CrisisWatch

Business lobby group presses Commission to ax environmental laws 

In a 25 November statement addressed to Commission Vice-President Frans Timmermans, Europe’s leading lobby group for industry and business calls for the withdrawal of legislative proposals which “impose unnecessary burdens or have a disproportionate impact on growth and jobs”. BUSINESSEUROPE targets a series of policy proposals relating to environment, sustainable development and labour rights. The proposals for a Clean Air Policy Package and a Financial Transactions Tax (FTT) feature at the top of the list for ditching. The lobby group also calls for the withdrawal of the Circular Economy Package, which should be “re-tabled as an economic piece of legislation”. According to the statement, “[f]or BUSINESSEUROPE, proposals which would impose unnecessary burdens or have a disproportionate impact on growth and jobs must be withdrawn or revised to remove these unnecessarily burdensome provisions.” 

Since the wake of the crisis, strong pressures for relaxation of environmental laws target the European Commission. Key legislation on environmental impact assessment, industrial emissions, climate change and nature conservation has been subjected to relentless attacks by certain business lobbies and governments.

Yet, not all industry shares BUSINESSEUROPE’s view of environmental law as an obstacle to growth-as-usual. In a recent statement, the European Association of Metals EUROMETAUX welcomed the Circular Economy Package as “a step in the right direction to move from “waste” to “resource” management”. FEAD (the European federation of waste management and environmental services) also voiced its support to a strong circular economy package. In its letter to Jean-Claude Juncker, FEAD stresses that “[n]umerous studies have highlighted the significant environmental, economic and social benefits of moving towards a circular economy. In addition to clear environmental benefits, the impact assessment shows that full implementation of current EU waste legislation together with more ambitious waste policy would create over 580,000 jobs, increase the annual turnover of the EU waste management and recycling sector by €42 billion and would save €72 billion a year in waste management costs. As such it is a cornerstone for Europe’s future competitiveness.”

According to Karl Falkenberg, Director General of the European commission's DG ENV, “[t]he current economic crisis has been marked by high unemployment and limited growth. Companies are starting to open their eyes to the potential that lies within a circular economic model – one industry's waste becomes another's raw material. It is a model based on reuse, repair, remanufacturing and recycling of materials and products. Now is the time to take action.” 

Sources: Euractiv

 

Last modified onThursday, 27 August 2015 14:49
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