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Creating the right incentives for green economy - Financial and economic instruments in Europe

Public hearing Brussels, EESC, JDE 63, Belgium

Greening the economy is a key objective of the EU 2020 Flagship Initiative on a Resource Efficient Europe and in the 7th Environment Action Programme. A shift towards a resource efficient and low carbon economy needs strong and coherent signals to the producers and consumers. However, it remains questionable whether the financial and economic instruments in use in the EU can achieve this objective. Why do Member States not take advantage of the potential benefits of environmental tax reforms, which could reduce pressures on the environment while contributing to the creation of jobs and fiscal consolidation? Are existing environmentally harmful subsidies such as those in favour of fossil fuel, undermining the growth of renewable energy?

The European Economic and Social Committee have explored these questions in order to make proposals for improvement in the form of an own-initiative opinion. Experts from OECD, the European Commission, Think-Tanks and NGOs have discussed the strength and weaknesses of existing economic instruments including environmental fiscal reform, the phasing-out of environmentally harmful subsidies, the EU emissions trading system and measures to support sustainable long-term investment.

Venue: EESC, Jacques Delors building, JDE 63 meeting room, rue Belliardstraat 99 - 1040 Brussels. Map

Info & contact: SDO