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EU Environmental policy priorities for the period till 2010 Based on the 6 th Environment Action Programme By Nikos Sakkas, LEI Crete, 2002.

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Presentation on theme: "EU Environmental policy priorities for the period till 2010 Based on the 6 th Environment Action Programme By Nikos Sakkas, LEI Crete, 2002."— Presentation transcript:

1 EU Environmental policy priorities for the period till 2010 Based on the 6 th Environment Action Programme By Nikos Sakkas, LEI Crete, 2002

2 The context  A person in the western world consumes up to 50 times more resources in a lifetime than the average person in a developing country  Continued economic growth in the industriali- sed countries coupled with population growth and the natural desire of developing countries to catch up in terms of material welfare could lead to a huge growth in demand for resources

3 The success stories  Industrial emissions to the atmosphere of toxic substances such as lead and mercury have been cut significantly  Acidification of our forests and rivers, caused by emissions of sulphur dioxide (SO2) has been greatly reduced  Sewage and water treatment have improved the health of many of our lakes and rivers

4 The four priority actions- 1  To tackle climate change  to stabilise the atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases at a level that will not cause unnatural variations of the earth's climate  To protect nature and bio-diversity  to protect and restore the functioning of natural systems and halt the loss of bio-diversity in the European Union and globally & to protect soils against erosion and pollution

5 The four priority actions- 2  To control health risks  to achieve a quality of the environment where the levels of man – made contaminants, including different types of radiation, do not give rise to significant impacts on or risks to human health  To promote sustainable use of natural resources and management of wastes  to ensure the consumption of renewable and non- renewable resources does not exceed the carrying capacity of the environment. To achieve a de-coupling of resource use from economic growth through significantly improved resource efficiency, dematerialisation of the economy, and waste prevention

6 Innovative approaches now required  Improve the implementation of existing environmental legislation  Deepen the integration of environmental concerns into other policies  Work with the market by taking account of business and consumer interests  Provide best practice for critical land use planning and management decisions  Provide information to individuals whose decisions may influence the Environment

7 Improve the implementation of existing legislation  Support the IMPEL network of exchanging best practice on implementation between Member States, and extend IMPEL to the Candidate Countries  Report on implementation by way of both the annual Commission report on monitoring the application of EC law and the annual survey on implementing EC environmental law, and present this information in the form of an implementation scoreboard  Organize a ‘Name, shame and fame’ strategy based on individual directives  Promote improved standards of inspection by Member States  Launch initiatives to combat environmental crime  As necessary, pursue action in the European Court to ensure implementation

8 Integrate environmental concerns into other policies  Establish where necessary additional internal ‘integration’ mechanisms within the Commission that ensure, among other things, that environmental protection requirements are fully assessed in the preparation of all Commission policy initiatives  Continue to stimulate commitments to implement the Treaty requirements on environmental integration, such as the initiative started at the Cardiff summit, and ensure that the strategies produced are translated into effective action  Further develop indicators to monitor and report on the process of sectoral integration

9 Encourage the market to work for the environment- 1  Business targeting activities:  Encourage a wider uptake of the EMAS Scheme and, in addition, develop measures to encourage a much greater proportion of companies to publish rigorous and independently verified environmental or sustainable development performance reports  Establish a compliance assistance programme, with specific help for SMEs  Introduce company environmental performance reward schemes  Encourage voluntary commitments and agreements to achieve clear environmental objectives  Launch specific actions under an Integrated Product Policy approach to promote the greening of products and processes

10 Encourage the market to work for the environment- 2  Consumer targeting activities:  Assess progress and effectiveness of Community Eco-Label scheme  Take measures, including the use of fiscal incentives where appropriate, to encourage the uptake of eco-labels that allow consumers to compare environmental performance (e.g. energy efficiency) between products of the same type  Promote green procurement, with guidelines and a review of green procurement within the Community Institutions who will 'lead by example'

11 Encourage the market to work for the environment- 3  Financial sector targeting activities:  Promote exchange of best policy practice between Member States  Consider a voluntary initiative with the financial sector which could cover, for example, exchange of best practice, agreement to meet harmonised standards for reporting by companies in the financial sector, for issuing loans, for ‘green investment funds etc.  Strengthening the integration of environmental objectives and considerations into lending by the European Investment Bank

12 Empower citizens and change behaviour  Enforce measures to improve accessibility and quality of information to citizens on environment (e.g. polluting emission levels at the local level)  Prepare practical toolkits aimed at regional or local level to allow citizens to benchmark their individual or household environmental performance and to give information on how to improve it

13 Green Land-Use Planning and Management Decisions  Raise attention by a communication on Planning and Environment – the territorial dimension  Take measures to improve the implementation of the Environmental Impact Assessment directive and the full and correct introduction of strategic environmental assessments after adoption at Community level  Enforce a Commission work programme aimed at spreading best practice with respect to sustainable planning which will include the development of a website and related tools  Support programmes and networks fostering the exchange of experience and the development of good practice on sustainable urban development

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