The Resource Cap Coalition (RCC) brings together European organisations advocating for a global resource use reduction, a precondition for sustainability. This shall be achieved for the aim of halting biodiversity loss and maintaining, as well as recovering ecosystem services, which underpin human wellbeing. But resource use reduction shall be realised hand in hand with poverty reduction and building a green economy. Why do we need to cap our resource use? Global resource consumption is steeply on the rise, extracting 34 times more material resources now than hundred years ago. Why current policy responses are insufficient? Policy efforts addressing resource use only focus on achieving higher efficiency. Nevertheless, this will not solve by itself the present and oncoming scarcity and the accompanying social and environmental problems. What principles should guide the resource use cap? We need to set a cap on the use of resources including all types of raw materials if we want to effectively bring down their consumption in the EU and refit our economy inside its ecological space. What are the tools that the Resource Cap Coalition advocates for? 1. Energy quota scheme The proposed scheme aims to reduce non-renewable energy consumption at EU level and facilitate the shifting to renewable energy sources and higher efficiency at the same time. The EU and national non-renewable energy use target should be progressively lowered each year, until the EU refits into its ecological share. The proposed regulatory system is based on 3 + 1 pillars. Pillar 1: The Energy Quota Energy consumption entitlements of annually decreasing quantities would be allocated among the individual consumers (on an equal per capita basis) and public and private consumer groups. Those, who save a part of their allocated entitlements, can sell their remaining entitlements through a quota manager organization to those, who consume more than their allocated consumption entitlement. The quota manager organization sells the quota in the national currency, and buys the remaining quota in “quota money”. International trade among EU MSs is realised based on the same principles. Pillar 2: Market for Environmental Goods and Services The market for environmental goods and services is an open market operating according to pre-defined environmental and ethical rules including aspects of sustainability and market considerations. The “quota money” received from selling energy consumption entitlements could be exchanged to certified products and services (e.g. organic food, insulation of buildings for energy saving, renewable energy investments) in this ‘eco-labelled’ secondary market. Pillar 3: The Revolving Fund The Revolving Fund provides the opportunity for everyone, both energy producers and consumers, to achieve savings through energy efficiency and renewable energy investments. The Revolving Fund provides interest free loan in “quota money” with a payback period adjusted to the energy savings or income generation realised through the investment. Pillar +1: Support Service The Support Service aims to provide advice on lifestyle, planning, social and environmental issues, as well. 2. Rimini Protocol – An Oil Depletion Protocol The Protocol proposes an oil depletion “adaptation programe”, suggesting the limitation of the national rate of extraction and consumption to the global depletion rate (GDR) and the current national (NDR) respectively, depending on whether a particular country is an oil exporter or importer.
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