Costs of non implementation 5 April 2012
Failing to implement environment legislation is thought to cost the EU economy around €50 billion every year in health costs and direct costs to the environment. In an effort to reduce that figure and deliver better environmental outcomes for people and businesses, the European Commission has issued a communication on better implementation of EU environment law. Environment Commissioner Janez Poto?nik said: “EU law is not an invention from Brussels; it is democratically adopted by all Member States and the Parliament for the benefit of citizens. Our environment is protected by some 200 pieces of well established law, but all too often they are not properly applied. This doesn’t just harm the environment – it also damages human health, leads to uncertainty for industry, and undermines the Single Market. In a time of crisis, these are costs we cannot afford.” The communication underlines the positive benefits of environment law, showing how preventing damage to the environment can cost far less than long–term remediation. Environment legislation can bring advantages to industry: full implementation of EU waste legislation would generate an additional 400,000 jobs, for example, with net costs that are €72 billion less than the alternative scenario of non–implementation. The outcome of discussions between the three EU institutions will prepare the ground for the 7th Environment Action Programme.
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