New Strategic Foresight Report 2023: Water is in for the 1st time
On the 6th of July 2023, the European Commission presented the 2023 Strategic Foresight Report, which analyses how to put ‘sustainability and people’s wellbeing at the heart of Europe’s Open Strategic Autonomy’ and suggests ten concrete actions to achieve this aim.
What’s special with the report is that water is mentioned for the first time as follows:
☑ Environmental resources, which are not infinite, form the very foundation of economic activity: for example, 72% of the 4.2 million companies in the euro area are highly dependent on at least one nature-related service such as pollination, clean water, healthy soil, or timber.
☑ In particular, building on the existing mechanism for screening current strategic dependencies, the EU and its Member States should further develop tools to assess future dependencies across strategic sectors (e.g. health, food, digital technologies, energy, space, water).
☑ Large-scale action is needed to strengthen EU’s water- resilience, by addressing pollution and the increasing demands by agriculture, energy production, industry, or households. Measures to improve the governance of water (including appropriate pricing and allocation mechanisms), its efficient use, the development of sustainable alternative sources, the elimination of water pollution, and ensuring equal access are key.
Furthermore, the report outlines that additional investments of over EUR 620 billion annually will be needed to meet the objectives of the Green Deal and RepowerEU. There are issues with unlocking private financing for Europe to meet the Green Deal goals and the EU will work on this – mainly at EIB level.
Therefore, the report demonstrates the need to take into consideration a Water-Smart Strategy in the recast of the legislation for:
– the industrial emissions directive
– the nature restauration law
– the urban wastewater treatment directive
The report will strengthen our strategic autonomy and foster our competitive asset. To read more and download the report, click here.