WWF Appeal for a more sustainable Europe - Open letter to EU leaders



Posted on 15 November 2012  | 
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In the run-up to decisionmaking on the next EU financial perspective for 2014-20, Europe has a chance to make ambitious political choices and define a new development model, attuned to the needs of both people and the planet. To make this possible, WWF believes we must face up now to the environmental, social and economic challenges. 

In an open letter to EU decisionmakers, WWF has called upon all European heads of state and governments and the Presidents of the European Commission, the European Parliament and the European Council to commit to 10 fundamental principles as a blueprint for the sustainable growth that represents the only solution to the combined crises besetting our continent:

1. Internalise external environmental costs in government and corporate economic decision making through the routine incorporation of monetised environmental pollution and resource depletion accounting in economic calculations;
 
2. Develop environmental and social well-being indicators other than GDP. These indicators should form the basis of policy formation and decision-making, including economic adjustment programmes for economically troubled states such as Greece and Portugal;
 
3. Reorient the European budget 2014-20 to put an end to environmentally harmful subsidies and redirect them towards sectors of the green economy (eco-innovation, energy and resource savings, renewable energy, sustainable building, low carbon vehicles, sustainable agriculture, etc.) that are more sustainable and create more jobs. At least 25% of the next European budget should be allocated to combating and adapting to climate change, and 15% should fund the protection of biodiversity and natural resources;
 
4. Radically reform the Common Agricultural Policy by strengthening the rural development “pillar”, half of which should be allocated to more sustainable agricultural practice, and significantly “greening” the production support “pillar” in an attempt to give it some greater legitimacy;
 
5. End public subsidies for high-carbon infrastructure such as air and road traffic, and instead provide support for low-carbon transport that satisfies wider environmental needs, avoids environmental damage through habitat fragmentation, and includes intelligent transport and public transport;
 
6. End fossil fuel subsidies and redirect them towards energy efficiency and renewable energy sources;

7. Increase funding for the EU funding programme for the environment, LIFE, to 1% of the next European budget for 2014-20 in particular to support biodiversity in Europe;
 
8. Strengthen rather than weaken environmental impact assessments, which are crucial to improving the efficiency of European projects and reducing the risk of accidents and negative impacts on the ground;
 
9. Tighten the EU’s emissions reduction target from 20% to 30% by 2020 compared to 1990 levels, and achieve energy efficiency goals as well as strengthening the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS);
 
10. Introduce a Financial Transaction Tax to place greater controls on the financial system and generate additional public funding for ecological transition in the EU.
 

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