency ‘€˜a pillar’€™ of the Europe 2020 strategy. The EREP will set a series of milestones to ensure that lawmakers, businesses, the research community and citizens alike are all ‘€˜pulling in the same direction’€™.

‘€˜The Resource Efficiency Platform is not just a talking shop,’€™ Mr Potočnik emphasised, adding that he was expecting tangible input to realise the vision of the Resource Efficiency Roadmap. ‘€˜In terms of outcomes, you can expect a first set of recommendations for immediate measures in about 12 months. The final outcomes of the work will be presented by the end of the mandate of the Platform in mid-2014; these will be recommendations for the longer term, beyond the lifespan of the Platform,’€™ he added.

The roadmap will be organised around three key strategies: greening the economy, establishing framework conditions for investments and setting objectives for measuring progress.

John Bruton, former Irish Prime Minister and EU Ambassador to the US, has been appointed Chairman of the EREP. Mr Potočnik explained: ‘€˜The intention is to combine the members’ backgrounds and skills to provide useful guidance to the European Commission, member states and market actors. We need people of high calibre and broad experience to help us address the challenge.’€™

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