On the 22th of January 2014, the European Commission unfolds its plan for the 2030 goals concerning Climate and Energy. On the 21th of March, Dutch prime minister Rutte will discuss this plan with his 27 colleagues. The announced legislation offers chances for companies in the business of renewable energy and energy conservation. The proposal of the European Commission isn’t very ambitious. Only 40% reductuon of greenhouse gases and 27% renewable energy by 2030 for the European Union as a whole. Furthermore only noncommittal words. The wind and solar industry states that more than 50% renewable energy in 2030 is perfectly attainable. The fact that, a few years ago, Rockwool and other companies wrote a letter, expressing a sense of urgency, about the lack of an Energy Savings Directive has led to a proposal for legislation in 2011 and a decision a year later! But this Directive will end in 2020 while energy efficiency will also provide for employment after 2020, more than renewable energy. This is the cheapest mode of climate policy and can be missing in Europe’s 2030 climate and energy policy.
We are moving towards a circular economy in which all waste is a resource for new products. Just like in nature.
The European Commission has announced it will propose a Resource Efficiency and Waste Directive. This offers chances to finally give momentum to the biobased economy. It has already been decided in the Seventh Environmental Action Programme to consider whether Europe should stop depositing usable waste by 2020. A densily populated country such as The Netherlands has already stopped doing this. But it is also necessary to stop burning waste.
There is no such thing as waste. Many resources are at the moment being burned in a very low grade fashion in stead of first extracting high grade materials such as proteins, ingredients for pharmacy and medicines.
Entrepreneurs should also be obliged to manufacture their products in such a way that they are easier to reuse and recycle. We have already arranged this for electronic waste in the WEEE Directive, thanks to an effective lobby by the Scandinavian company Electrolux.