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Improving the policy application of footprint indicators to support Europe's transition to a one planet economy: The development of the EUREAPA tool

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JournalScience of the Total Environment
DatePublished - 1 Jan 2013
Volume481
Pages (from-to)662-667
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Environmentally extended multi-regional input-output (EE-MRIO) models provide us with a wealth of data relating to consumption-based environmental impacts at a national level. The results can identify the categories of consumption and sectors of production that contribute most to environmental impact allowing policy makers to prioritise intervention into particular areas. However, these data are not readily accessible to policy makers and civil society, making it difficult to extract and communicate the important messages it contains. The web-based tool - EUREAPA - was created as a usable, task-oriented interface to improve access to environmental and economic data held within a complex EE-MRIO model and make it more relevant to policy makers and civil society. The project team of scientists and IT specialists used an iterative, agile and participatory approach to engage potential end-users in the specification and testing of the tool. The engagement process identified two principal functions that were essential for the EUREAPA tool: viewing data and creating scenarios. The viewing data function allows users to analyse the wealth of data held within the model and present results from a range of perspectives. This helps to understand the causes of environmental pressure and identify priorities for policy intervention. The scenario function helps to communicate how changes in consumption and production might affect the future environmental impact of citizens of the EU, and facilitates long-term planning. Through this dialogue process the project has been able to ensure EUREAPA is relevant, user-friendly and fit-for-purpose. It is intended that EUREAPA will be adopted by policy makers and civil society as an important policy planning and assessment aid in the complex field of sustainable consumption and production.

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