Monday, October 17, 2011

EU Environment Ministers on 'Green Economy'

The Council of Environment Ministers of the EU adopted conclusions establishing the EU's general position for the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20). On green economy, the Council:

6. STRESSES that the transition towards a green economy holds strong potential to promote long-term sustainable growth, create jobs and hence eradicate poverty; EMPHASISES the importance of increasing resource efficiency, promoting sustainable consumption and production patterns, tackling climate change, protecting biodiversity, combating desertification, reducing pollution, as well as using and managing natural resources and ecosystems in a sustainable and socially responsible manner, both as requirements and key vehicles to ensure the just transition towards a green economy, and UNDERSCORES that in order to contribute to poverty eradication, green economy policies and measures need to take into account the demands of the poor;

7. CONSIDERS that Rio+20 should in particular promote global cooperative action in key
sectors such as water, food and agriculture, fisheries, forestry, energy, marine environment and chemicals, as well as in areas related to the sustainable management and restoration of natural resources and ecosystem services;

8. UNDERLINES that in order to move to a green economy, decouple economic growth from
the use of natural resources and stimulate markets in the areas mentioned above, enabling conditions need to be established, both in the form of regulatory and market-based instruments, including fiscal measures and the gradual elimination of subsidies that have considerable negative effects on the environment and are incompatible with sustainable development, as well as through voluntary schemes; and EMPHASIZES that the path towards green economy should be country specific;

9. UNDERLINES the key role of the private sector, including all types of enterprises, in delivering green growth through trade, investment, research and development, innovation and resource efficiency, and CALLS ON the private sector to seek opportunities from green economy -including through corporate social responsibility (CSR)- as well as from life-cycle and supply chain analysis, and new, sustainable business models;

10. REAFFIRMS that Rio+20 should contribute to reorienting the current models of economic growth and that in order to measure progress towards green economy, Rio+20 should also contribute to the adoption of a new set of indicators complementing GDP and that integrate economic, social and environmental dimensions in a balanced manner

Read the full conclusions from the EU's 3118th ENVIRONMENT Council meeting titled: Rio+20: towards achieving sustainable development by greening the economy and improving governance

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