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CHAPTER III

GREEN ECONOMY AS A NEW STRATEGIC
PLAN OF THE EU

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            This
chapter will explain how significant the role of the implementation of green
economy 2020 as EU’s objective in 2020, it’s related to some points of their
objective to reform their economy to be more environmentally sustained as well
as creating some new job opportunities for the European. This chapter will also
explain the implementation of green economy particularly as the vision of the
EU in 2020 has affected the diplomacy of the EU in certain extend. In order to
do that, this chapter will examine green economy as a new concept as well as
the mechanism of the union to manage it as their 2020 vision.

 

A.   
Historical
Background of Green Economy

 

According to the IMF report
established in 2006, in the
last quarter of a
century, the world’s economy has quadrupled.
However, the benefits of
the economic growth are
traded for the lost and degradation of 60% ecosystem goods due to the unsustainable utilization. Economic growths in recent decades are achieved by drawing down natural resources and ecosystem loss.

Undoubtedly, economic unsustainability can be seen through the ecological scarcity and the equal distribution of economic growth. In order to make transition for a green economy, there are several conditions that need to be fulfilled particularly and most importantly national regulations, subsidies and incentives, international market and legal infrastructure, trade and technical assistance (United Nations Environment Programme, 2011).

The current challenge to enabling green economy is the brown economy which highly depends on the excessive use of fossil fuels and continuous conduct of environmental degradation. Many states are still subsidizing the price and production for fossil fuels. The immense level of subsidization is a huge challenge to adopting the clean energy as it means contributing to more greenhouse gas emissions. Therefore, at a national level, policy reform is considered to be a strategy for the implementation of green economy. Not only that, changes to fiscal policies and reform policies
particularly concerning
on environmentally
harmful subsidies, the improvement of protection on environmental regulations are also ways to adopt green economy (United Nations Environment Programme, 2011).

The history of green economy itself
is coined in the early of 1989 as it’s mentioned in the report compiled by a
group of leading environmental economist, under the title Blueprint
for a Green Economy (UNDESA, 2012). This blueprint contains the advice
to the government of the UK upon the implmentation of their “sustainable development”
to measure the economic progress and policy enforcement. It lasts until United
Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) introduced it in 2008 after it revived on
the policy response domain in the context to overcome the global challenges
under the concept of “green stimulus packages”. This broad concept that finally
able to accommodate a large-scale public investment can utilize the green
economy, in which it’s also followed by the step of some government to
integrate the concept of green stimulus into their economic system.

 

B.    
The
Adoption of Green Economy to the 2020 Projection

Europe
particularly the European Union is one of the most in?uential global actor in
the promotion of green economy. The notion of green economy is already featured
in both medium and long-term EU programs and strategies such as the Europe 2020
Strategy, the EU Framework Program for Research and Innovation (Horizon 2020), the
7th Environment Action Program and national policies particularly related
to transport and efficient use of energy (European Environment Agency, 2014).

Although
the notion of green economy is already embedded within many EU regulations and
visions in support of achieving the SDGs, the reality says differently. Europe
is still facing immense challenge in enabling green economy. Europe highly
depends on natural resources to fuel its rapid growth of economy. The implications
of the use and over-use of resources is one of the main concerns. According to
European Environment Agency, the use of resource and waste generation in Europe
continues to rise each year although there are slight differences within member
states condition (European Environment Agency, 2014).

In
terms of resource efficiency, carbon emission within EU has gone down in recent
years. Since 1990 emissions have decreased by 19% along with the growth of 45%
GDP. The use of fossil fuel has also decreased by 19% since 2007. However, significant
problems still exist although the above trends show progress to Europe’s effort
to enabling green economy. This is because those trends above only re?ect what
is within EU not re?ects the manufacturing and industries of EU in other parts
of the world (European Environment Agency, 2014). Europe’s commitment in
reducing environmental disasters doesn’t always match with its policy to
improve economic resilience or reducing risks to citizens’ health. Water
pollution is declining in Europe but in 2015 the fresh water in Europe doesn’t
meet good ecological status.

Moreover,
Europe is losing its biodiversity and may fail halting biodiversity loss in
2020. The land degradation and loss of soil functions due to climate change have
jeopardized social resilience of people reliant on them. In terms of health,
due to air and noise pollution, in 2011, there were about 430.000 premature
deaths in EU (European Environment Agency, 2014).

Given
the condition above, the EU 2020 strategy takes place to overcome the issues by
offering several key policies that is concerned on a competitive economic reformation,
yet higher rate of employment (EEA,
Resource-efficient green economy and EU policies, 2014). This goal is broken
down into five key policy areas:

 

•        
employment:
75 % of the population aged 20–64 should be employed;

•        
research
and development (R&D): 3 % of the EU’s GDP should be invested in R;

•        
climate
change and energy sustainability: the 20/20/20 climate and energy targets (14)
should be met. These are: a 20 % reduction in total EU greenhouse gas emissions
from 1990 levels; a 20 % increase in energy efficiency by 2020 from 1990
levels; and an increase in the share of EU energy consumption from renewable
resources to 20 %;

•        
education:
the share of early school leavers should be less than 10 %, and at least 40 %
of the younger generation should have a tertiary degree;

•        
fighting
poverty and social exclusion: 20 million fewer people should be at risk of
poverty

 

C.   
Initiative
and Plan of Action of Green Economy

Environmental
quality is intimately linking to the human health and well-being. The
interdependent connection between environment with human health and well-being
is very complex system. Globally speaking, our environment of this earth is
actually getting worse not better, our environment has challenged broadly and
it threats our future generation.

The
larger scale of environmental challenges, the more potential
the impact to human health and well-being. The large-scale environmental issue
in today’s world that has been increasing in the recent global life is climate
change. It is the most dangerous yet still has no really suitable and favorable
solution to overcome it. The climate change has been becoming the serious world
threat of human civilization because its impact can cause the severe damages to
the environment as well as to the human health and well-being. However, the water
and air pollution are counted as the considerable challenges to environment and
threat human health and well-being.

Recognizing
all the threats to our environment future, thus the policymakers in Europe today
are realizing and integrating the environmental issue as the one of the
policies priority to other policies priority, such as economic and social
issue. Therefore, the green economy has been significantly embedded in EU
regulations. Further, the green economy has closely related to the industrial
activities in the EU today. The

European
Industry is the world leading industry in many strategic sectors such as automotive,
aeronautics, engineering, space, chemicals and pharmaceuticals. Industry still accounts
for 4/5 of Europe’s exports and 80% of private sector R investment comes
from manufacturing. However, the continuing economic crisis has put Europe’s
industry under pressure: production is 10% lower than before the crisis and
over 3 million industrial jobs have been lost. Consumer and business confidence
are low. (EUR-Lex, 2012).

This
phenomenon leads to the question on how the Europe particularly the EU can
improve their production but it must be in line with the environment needs. As
the result, the sustainable industrial policy is formulated to create the
ecofriendly industry or green industry by increasing energy and resource efficiency,
reduce the gas emission and air pollution, and also concern on reducing water
pollution. Through this policy, new investments in energy efficiency in
residential and public buildings and infrastructure have strong growth
potential and are expected to be worth some €25-35 billion per year by 2020
(EURLex, 2012). However, although the green house implementation apparently plays
significant role on improving the environmental quality considerably and even
concerned specifically to industrial sector, the continuous impacts still
remain and getting worse.

It
is very important to understand the document
released by UNEP in 2011 named “Towards
a Green Economy: Pathways to Sustainable Development and Poverty Eradication” as
it contains the road map of
the implementation of green
economy in the European Union area and severe numbers of principles upon its elements related
to the implementation of green economy (EEA, Resource-efficient green economy and EU
policies, 2014).
These principles are aimed to remain the
position of the EU as one of leading role model
in international community as well as the values
lied within the EU that injected by their founding
fathers. Further to be noted, the conversion of the old concept of economy growth to the
newly Green Growth means implying
to the natural capital and the
productive sectors as the main wheel
of this green economy concept. It also been
discussed by the European Commission on
the “A resource-efficient Europe – Flagship initiative under the Europe 2020
Strategy” as the main guidance
the EU use to mobilize all its member and
the partners in achieving the ultimate goals as:
boosting the greater innovation and creating new
opportunities in resolving
current global problems towards the high-usage of carbon emission and non-friendly environment on the industrial, agricultural and transport
system.

1. Natural Capital

a.
Forestry. As 42% of their areas are covered by forest, EU has been actively involved
on some global treaty that recognized the
importance of maintaining the forest particularly tropical rain forest as a
part of international environmental agenda. A green paper that later on adopted by EU Commission in 2010, now
the EU is demanded for a further comprehensive framework and mechanism to
protect the resources within the
forest dealing with the deforestation that recently
took place as a world’s trend.

b.
Water. There was a directive adopted by both parliament and council dealing the growing threat of their supply and quality of EU water possession. A blue print on the Safeguard Europe’s Water Resources established
in 2012 emerged as one of strategy that EU has been prepared to maintain the sufficient quantity and the good quality
of its water resources. Yet, the effort to
ensure the sustainability of this resource keep
be doing to achieve the objectives upon The Water Framework Directive in previous 2015 and the upcoming 2021 and 2027.

c.
Agriculture. The Common Agricultural Policy remains as the guidance to measure the development of agriculture in the EU area, which EU has been allocating 34% of total budget to CAP. As its goal to boost the development of farmers across the EU, CAP was forced to be a compatible
framework with the value of environment, ensuring the
equality upon the scope that CAP could
possibly reach the rural area within the
EU, and recognizing the “greening” policy
consist an obligatory to obey a payment per hectare and respecting the
agricultural practices for the goods of climate and
the environment.

 

d. Fishing. In line with the
principle of sustainable development goals of United Nations, EU has adopted
the Common Fishery Policy (CFP) to ensure the sustainability of life under the water within the EU
territory. This policy also captured as a progressive effort of EU in achieving
the development of aquaculture industry in term of its activities and within economy cycling.

2.
Productive Sectors

a.
Renewable sources. The world’s dependency of fossil fuel and
the slow development of alternative energy is a visible threat to EU’s economy
and all factors related on
it. EU has been putting certain amount of effort to establish severe directive
and national plan to achieve the objective of
sustaining non-fossil energy. Beyond that EU also
intensifies the cooperation among its member states and with third-world
countries on the form of data sharing, training, and building a broader access
for energy from renewable
resources.

b.
Manufacturing and Industry. This sector took most
attention as its effect if it succeeds to convert to be green growth. It
requires an advanced development in technological innovation to be able to
replace the old style of non-environment friendly to
be more supportive to green economy growth. The directive concerned upon the issue of pollution has been released on
January 15th 2008 framed on concerning integrated pollution prevention and control (IPPC).
Now, EU is facing a challenge that they should be able
to facilitate the conversion of more 25.000 industries to ensure they implement the directive on industrial emission as
well as mutual effort to develop an eco-friendlier system.

c.
Waste. The notion of waste regulation to prevent further
threat of human health and the
next generation has been done by EU under the directive of Waste Framework Directive (WFD). WFD also regulating the
leveraging awareness of EU society upon the
idea of recycling, waste prevention, and the education that institutionalize
within the EU.

d.
Buildings. To accomplish such an essential objective,
EU adopted the Directive of the
energy performance of buildings, which constitutes the primary authoritative instrument to lessen the vitality
utilization of buildings. Furthermore, “It likewise sets down how to apply these standards to
choose reference buildings with the point of
recognizing cost-ideal levels of least vitality execution necessities.” A write
about monetary support for vitality
effectiveness in buildings was discharged “focusing on that the EU needs to enhance the budgetary
support in this area on the off chance that
it needs to meet its 2020 and
2050 targets.

e.
Transport. The best approach to accomplish the direct
the European transport area towards improved
supportability is: improving
transport costs re?ect their genuine cost to society so that ecological harm
and clog can be diminished while boosting
the productivity of transport. Member States ought to have the capacity to diminish ecological harm and blockage through more
effective and greener street tolls for lorries; setting
out how to decrease the apparent clamor from existing rail cargo prepares by half. A White Paper containing a “roadmap to a Single European Transport
Area – Towards a competitive and
resource-efficient transport system was released
on March 28th, 2011. It intends to diminish costs, upgrade the maintainability of European
transport and to accomplish 60% GHG out?ow lessening in 2050.

 

 

D.   
Management
of Green Economy

In order to advance it’s role in the international context, the EU has established
several program through its bodies in order to promote and assist the value of
green economy worldwide. The program is launched based on the needs of the EU
to balance the power in particular region. Thus, the program that is launched for
the developed countries is different with what they establish for the
developing countries. 

European Environment Agency (EEA) as one of the responsible organization to
attach to the advancement of the green economy concept to the external and the
internal of the EU  has devided the
management of the EU into three parts, which are (1) Ecosystem (natural capital), it aims to maintain the ecological
resilience of the EU; (2) Economy
(manufactured and financial capital), to improve the resource efficiency to
be utilized for the sake of the EU’s development; (3) Human well-being (social and human capital), to enhance the
social equity and fair burden sharing of the EU member countries (European Environment Agency, 2017).

The other channel that the EU had in the context of policy promotion
towards an inclusive green economy is the International Cooperation and
Development under the European Comisson. This diviosn is responsible to enure
the communication between the EU and all involved actors to the external
parties on the form of assistance to various developing countries to strive for
the preserving the environment and to unlock the potential for the benefit to
the whole people (European Environment Agency, 2017). This goal is align
with the condition that majorly take place in some foreign communities in the
developing countries that is affected by the environmental degradation, which
are:

·      
The
most marginalized or vulnerable groups are particularly exposed to
environmental hazards at home or at work. Such hazards include air pollution,
soil degradation, chemical waste, insufficient water quality or sanitation,
disaster situations and unhealthy working conditions. They add to the burden of
ill health caused by and causing poverty.

·      
In
developing countries, poor or vulnerable people are usually far more dependent
on natural resources for their livelihoods, health and well-being than in other
countries. The activities of such communities are largely based on access to
and use of natural resources and ecosystem services. However, these assets are
often degraded; natural disasters are on the increase — and again the poorest
are suffering most.

·      
Human
activities have also resulted in climate change, adding to existing pressures
and presenting current and future generations with an unprecedented challenge

 

In order to achieve this goal, two type of funding mechanism also has been formed
in order to ensure all te program that has been established can run well.

1.     
Geographical
instrument, this particular mechanism is providing funding based on the geographical
area that its prioritize of the assistance and the cooperation strategy has
been structured. There are devided into three parts which are: (1)European
Development Fund; for the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries, (2)
Development Instrument; for the countriues across Asia, Latin America and South
Africa, (3)European Neighbourhood & Partnership Instrument; for the neighboring
regions of the EU.

2.     
Thematic programmes, this kind of
financial mechanism is aimed for the some issues related to the environment and
sustainable management of natural resources as well as energy that has not been
prioritized under the mechanism of the geographical instrument. The research
budget that is managed under the European Commission is financed to the
research-related for any environmental project that is prioritized for the
third countries.

 

 

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