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Towards sustainable resource management in the European Union

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  • Bringezu, Stefan
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    A policy framework for sustainable resource management (SRM) is required bothto guarantee the materials and energy supply of the EU economy and safeguardthe natural resource basis in the future. Goals and strategies for sustaining themetabolism of the economy are described. Data are presented on the materialthroughput and physical growth of the EU's economy, on total materialrequirements (TMR), its composition, the decoupling from economic growth, andthe increased shift to other regions. A first future target Material Flow Balance (t-MFB) of the EU is outlined. Detailed data reveal the top ten resource flows.Policy design for SRM should aim at an integrated and balanced approach alongthe material flow, comprising resource extraction, the product cycle and finalwaste disposal. Strategies and potential instruments to manage fossil fuels, metalsand industrial minerals, construction minerals and excavation are discussed.Possible priorities and examples are given for target setting, focusing on limitedexpansion of built-up area, reduced use of non-renewables, increased resourceproductivity, and shift to sustainable cultivation of biomass.

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    Paper provided by Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy in its series Wuppertal Papers with number 121.

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    Date of creation: 2002
    Handle: RePEc:zbw:wuppap:121
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    1. Daly, Herman E., 1990. "Toward some operational principles of sustainable development," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 1-6, April.
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