Observationsgruppen för hållbar utveckling (OHU) - Related Opinions
The present opinion reiterates the recommendations and conclusions presented in the previous EESC opinion "Rio+20: towards the green economy and better governance COM(2011) 363 final - The contribution of European organised civil society" and endorses fully the message of the EESC conference "Go sustainable, be responsible! European civil society on the road to Rio+20" organised by the EESC on 7 and 8 February 2012.
As stated in the action plan of the previous EESC opinion on Rio+20, the EESC has organised a broad dialogue process on the topics of the Rio+20 Conference, including first reactions on the zero-draft of the outcome document released on 10 January.
In its communication on Analysis of options to move beyond 20% greenhouse gas emission reductions and assessing the risk of carbon leakage the European Commission set out the various options for achieving the increased 30% target within the ETS (in sectors covered by the EU Emissions Trading Scheme) and other sectors (primarily transport and construction). As the European Commission's communication does not analyse the impact of the economic crisis on the ability of European businesses to undertake additional pro-climate investments, the Polish presidency proposes this issue as the subject of an EESC opinion.
The Rio 2012 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development must send out a clear signal to the world community, with specific proposals for the transition to an economic order based on qualitative economic growth that helps to eliminate poverty and social injustice whilst preserving natural resources for future generations.
The EESC is convinced that ensuring access to resources, food and energy should be amongst the priorities of the global sustainability agenda.
Policy measures and clear indicators must be established to measure progress on the road to greater sustainability.
It agrees with the Commission that the EU 2020 Strategy must pave the way for longer-term goals from now until 2050 and beyond. It wonders, however, why the Commission is coupling this flagship initiative with the EU 2020 Strategy, rather than putting it forward as a concrete expression of the sustainable development strategy, which would make much more sense.
The Committee recommends the Commission to bring forward a comprehensive new package of measures to incentivise the massive new investment needed to deliver these new targets. The package should include a strengthening of the ETS as a cost optimising instrument for guiding investment decisions as well as other measures to: 1) promote energy efficiency in all sectors; 2) increase consumer awareness and capacity to use their purchasing power to favour low carbon goods and services; 3) support investment in the infrastructure that will be needed; 4) promote training and capacity-building in the key sectors.