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One Planet Economy Network
August 2010 | Edition 1

Why the One planet economy?

European Nations Citizens of the European Union currently place an unsustainable demand on the natural environment to provide the resources we consume and absorb the emissions that result from our lifestyles. Today Europe uses 20 per cent of what the world’s ecosystems provide and yet is home to only 7 per cent of the world population.

If everybody in the world consumed at the same rate as a citizen of the EU we would require over two planets to support this consumption (WWF 2009). The OPEN:EU project aims to explore how our consumption (and the production that supports it) might evolve and how Europe could move towards more sustainable patterns of consumption and become a One Planet Economy.


What is the OPEN:EU Project doing?

Environment Pressure on the planet’s resources – land, materials, water and the climate - is increasing as our population grows and consumption increases. The EU has made significant progress tackling some critical environmental threats and sustainable consumption and production is high up on the political and corporate agenda but rhetoric to tackle unsustainable consumption can be slow to translate to action.

There is pressure on agencies to be accountable for the decisions they have made. This requires transparency in decision making ensuring that policies are based on a comprehensive and foresighted understanding of the scientific evidence, which is a significant challenge in an area as complex as consumption and production.

At the recent ‘Measuring Europe's Resource Use’ conference, Friends of the Earth highlighted that progress on adapting EU policies has been stifled by the fact that quantitative targets and concrete policy measures to realise more sustainable patterns of resource use are still missing or have not yet been addressed.

The OPEN:EU project, a consortium of partner organisations, is working to address this strategic gap and support transformation of the European Union (EU) to a One Planet Economy by 2050.

We have been busy producing a set of indicators (The Footprint Family) to measure the impact of EU residents’ consumption of goods and services on the planet’s resources.
We are developing a user friendly tool that can help policy makers evaluate the impact of consumption and develop robust EU and national policy. The EUREAPA tool will provide detailed information (123 different economic sectors) to help policy-makers understand the main causes of the consumption ‘footprint’ in their country and across Europe. It will help them evaluate current EU policy and support them to design policy which promotes resource productivity and reduces the impact of EU consumption on the planet.

Current Achievements – ‘The Footprint Family’

Since September 2009, the project has been focused on developing a ‘Footprint Family’ of indicators: Ecological, Carbon and Water footprint to track the multiple and often hidden demands that human consumption makes on the planet’s resources and to measure their impacts on the planet.

The ‘Footprint Family’ indicators will allow decision-makers to track and measure the impact of consumption on the earth’s natural resources and ecological assets. With this information they can develop an informed response to issues such as limits to natural resource and freshwater consumption, and sustainable use of natural capital across the globe.


Practical examples of how you can use EUREAPA

A series of questions and answers highlighting how you can use the new EUREAPA tool. Questions include:

  • At what levels of detail will EUREAPA be able to display results for various consumption impacts?;
  • Will EUREAPA be able to focus on the differences and similarities between countries consumption impacts?;
  • How EUREAPA will be accessible?; and
  • Many more...


Practical examples of how you can use EUREAPA

The FP7 Cooperation programme fosters collaborative research across Europe, and other partner countries, through projects by transnational consortia of industry and academia.

The One Planet Economy Network is one such collaborative research project and is managed by a network of partners that include: Ecologic, Global Footprint Network, Institute for European Environmental Policy, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, SEI, SERI, University of Twente and WWF.


How to get involved

We need your help and expertise to generate scenarios that reflect the political, economic, and social drivers which naturally inform policy intervention and outcomes. These scenarios will provide the contextual lens through which EUREAPA processes data allowing it to generate robust results and illustrate what the future impact of EU consumption might look like in 2050.

Get Involved

OPEN:EU Workshop

Scenarios and Policy Analysis
8th-9th September
Brussels, Belgium

The purpose of this event is to hear your views on our approach to scenarios and policy analysis. We want to ensure that our analysis is relevant to your work so that EUREAPA policy-modelling tool is fit-for-purpose. We want to hear from policy practitioners and those of you who advise them, about the constraints and uncertainties that have to be worked around and hear your views on what drives policy change

Register your interest

We want to hear from you

We want to make EUREAPA work for you so we need your help to identify the most useful impact comparisons and future scenarios to display in the EUREAPA policy-modelling tool. If you would like to get involved in helping us specify the requirements of EUREAPA, please get in touch via our webpage: www.oneplaneteconomynetwork.org

Contact Us

Recent Activity

On the 22nd June 2010, we hosted our first interactive webinar to introduce the OPEN:EU Project to policy-makers, advisors, civil society groups and academics and invite them to participate in the project and collaborate on the design the EUREAPA application so that is relevant to the practical day-to-day task of developing policy.

It was a great success! Our audience provided useful advice and several participants agreed to collaborate on the project going forward. Make sure you are at the next workshop in September!

View outputs

Project Funders

7th Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development

The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Community's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement N° 227065.

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