background info 2015
European Commission has its focus on sustainable and clean future
The European Commission has stated that their Europe 2020 Strategy is about delivering growth that is: smart, through more effective investments in education, research and innovation; sustainable, thanks to a decisive move towards a low-carbon economy; and inclusive, with a strong emphasis on job creation and poverty reduction. The strategy is focused on five ambitious goals in the areas of employment, innovation, education, poverty reduction and climate/energy."
2015 is the International Year of Soils
The 68th UN General Assembly declared 2015 the International Year of Soils. The IYS 2015 aims to increase awareness and understanding of the importance of soil for food security and essential ecosystem functions.
- Healthy soils are the basis for healthy food production.
- Soils are the foundation for vegetation which is cultivated or managed for feed, fibre, fuel and medicinal products.
- Soils support our planet's biodiversity and they host a quarter of the total.
- Soils help to combat and adapt to climate change by playing a key role in the carbon cycle.
- Soils store and filter water, improving our resilience to floods and droughts.
- Soil is a non-renewable resource; its preservation is essential for food security and our sustainable future.
FAO Regional Initiative for Europe and Central Asia on Agri-food Trade and Regional Integration: Agrifood WTO Commitments and Regional Trade Agreements for the Post-Soviet Region Russian version of the same paper can be found here: Обязательства перед ВТО в сфере продовольствия и региональные торговые соглашения для пост-советского региона
Bioenergy and Energy Efficiency
Within the projects Bioenergy Promotion and Bioenergy Promotion 2 there has, among others been a focus on how to promote bioenergy solutions in an overall transnational context. The results aim describing series of opportunities for promoting, developing and implementing bioenergy actions in the Baltic Sea Region, especially those that are relevant to the CBSS. Several international agendas are interesting in relation to the bioenergy issue, e.g.
- Green Economy / Green Growth, which have been developed especially by the United Nations and OECD, and also a multitude of other actors.
- Resource efficiency addressing the scarcity of natural resources, a challenge which is driving the EU Flagship Initiative a Resource-Efficient Europe.
- GHG reduction, counteracting global warming, the major global challenge threatening our survival on the planet Earth.
In all these agendas intelligent bioenergy can play an important role as an integral part of developing solutions. Moreover, bioenergy has the potential to generate multiple benefits related to e.g. environment (air, soil, water and biodiversity), community development, innovation, business development and regional economies.
Project EFFECT – Dialogue Platform on Energy and Resource Efficiency in the Baltic Sea Region published among other results two policy reviews. These papers, titled "Low Carbon Economy" and "Energy Efficiency in the Baltic Sea Region", are part of the collection and mapping of good practices, indicators and success factors on energy efficiency.