Environment: Action Plan to Reconcile Green and Industrial Concerns

Environment: Action Plan to Reconcile Green and Industrial Concerns

European Report, 28 January 2004 - Boosting economic growth without
playing havoc with the environment is not a lost cause: one strategy is
to develop and promote greener technologies. This is the thrust of a
European Commission proposal to launch an Environmental Technologies
Action Plan (ETAP).

Due to be officially unveiled in a Commission Communication issued on
January 28, the 10-point plan is divided into three major categories.
The planned measures range from market research, to creating suitable
market conditions and acting on a global scale. The action plan is
expected to require a budget of some Euro 23.676 million over the
2004-2008 period: 1.58 million for DG Environment-related schemes and
22.096 million for those emanating from DG Research. It is scheduled to
be presented to the March 25/26 EU Summit in Brussels, as part of the
debate on meeting the Lisbon Strategy targets and the application of the
European Sustainable Development Strategy agreed on during the
Gothenburg Summit in Sweden in June 2001.

Environmental technologies include all technologies whose use is less
environmentally harmful than relevant alternatives. They encompass
technologies and processes to manage pollution (e.g. air pollution
control, waste management), less polluting and less resource-intensive
products and services and ways to manage resources more efficiently
(e.g. water supply, energy-saving technologies). Thus defined, they
pervade all economic activities and sectors, where they often cut costs
and improve competitiveness by reducing energy and resource consumption,
and so generate fewer emissions and less waste. This Environmental
Technologies Action Plan (ETAP) therefore aims to harness their full
potential to reduce pressures on our natural resources, improve the
quality of life of European citizens and stimulate economic growth. It
is based on the recognition that encouraging the choice of advanced
environmental technologies in all investment and purchasing decisions
will go some way towards realising this potential, thus widening their
market and reducing their cost.

EU's global responsibility.

The EU also shares responsibility for the global environment because,
just as the resources it uses are not limited to those from Europe, nor
are its negative environmental impacts. The European Commission stresses
how Europe has shown leadership in international policies for
sustainable development, such as the Kyoto Protocol and the ten-year
framework of programmes for sustainable production and consumption
established at the Johannesburg World Summit on Sustainable Development.
Well targeted, Europe's potential for innovation can help develop
technologies that other countries may need to develop their economies,
while reducing environmental degradation. Other countries are also
developing these technologies, says the Commission and maintaining EU
leadership will require increased effort but will, in turn, consolidate
its strong position to argue for serious efforts by other countries to
provide a continued drive for sustainable development.

thank you world buisness council for sustainable development (WBCSD) -
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