European politicians laid foundations for a resource efficient Europe today, with wide political support shown for the need to measure Europe's resource use. This is a crucial first step towards reducing Europe's resource use, according to Friends of the Earth Europe, but the European Commission must follow suit in order for Europe to gain the benefits greater resource efficiency brings.
As Denmark prepares to take over the presidency of the European Union in January for the first half of 2012, Friends of the Earth Europe has written a letter to the Danish Presidency calling on it to contribute to a more environmentally-friendly and sustainable future, for the people of Europe and other continents.
"The current global economic, financial, environmental and social crises present us with a challenge of historic proportions. Only an urgent, wide ranging and far reaching response can deal with this situation," the letter states.
Europe’s Environment Ministers met yesterday in Brussels with three of Europe’s, and the world’s, most pressing environmental challenges on the agenda – biodiversity, resource-use and climate change. On all three fronts, their responses are inadequate to address the scale of these global challenges, says Friends of the Earth Europe.
Plans by the Canadian company Gabriel Resources to develop a gold mine in Rosia Montana, in Romania are being challenged by local campaign groups with the support of the Friends of the Earth Europe network.
A campaign has been running against the project for almost a decade, and although the environmental impact assessment process was suspended five years ago, the government has recently shown support for the project which is opposed by environmental groups.
Europe imports huge amounts of resources; but exactly how much, and at what cost? Is Europe consuming natural resources responsibly; or irresponsibly over-consuming, without consideration of the impacts?
10:00 – 11:00 Europe's land dependency and its impacts
Stephan Lutter – Researcher, Sustainable Europe Research Institute
Anders Dahlbeck – European Campaign Coordinator, ActionAid
9:40 – 10:30 Opening – How responsible is Europe's resource consumption?
Jacqueline McGlade – Executive Director, European Environment Agency
Brussels, November 3, 2011 – Europe's material consumption is threatening the world's water supply, according to new research launched today by Friends of the Earth Europe and the Sustainable Europe Research Institute. 
The findings come with a warning that Europe is neglecting the catastrophic consequences that water stress and scarcity will have in Europe and in the rest of the world, and with a call to governments to start measuring Europe's overall water and material use.
Brussels, October 10, 2011 – Europe's 'land footprint' is one of the largest in the world, and the continent is more dependent on land from outside its borders than any other, new research published today reveals. 
Brussels, September 20, 2011 – A plan unveiled today to tackle Europe's dependency on imported resources does not go far enough to end the region's over-consumption of the world's water, land and other materials.
The Roadmap to a Resource Efficient Europe  acknowledges that major increases in Europe's resource efficiency are needed to compensate for growing competition for the world's resources. However, it is vague about how this transformation is going to happen, leaving most of the substance for future policy processes.