European approach to sustainable development - FFT Ecology News

European approach to sustainable development

EU policymakers have adopted a series of legislative measures aimed at improving resource efficiency in Europe. But how does Europe find a balance between economy and nature? As part of the Rio+20 conference, what does the term sustainability mean for the EU and developing regions? We make a point.

Intervista con Gerben-Jan Gerbrandy

Gerben-Jan Gerbrandy has been a member of the European Parliament of the European Union of Liberals and Democrats since 2009. He is from the party. Dutch liberal “Democrats 66”.

  • What is the biggest challenge facing the environment? How should we deal with it?

“The biggest challenge is the over-exploitation of natural resources. Human consumption far exceeds the natural limits of the earth. Our lifestyle, and more specifically our economic management, is simply not sustainable.

largeIn a few decades, the world’s population will reach 9 billion and 70% of the food will be needed. Therefore, the second challenge relates to the way to feed this growing population, because we are already dealing with many resource shortages.

To meet these challenges, it is necessary to change the foundation of our economy. For example, our economy does not place economic value on the broad benefits we receive for free. The value of the forest is considered when it is converted into wood, and the value of the forest is not considered when it is kept. The value of natural resources should be reflected in the economy in some way. ”

  • Can we really change our economic foundation?

“We are working hard. I believe we will soon find a way to bring the full value of natural resources into the economy.

But more importantly,And the key elements that force the industry to improve resource efficiency. The first is scarcity of resources. In fact, we are facing the so-called “green industrial revolution.” The scarcity of resources forces companies to establish processes for resource recovery and reuse, or to find other ways to efficiently use resources.

The driving force of consumption is another factor. We watch advertisements. Large automakers no longer talk about speed, but about environmental performance. In addition, people have learned more about the image of the company they work for.

The third element is legislation.We constantly need to improve environmental legislation because not everything can be passed Market pressure, resource scarcity and consumer push. “

  • What is the most important factor that determines consumer choice?

There is no doubt that the price. For most people in society, choosing for reasons other than price is a luxury. However, you can choose to consume seasonal and local food or fresh products that are usually cheaper. For these people and society as a whole, this obviously has health benefits.

Choosing a more sustainable option depends on the infrastructure and people’s awareness of its environmental impact. Without public transportation infrastructure, we cannot expect people to stop driving to work.

Or, in terms of legislation, if we cannot explain the value of certain norms or laws, it is almost impossible to apply them. We need to interact with people and convince them.

This usually requires translating scientific knowledge into everyday language, not only to the benefit of citizens, but also to policy makers. ”

  • What can make Rio+20 “success”?

“We need concrete results, such as an agreement on a new institutional framework or specific targets for a green economy. But even without concrete results, the meeting can have a big impact.

I firmly support the establishment of an international environmental crime court or an institutional framework to avoid repeated deadlocks, such as the deadlock we experienced in recent rounds of environmental negotiations.

Regardless of the progress made in establishing such an institution, the fact that we are discussing and trying to find joint solutions alone is a big step forward. Until recently, global negotiations on the environment divided the world into two parts: developed and developing countries.

I believe that we are getting rid of this polarized approach. Because of their greater economic dependence on natural resources, many developing countries will become one of the first countries to suffer the consequences of resource shortages. If the Rio Conference can persuade many of them to adapt to more sustainable practices, I would consider this a great success. ”

  • In this case, can Europe help developing countries?

“The concept of a green economy is not only important for developed countries. In fact, it may have longer prospects. Currently, many developing countries are selling their natural resources at very low prices. The short-term prospects are attractive, but it may also mean Countries are selling off their future wealth and growth.

However, I believe the situation is changing. Governments are increasingly concerned about the long-term impact of resource exports. In many developing countries, industry has also begun to invest in sustainability. Like their counterparts in developed countries, they also face a shortage of resources. This constitutes a very powerful financial incentive for companies around the world.

I personally think that we can contribute by opening up the agricultural market and allowing these countries to create more added value. Currently, foreign companies enter and extract resources, while local residents’ economic input is very small.

Overall, agriculture is fundamental. If we look at the future challenges related to global food production, it is clear that we need more food. For this, we need to improve the production efficiency of developing countries. The increase in agricultural production in developing countries will also reduce their food imports. “

  • As a European citizen, what does “sustainable living” mean to you?

“This means a lot of small things, such as wearing sweaters instead of heating, using public transportation instead of cars, and avoiding air travel as much as possible. It also means making my children and other children aware of the concept of sustainability. And the impact of their daily choices.

I cannot say that given my location, it is always possible for me to avoid traveling by air. But this is why we need to make air travel and our unsustainable consumption patterns more sustainable. This is the challenge of the green economy. ”

EU policymakers have adopted a series of legislative measures aimed at improving resource efficiency in Europe. But how does Europe find a balance between economy and nature? As part of the Rio+20 conference, what does the term sustainability mean for the EU and developing regions? We make a point.

Intervista con Gerben-Jan Gerbrandy

Gerben-Jan Gerbrandy has been a member of the European Parliament of the European Union of Liberals and Democrats since 2009. He is from the party. Dutch liberal “Democrats 66”.

  • What is the biggest challenge facing the environment? How should we deal with it?

“The biggest challenge is the over-exploitation of natural resources. Human consumption far exceeds the natural limits of the earth. Our lifestyle, and more specifically our economic management, is simply not sustainable.

largeIn a few decades, the world’s population will reach 9 billion and 70% of the food will be needed. Therefore, the second challenge relates to the way to feed this growing population, because we are already dealing with many resource shortages.

To meet these challenges, it is necessary to change the foundation of our economy. For example, our economy does not place economic value on the broad benefits we receive for free. The value of the forest is considered when it is converted into wood, and the value of the forest is not considered when it is kept. The value of natural resources should be reflected in the economy in some way. ”

  • Can we really change our economic foundation?

“We are working hard. I believe we will soon find a way to bring the full value of natural resources into the economy.

But more importantly,And the key elements that force the industry to improve resource efficiency. The first is scarcity of resources. In fact, we are facing the so-called “green industrial revolution.” The scarcity of resources forces companies to establish processes for resource recovery and reuse, or to find other ways to efficiently use resources.

The driving force of consumption is another factor. We watch advertisements. Large automakers no longer talk about speed, but about environmental performance. In addition, people have learned more about the image of the company they work for.

The third element is legislation.We constantly need to improve environmental legislation because not everything can be passed Market pressure, resource scarcity and consumer push. “

  • What is the most important factor that determines consumer choice?

There is no doubt that the price. For most people in society, choosing for reasons other than price is a luxury. However, you can choose to consume seasonal and local food or fresh products that are usually cheaper. For these people and society as a whole, this obviously has health benefits.

Choosing a more sustainable option depends on the infrastructure and people’s awareness of its environmental impact. Without public transportation infrastructure, we cannot expect people to stop driving to work.

Or, in terms of legislation, if we cannot explain the value of certain norms or laws, it is almost impossible to apply them. We need to interact with people and convince them.

This usually requires translating scientific knowledge into everyday language, not only to the benefit of citizens, but also to policy makers. ”

  • What can make Rio+20 “success”?

“We need concrete results, such as an agreement on a new institutional framework or specific targets for a green economy. But even without concrete results, the meeting can have a big impact.

I firmly support the establishment of an international environmental crime court or an institutional framework to avoid repeated deadlocks, such as the deadlock we experienced in recent rounds of environmental negotiations.

Regardless of the progress made in establishing such an institution, the fact that we are discussing and trying to find joint solutions alone is a big step forward. Until recently, global negotiations on the environment divided the world into two parts: developed and developing countries.

I believe that we are getting rid of this polarized approach. Because of their greater economic dependence on natural resources, many developing countries will become one of the first countries to suffer the consequences of resource shortages. If the Rio Conference can persuade many of them to adapt to more sustainable practices, I would consider this a great success. ”

  • In this case, can Europe help developing countries?

“The concept of a green economy is not only important for developed countries. In fact, it may have longer prospects. Currently, many developing countries are selling their natural resources at very low prices. The short-term prospects are attractive, but it may also mean Countries are selling off their future wealth and growth.

However, I believe the situation is changing. Governments are increasingly concerned about the long-term impact of resource exports. In many developing countries, industry has also begun to invest in sustainability. Like their counterparts in developed countries, they also face a shortage of resources. This constitutes a very powerful financial incentive for companies around the world.

I personally think that we can contribute by opening up the agricultural market and allowing these countries to create more added value. Currently, foreign companies enter and extract resources, while local residents’ economic input is very small.

Overall, agriculture is fundamental. If we look at the future challenges related to global food production, it is clear that we need more food. For this, we need to improve the production efficiency of developing countries. The increase in agricultural production in developing countries will also reduce their food imports. “

  • As a European citizen, what does “sustainable living” mean to you?

“This means a lot of small things, such as wearing sweaters instead of heating, using public transportation instead of cars, and avoiding air travel as much as possible. It also means making my children and other children aware of the concept of sustainability. And the impact of their daily choices.

I cannot say that given my location, it is always possible for me to avoid traveling by air. But this is why we need to make air travel and our unsustainable consumption patterns more sustainable. This is the challenge of the green economy. ”