Assessment of Resource Nexus-related Challenges and Opportunities in the Context of the European Green Deal

Background report for the EEA Briefing


Best, Aaron, Susanne Langsdorf, Laurens Duin, Ariel Araujo (2021). Assessment of resource nexus-related challenges and opportunities in the context of the European Green Deal. Background report for the EEA Briefing "Applying a 'resource nexus' lens to policy: opportunities for increasing coherence".

This background report examines European Green Deal policies from a resource nexus perspective, identifying relevant challenges and opportunities associated with particular transition pathways foreseen in the European Green Deal. The background report functions as a supporting document to the EEA briefing on these topics entitled "Applying a 'resource nexus' lens to policy: opportunities for increasing coherence". A brief overview of the European Green Deal as well as the resource nexus is included in this introduction to familiarise all readers with the relevant concepts.

Section 2 of the report characterises existing interactions among the nodes of the EEA's re-source nexus framework (i.e. water, energy, food, land, materials, and ecosystems). Particular emphasis is placed on interactions yielding synergies and trade-offs between resource uses. Considerations of climate and health are also incorporated in the characterisation. Key synergies and trade-offs are identified based on a literature review.

Section 3 characterises European Green Deal policies related to three topics – food, mobility and energy – that have a particularly high resource nexus relevance.

The remaining sections consist of three case studies that examine particular European Green Deal policies and related transition pathways, characterising challenges and opportunities from a resource nexus lens. These case studies provide a more in-depth examination of resource nexus synergies and trade-offs. Each of these case studies represents a high-level policy area addressed by the European Green Deal, where applying a resource nexus approach can exemplify how synergies and trade-offs could be identified and the findings used to inform policy. The case studies are:

  • the role of increased organic farming and reduced use of pesticides;
  • sustainable bioenergy; and
  • electric vehicles and batteries.

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Laurens Duin
Ariel Araujo
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72 pp.
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