The Eco-Innovation Observatory report lists 5 overall recommendations to a green economy
The Eco-Innovation Observatory report lists 5 overall recommendations to a green economyThe Eco-Innovation Observatory (EIO) is a 3-year initiative financed by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for the Environment from the Competitiveness and Innovation framework Programme (CIP).
“Europe in transition: Paving the way to a green economy through eco-innovation” is the Eco Innovation Observatory's third annual report. It looks at how eco-innovation can lead to and create structural change and it states that strategic partnerships between policy makers, businesses, citizens and researchers are key to developing, implementing and applying eco-innovation.
In particular, policymakers, companies, citizens and researchers need to work in partnership to rethink the systems that underpin modern economies, and to ensure that they operate within the boundaries of sustainable resource extraction and use, the report argues.
According to the EOI annual report there is no simple recipe on how to promote structural change, but there are several actions governments can consider to kick-start the transition. The European Commission’s Eco-Innovation Action Plan (EcoAP) could play a key role in placing eco-innovation at the centre of this process.
The report lists five overall recommendations:
1. Build a shared understanding of the eco-innovation challenge
Engage with key stakeholders to exchange knowledge and views to prepare the ground for future visions and policy targets of eco-innovation. Use the knowledge gained to underpin European Innovation Partnerships (EIPs) as well as major demonstration projects.
2. Develop shared visions and scenarios with targets and milestones
Investing in creating a shared understanding and broad agreement on visions is one of the smart ways to assure a fundamental level of coherence. Specific eco-innovation targets and milestones should be co-developed with stakeholders and used to develop a new EU-level Eco-Innovation Roadmap to complement the EcoAP and set key eco-innovation priority areas for Europe.
3. Measure up to the challenge: systemic policy for systemic problems
Design eco-innovation policies to respond to the root causes of systemic problems and use demonstrations (not only R&D projects but also clusters, cities or regions committed to a shared vision and targets) to lead by example. To this end, an “European Innovation Partnership” dedicated to system eco-innovation should be added to the EcoAP.
4. Measure progress toward the vision and targets
Improve data and develop robust indicators that enable the setting of meaningful targets. In particular, eco-innovation should be made a permanent and compulsory part of the Community Innovation Survey.
5. Keep innovating modes of governance and government models
To keep up with the complexity, scale and pace of future challenges, integration across ministries and across policy levels should be strengthened. As a first step toward enhanced coordination, the European Commission could establish a horizontal Eco-Innovation Competence Platform comprising staff from different Directorates-General (DGs) of the European Commission, European agencies responsible for major EU programmes, and the European Investment Bank.
The report is also focused on how different stakeholders can contribute to building a green economy through eco-innovation arguing that a long-term vision needs to be co-developed in society, and that the establishment of concrete targets for resource use are needed as an orientation for both policy-makers and people engaged in eco-innovation.
Using the green economy as the framework for change, strategic partnerships between policy makers, businesses, citizens and researchers can apply eco-innovation to create enjoyable alternatives to business-as-usual pathways.
More info: Report available here