A plan unveiled today (20 September) to tackle Europe’s dependency on imported resources does not go far enough to end the region’s over-consumption of the world’s water, land and other materials.

The Resource Efficiency Roadmap, unveiled today in Brussels, acknowledges that major increases in Europe’s resource efficiency are required to compensate for growing competition for the world’s resources in other parts of the world. However, it is vague about how this transformation is going to happen, leaving most of the substance for future policy processes.

Stan Blackley, Chief Executive of Friends of the Earth Scotland, said:

“Europe’s resource consumption is among the highest in the world. Our dependence on imports from the rest of the world is expensive for companies and consumers and is harming the environment and communities in other parts of the world, especially the global south.

“Europe urgently needs to cut out waste and focus on quality of life, not continue its history of excessive consumption. Unfortunately, the Resource Efficiency Roadmap published in Brussels today takes us on a detour in that regard.”

The Friends of the Earth Europe network is pushing for Europe to measure the entirety of its global land, water, carbon and material footprints, and then reduce them. As a member of the Friends of the Earth Europe network, Friends of the Earth Scotland is supporting this campaign.

Stan Blackley continued:

“Measuring Europe’s land, water, carbon and material use is an essential step towards greater resource efficiency, and a lighter environmental footprint. European officials should focus on incorporating resource use measurement across European policies, rather than promoting a limited ‘resource productivity indicator’. In terms of Scotland, the Roadmap suggests little that Scotland can do to help pull Europe in the right direction. Once again, that job has been left up to us.”

The ‘resource productivity indicator’ is the central element for the measurement of Europe’s resource use in the current Roadmap. This indicator only considers the weight of material resources – ignoring land, water and carbon footprints and their subsequent social and environmental impacts.

ENDS

For media enquiries, please contact: Per Fischer, Press Office, Friends of the Earth Scotland
 t: 0131 243 2719

Notes to Editors

1. Roadmap to a Resource Efficient Europe
www.ec.europa.eu/environment/resource_efficiency/pdf/com2011_571.pdf

2. Friends of the Earth Europe campaigns for sustainable and just societies and for the protection of the environment, unites 30 national organisations with thousands of local groups and is part of the world’s largest grassroots environmental network, Friends of the Earth International.
 www.foeeurope.org

3. Measuring our resource use – Friends of the Earth Europe report: www.foeeurope.org/publications/2010/measuring_resource_use.pdf

4. The global land footprint of European biofuels has devastating social and environmental impacts, including land-grabbing in Africa. www.foeeurope.org/press/2010/Aug30_Biofuels_for_Europe_driving_landgrabb…

5. Friends of the Earth Scotland is * Scotland’s leading environmental campaigning organisation * An independent Scottish charity with a network of thousands of supporters and active local groups across Scotland * Part of the largest grassroots environmental network in the world, uniting over 2 million supporters, 77 national member groups, and some 5,000 local activist groups – covering every continent.
www.foe-scotland.org.uk