The inefficient resource use at a time of growing demand is leading to increasing environmental pressure and resources scarcity that will affect Europe and other parts of the world over the next years and decades. Prices for global commodities like oil, raw materials and wheat have been increasing over the past five years though the current financial crisis has temporarily led to lowering demand for natural resources. Achieving resource efficiency and a low carbon society are key challenges for the future of EU's economy, its industrial and service sector, and its citizens. Eco-innovation - putting the EU on the path to a resource and energy efficient economy - can be seen as a key to enhancing Europe's strategic position on world markets of tomorrow. In this regard, the current bail out of the financial crisis ought to be seen as a starting point for the build up of eco-innovation and eco-industries in the EU.
The objective of this study is to support the European Parliament's ITRE Committee in its work on the EU's industrial and energy policy and to give advice on the following issues:
Why is the issue of resource scarcity back on the agenda? What are the strategic conclusions for the EU? What can the EU expect from eco-innovation in a large range of industrial sectors? Are existing measures meeting the EU aims and expectations, and what new policy initiatives should be set forward?
Raimund Bleischwitz, Stefan Giljum, Michael Kuhndt,
Friedrich Schmidt-Bleek et al.:
Eco-innovation - Putting the EU on the path to a resource
and energy efficient economy
Wuppertal 2009, ISBN: 978-3-929944-77-8
(Wuppertal Spezial no. 38)