News & Media
News and Media
Background report on how to keep European industry strong by using eco-efficient innovations.
Sweden will hold the European Union presidency for the second term of 2009. One of the key priorities for the Swedish government is climate-related issues.
Efficient technologies can contribute to growth
SEI researchers Måns Nilsson and Annika Varnäs have been commissioned to prepare a report on how eco-efficient innovations can contribute to maintain a strong and competitive European industry.
- There are strong (and legitimate) concerns that environmental protection requirements may hamper economic growth, competitiveness and jobs in Europe. However, at the same time, there is evidence that environmental regulation and policies oriented towards developing more eco-efficient technologies can contribute to growth and competitiveness. This can be done by catalyzing European companies into becoming leaders in new markets and technologies, Måns Nilsson says.
He argues for a continued use of diplomacy and persuasion in climate change policies to pull the global community towards enhanced eco-efficiency.
Radical developments in technology needed
The process of combating climate change and resource degradation at the same time as enhancing Europe’s competitiveness means addressing several socio-economic, environmental and industrial challenges. Co-author Annika Varnäs explains what it will take to face these challenges:
- First, it requires radical developments in technology and new directions in innovation. Second, it requires policies that can be applied at both European and national level across many policy areas. Third, it requires coordination between EU’s external policies, including climate change, neighborhood policy, and trade, which so far have been treated largely in isolation. What is needed now, rather, is enhanced interactions between different services and negotiations teams, she says.
The report is due in March 2009 and will make the basis for informal council meetings on energy, environment and competitiveness.