As Green Week 2011 began in Brussels, EU environment commissioner Janez Potocnik called on Euroepans to change their behavior to improve their resource efficiency. Potocnik’s speech served as the kick-off on Tuesday, May 24th, to four days of various events with the overarching theme: “Resource efficiency, Using Less, Living Better.”
Using Our Resources Better
As Potocnik said,
“We are clearly overusing this planet’s resources many times over. We have often heard the UN forecast that by 2050 there could be nine billion people on the planet. Yet, in spite of this, and in spite of the fact we are clearly overusing this planet’s resources many times over, we are still being so inefficient.”
Stronger Measures for Resource Exploitation
Later this year, the EU may be implementing stronger measures to limit resource exploitation. The commissioner has, at other times, suggested that future efficiency benchmarks may be linked to the EU’s European Semester. This is a new reporting system that is related to the member-state budgets.
Connie Hedegaard, the EU climate commissioner, who will also be participating in this week’s events, issued her backing for the new report on renewable energies. At the moment, the EU has pledged that 20% of its energy will come from renewable sources by 2010. However, a recent report from the European Renewable Energy Council calls for the EU to push this amount up to 45% by 2030.
As Hedegaard said in a statement, “For investors, 2020 is just around the corner. And that is also true for the energy and renewable sector, where planning is long-term and political predictability is essential. Therefore, we must now start to discuss whether to set a medium-term renewable energy target for 2030.”