Green economy: green economy in the European Union

United Nations Environment Programme (2012)

A range of elements of the green economy concept are relatively well integrated in EU strategic documents, such as Europe 2020 and the Resource Efficiency Roadmap although the focus in the EU is arguably on achieving green/sustainable growth, rather than achieving a green economy. Some key elements of the green economy, most notably the aim for absolute decoupling between value creation (growth) and resource use, to grow within limits and stay below critical environmental thresholds, while largely absent from the Europe 2020 strategy and the Resource Efficiency Roadmap, are more fully addressed by sector specific strategies and policies such as the biodiversity strategy. In eight of the ten sectors identified as key for a transition to a green economy (agriculture, buildings, energy supply, fisheries, forestry, industry, tourism, transport, waste management, water) the EU already has a policy framework in place which would provide a basis for measures to make these sectors more sustainable. Forestry and Tourism issues fall primarily under Member State competence.

Policy Brief