Between the Lines

by Einar Du Rietz

The EU Comission has a long standing cooperation with  UNEP. Recently, this resulted in joint statement, outlining priorities and strategies for environmental work within a number of areas.

At a first reading, suspicious that I was, I was, at least partly, surprised. Apart from the by now apparently compulsory sections on biodiversity and global warming, the part about efficiency included expressions like “economic instruments”, “the economy delivers what citizens want” and vague references to market mechanisms.

And then I read it again.

The economic instruments turned out to be “procurement” (for some reason, they left out the word public). The economy should not only deliver according to the above, but being led to do so via increased political cooperation. Above all, some otherwise sound observations, invariably leads to the conclusion that what is called for is more government, local, state, and – possibly – global.

That was a short romance. OK, I understand that the people behind this want to maximise their own influence, and yes, I know both institutions have their agendas, but for a moment I thought that some realistic authors had been involved in the process. For example people who recognize the quite obvious fact that efficiency is market driven. I’m well aware of the political efforts made to help the market, in reality disrupting it, but the constant improvement in both production methods and technology for energy consuming products, is entirely dependent on competition, profit interest and entrepreneurs who are left alone by government to do their job.


About the Author: Einar Du Rietz

Einar Du Rietz is a journalist and communications consultant based in Europe. He has authored several environmental reports for the Electrolux Group and written many blogs for the Center for the New Europe at CNE Environment.