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A policy mix for resource efficiency in the EU : key instruments, challenges and research needs

  • Against the background of an often wasteful use of natural resources, the European Union has made resource efficiency a top policy priority. Policy formulation is, however, at a very early stage in many Member States, with often vague notions of what resource efficiency means, characterised by fragmented instruments and overlapping competencies. This paper develops a conceptual framework for defining, assessing and developing resource efficiency policy mixes. It argues that a mix of policies and instruments is best suited to overcoming the complex challenges of the 21st Century. Such a mix addresses multiple resource domains at a strategic, high level and contains interacting instruments targeting multiple actors, levels of governance andAgainst the background of an often wasteful use of natural resources, the European Union has made resource efficiency a top policy priority. Policy formulation is, however, at a very early stage in many Member States, with often vague notions of what resource efficiency means, characterised by fragmented instruments and overlapping competencies. This paper develops a conceptual framework for defining, assessing and developing resource efficiency policy mixes. It argues that a mix of policies and instruments is best suited to overcoming the complex challenges of the 21st Century. Such a mix addresses multiple resource domains at a strategic, high level and contains interacting instruments targeting multiple actors, levels of governance and sectors and life-cycle stages of resource use. This paper looks at criteria for effective resource efficiency policy instruments, presents both an indicative policy mix across 9 policy domains and case studies (on environmental harmful subsidies, supply chain efficiency in food systems and product-service systems) and identifies key challenges to overcome trade-offs in instrument design, maximise synergies, reduce conflicts, promote coherence, coordinate activities and move from theory to practice. Research needs are discussed regarding who shall devise, implement, and coordinate such a policy mix, considering negotiating power, timing and complexity.show moreshow less

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Metadaten
Document Type:Peer-Reviewed Article
Author:Claas Henning WiltsORCiDGND, Meghan O'Brien
Year of Publication:2019
Language:English
Source Title (English):Ecological economics
DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolecon.2018.05.004
Volume:155
First Page:59
Last Page:69
Division:Kreislaufwirtschaft
Dewey Decimal Classification:600 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften