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SEI researchers play key role in European environmental footprint tool

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Written by Ian Caldwell

Thursday, 15 December 2011 12:08

SEI launches a new online tool for analysing ecological footprints in the European Union. SEI scientists played a key role in developing this unique tool for mapping ecological carbon and water footprint data across all 27 EU member states.

The Stockholm Environment Institute at the University of York is one of eight partners in the One Planet Economy Network Europe project which has received €1.5million from the European Commission’s FP7 funding stream. The two-year project has carried out evidence gathering, software tool design and network dialogue activities to explore how national and EU government level policy makers can understand the effects of policies – or the lack of them – on the environment, in order to facilitate responsible decision making.

The new online tool can be used to help inform policy decisions in key areas for delivering the Flagship Initiative for a Resource-efficient Europe under the Europe 2020 Strategy. The EU Resource and Energy Analysis Programme Application (EUREAPA) aims to assist NGOs and academics in their work to monitor and lower environmental impact. It is based on the integration of the Footprint Family of indicators with an economic model to demonstrate the impact of the EU’s trade on the environment.

“Users of EUREAPA will gain an understanding of how the total consumption of goods and services by citizens within the EU has an impact on global carbon emissions, land and water use. Users can also develop scenarios to explore options to mitigate against these impacts”, says Dr Chris West from the Stockholm Environment Institute at the University of York.

The One Planet Economy Network Europe project has also released a report describing the findings of the development of four One Planet Economy future scenarios. These are designed to support policy makers in transforming Europe into a One Planet Economy by the year 2050. They present both an illustration of life in Europe in 2050 and the policy settings necessary to support this transition under different assumptions about the future.

“The EUREAPA tool represents the culmination of a lot of hard work by the partners in the One Planet Economy Network Europe project, including a significant contribution from researchers at the Stockholm Environment Institute. As a group we are excited to make this data and scenario modelling tool freely available, and look forward to its continued use in exploring a transition to a One Planet Economy by 2050,” Chris West continues.

“This is a fantastic online tool to help policymakers, NGOs and academics understand the impacts of our consumption patterns on the environment. We hope this will make it easier to evaluate the effect of different policy scenarios in inherently complex areas before bringing them into effect,” says Rachel Brown, programme manager at WWF-UK.

The eight partners in the One Planet Economy Network Europe project are: Ecologic Institute, Global Footprint Network, Institute for European Environmental Policy, Sustainable Europe Research Institute, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, University of Twente, Stockholm Environment Institute at the University of York and WWF UK.

The research has received funding from the European Community's 7th Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement N° 227065. The contents of this press release are the responsibility of the One Planet Economy Network and the Stockholm Environment Institute and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union.

Explore the new EUREAPA tool»

Download the scenarios report»
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