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6 March 2013

European NGOs discuss quotas for energy use

Twenty European experts of the Resource Cap Coalition discussed how to improve non-renewable energy quota scheme on 1-3 March 2013 in Spain. The scheme could be a significant step in implementing social and environmental goals outlined, but not concertized in EU policies.

To identify the context, participants discussed in depth the EU energy trade related policies, including direct energy resource use, and also energy embedded in imported/exported goods.

Experts agreed that this so-called environmental backpack should also be considered when designing quotas for European energy use. Four possible tools, which would have the potential to tackle this issue were identified. First, input-output analysis could be used at country level to screen the indirect energy use by sectors, such as agriculture and industry. Second, the Life-cicle assessment could give information on energy embedded in products for consumers. Third, the ecological footprint, as a more holistic tool, could cover not only non-renewable energy used in the production, transportation as well as waste management chains. Fourth, the participants urged for policies aiming to restructuring the economy and production through changing current power relations, challenging legislation and de-regulation of market structure.

Discussion continued on how to realize the fair distribution of access to energy while taking into the account the energy embedded in goods. During this part of the event participants worked in four working groups. Each highlighted pros and cons of the quota distribution system, expressed its strengths/weaknesses, and concluded how to overcome these weaknesses. Mind maps were drawn in order to visualize the complexity of the cause/effect relation between pros and contras.

During the last part of the event, experts agreed on the need for extending the Resource Cap Coalition through searching for the collaboration with platforms of similar interest as well as presenting the quota system at a high-level meeting in Brussels.

For further information about the activities of the Resource Cap Coalition check: www.ceeweb.org/rcc

Workshop materials: