The green economy: matching long-term ambitions with short-term
The green economy: matching long-term ambitions with short-term actions Dr Hans Bruyninckx EEA Executive Director Informal Council of Environment Ministers Milan, 16th July 2014 The 7th EAP: a long term vision of sustainability In 2050, we live well, within the planet's ecological limits. Our prosperity and healthy environment stem from an innovative, circular economy where nothing is wasted and where natural resources are managed sustainably, and biodiversity is protected, valued and restored in ways that enhance our society's resilience. Our low-carbon growth has long been decoupled from resource use, setting the pace for a global, safe and sustainable society.
Source: 7th Environmental Action Programme Other EU policies offer similar perspectives: Europe 2020 Strategy, EU Energy Roadmap 2050, Roadmap to a Resource Efficient Europe, Roadmap for a competitive low-carbon economy in 2050, etc. The 2050 vision requires Europe to adopt a systemic approach & foster transitions Systemic risks (persistent problems) require fundamental solutions Regular policies offer no fundamental solutions: Incremental institutionalism is too slow and often doesnt touch the core issues Market creation and commodification in itself is not a solution Resource efficiency gains are necessary, but are not sufficient for ecosystem, economic and societal resilience Transitions = fundamental shifts in the systems that fulfil societal needs, through profound changes in dominant structures, practices,
technologies, policies, lifestyles, thinking Green Economy: Living well within ecological limits ECOSYSTEMS Withdrawals from the ecosystems SOCIO-TECHNICAL SYSTEMS providing social needs and value Policy Industry Energy system Food system system
Ecosystem services Values system system Mobility system Science Technology Environmental externalities Market
Deposits Emissions Pollution How well are we doing? sneak preview An indicative summary assessment of environmental trends over the past 5 to 10 years, outlook on trends in a 20 years and longer perspective and general progress towards policy goals We need better sectoral accountability Source: Eurostat The growing influence of global megatrends on Europes long-term future Past and projected global economic output (2005 USD PPP), 19962050
Note: gross domestic product expressed in billion 2005 US dollars at purchasing power parity. Source: OECD 2013: 'All Statistics - OECD iLibrary'. Back in Europe: energy efficiency has increased, but we are far from a low-carbon economy Economic growth Resource use Efficiency gains Source: EEA (CSI 028) Homes are now more energy efficient, but also much larger, increasing pressures on land, water and materials Index 1990 = 1
1.3 Consumption 1.2 1.1 Resource use Total energy consumption of housing stock for space heating Energy consumption per dwelling for space heating
Growth in floor area of housing (19 EU countries) Cars are more efficient but contribute to a range of negative impacts on peoples quality of life in cities 160 Index, 1990 = 100 Consumption 150 GDP (fixed prices) 140
Total car km travelled 130 Total fuel consumption of private cars 120 Resource use Specific fuel consumption of average car (litres/km) 110 100
Efficiency gains 90 Total CO2 emissions of cars Stock of cars 08 20 06 20 04 20
02 20 00 20 98 19 96 19 94 19 92
19 19 90 80 To reach ambitious environmental visions Not just incremental efficiency gains ... nor new technologies only ... Copyright: Tesla Environment and climate policies can be engines driving future economic performance
Our actions must leave us better placed for the future through smart investment in greening and new technologies. Jose-Manuel Barroso, March 2009 In the EU, we have developed the world's most ambitious climate policies for 2020 whilst in the midst of an economic crisis! It shows that we believe in a new growth model: green growth, sustainable growth. Hermann van Rompuy, May 2011 Policy tools that can help achieve 2020 targets in line with 2050 visions Regulation Fiscal reform Financing tools
1. Well-designed legislation stimulates innovation Policy analysis and research demonstrate that well-designed regulations can stimulate innovation. Legislation supports the global race to the top Legislation export gives European businesses a head start in global markets. Environmental policy is regarded in some quarters as Europes most successful foreign policy. The EURO emission standards and REACH legislation are examples of European regulation export. This spreads higher environmental standards around the world. EU emissions standards are adopted across Asia, giving European exporters access to huge markets
Source: CAI, 2011 2. Environmental fiscal reform Shifting taxes from societal goods employment, investment to societal bads pollution and overconsumption Taxation shift puts a price on environmental externalities, thereby reducing pressures on human and ecosystem health while also supporting economic efficiency and jobs. Removing harmful subsidies Environmental taxes are an under-used tool Labour taxation is still too high, while growth-friendly bases, such as environmental taxes, are under-used in many countries. The tax shift away from labour, which
we have consistently called for to allow our businesses to regain competitiveness, still has to materialise. Statement by Commissioner emeta on Taxation Trends in Europe June 2014 But environmental taxes are an under-used tool in the EU 3.00 2.50 2.00 1.50 1.00
0.50 energy taxation transport taxation 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007
2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999
1998 1997 1996 1995 0.00 resource/pollution taxation Environmental taxation as a percentage of GDP (distinguished between energy, transport and pollution/resource) in the EU-27 Source: Eurostat http://appsso.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/nui/show.do?dataset=env_ac_tax&lang=en Eco-innovation and competitiveness are compatible
Finland, Germany and Sweden are highly competitive, and leaders in eco-innovation Global Competitiveness Index 2013-2014 Eco-Innovation Index 2012 3. Several sources of financing the green economy shift Estimates for the financing needs of the green economy range from between US$70bn and several trillion dollars per year. Public funding: European Commission, European Investment Bank, the Green Climate Fund. Private funding: pension funds and insurance companies. Mixed public/private sources: green bonds, the Project Bond Initiative. The global green bond market in 2011
Source: Della Croce et al., 2011 Some final reflections Is Europe making enough use of the tools at its disposal to create a green economy? The 7th EAP is a critical element of the transition to a circular economy. The EEA will provide the tools and knowledge base to inform the transition to a green, circular economy. Our five-year Multiannual Work Programme has identified the theme of transitions to a green, circular economy as a priority area.
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