Boost for recycling and renewables from EU ‘lead market’ initiative

The European Commission is seeking to boost innovation in six key markets including sustainable construction, recycling, renewable energy and bio-based industries with 3-5 year action plans

The Commission estimates that the initiative could boost the markets from €120 billion to €300 billion total annual turnover by 2020.

Using a mixture of legislation, public procurement, certification, standardisation, labelling and other measures, the Commission aims to remove barriers to innovation so the bloc can establish a global lead in these areas. The EU currently has about a 30% world share of eco-industries and 50% of the waste and recycling industries.

The proposals currently lack detail but will focus on developing recycling technologies – particularly for waste electrical and electronic equipment and end of life vehicles – encouraging bio-based materials to replace fossil-based ones, promoting renewable energy technologies markets and encouraging construction techniques which improve the environmental performance of buildings.

The Commission estimates that the initiative could also boosts jobs in these industries from 1.9 million to over 3 million by 2020.

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