Against the background of an often wasteful use of natural resources, the European Union has named resource efficiency as one out of seven flagship projects to pursue its so-called Europe 2020 strategy considering resource efficiency a top policy priority. But so far neither the business tools of integrated environmental management nor classic environmentally policy tools are able to deliver such strategic changes, and any policy formulation for resource efficiency however is still at a very early stage.
Based on an on-going research project called "Policy options for a resource efficient Europe" (Polfree), the paper "Key Trade-offs Within a Policy Mix for Resource Efficiency" by Henning Wilts, Bettina Bahn-Walkowiak and Nadja von Gries (all Wuppertal Institute) analyses potential policy instruments and their interdependencies in a policy mix for resource efficiency. It focuses on fundamental trade-offs in such a mix and identifies three generic challenges based on an empirical analysis of 27 specific instruments.
The paper was submitted to the session "Power relations and overcoming vested interests" of the 11th International Conference of the European Society for Ecological Economics (ESEE2015) at the University of Leeds. It can be downloaded at the conference's website.