Archive for the ‘International Policy’ Category

EU regulations have global impact, says US study

January 14, 2007

A US academic study has concluded that EU environmental regulations are having a global environmental impact. The study discusses a number of recent Directives & Regulations:

  • The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive (WEEE), which obliges manufacturers and importers of electronic goods to pay for their disposal.
  • The Restriction on Hazardous Substances (ROHS) Directive, which bans certain substances from electrical goods.
  • The REACH Regulation, which creates a new regulatory system for the production and use of chemicals, and which was finalised at the end of 2006. (I’ll be writing more about this regulation at some point soon, as it has been a major area of my work during the last 10 years)
  • The authors argue that these regulations are affecting global markets, and are also being copied by countries outside of Europe.

    These authors are reinforcing an argument made by many people (including myself) that the EU is now a major driver of global environmental standards, particularly product-related standards.

    For more details, see the press release from the authors, the article itself and coverage in Euractiv [Note that the Euractiv article incorrectly states that the WEEE and ROHS Directives will be implemented during 2007; in fact the WEEE directive should have been implemented in 2005, though the UK is implementing it in 2007, and the most important ROHS deadline was in 2006].

    Welcome to Europe, Planet Earth

    January 9, 2007

    A new year and a new blog – but what makes this blog different?

    Like many blogs, this has a focus – Europe (particularly the European Union) and its environmental policy.

    The European Union (EU) is now made up of 27 countries, with a population of just under 500 million people (see ‘What is the EU‘ on this site for more details). The EU is rich by global standards, and includes the countries that started the industrial revolution.

    In the last few decades, the EU has become one of the leading environmental regulators in the world, agreeing regulations to control factory pollution, chemicals in toys and protection of biodiversity, to name just a few.

    The world is facing massive environmental challenges, not least climate change/global warming. What can the EU – and its environmental policies – do to help move us towards a sustainable future? The EU has the power to do a huge amount – but does it have the political will?

    We are not trying to substitute for news services such as ENDS Europe Daily (which we highly recommend). Instead we plan to offer up a more personal selection of what is happening in what is (probably) the world’s most active environmental regulator.

    To find out more about us & this blog, see about this blog.