European Commission presents study on benefits of environment protection in the Neighbourhood Region and Russia
16. December 2011 – This week the European Commission has released the results from an international study project on Socio-economic Benefits of Enhanced Environment Protection in the European Neighbourhood partner countries and theRussian Federation. According to the study, a partial, voluntary adoption of EU environment legislation could save between 50.000 and 150.000 lives per year in these countries, due to reduced air pollution alone.
Positive effects of enhanced environment protection would also be significant in the water sector. Improved drinking and waste water standards could lead to a decrease in morbidity and mortality in the region and to benefits ranging from € 9 to € 21 billion per year.
On waste, a partial take-over of the EU environment acquis would lead to additional 64 million people being connected to proper municipal waste collection. Around 25.000 jobs would be created in this sector. Major positive social and economic benefits would also result from reinforced nature protection, sustainable forest management, reduced land degradation, stronger use of renewable energy, and better adaptation to climate change.
The study intends to alert decision-makers and society in the European Neighbourhood Region and the Russia Federation that strengthened environment protection also leads to significant social, health and economic benefits. It estimates the possible advantages resulting from voluntarily adopting parts of the EU environmental legislation, and proposes a methodology to quantify these benefits. Partner countries are invited to use this methodology in their national law- and policy-making. The European Commission will consider it in the planning of its future development and cooperation portfolio in the neighbourhood region.
The study 'Analysis for European Neighbourhood Policy countries and the Russian Federation on Social and Economic Benefits of Enhanced Environmental Protection' covers Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Egypt, Georgia, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Syria, the occupied Palestinian territory, the Republic of Moldova, the Russian Federation, Tunisia, and Ukraine. Similar projects have been conducted in the last ten years in the new EU Member States, in the Western Balkans and inTurkey, and have served as a basis for modernization of these countries' environment policies.
The 20-month study has been carried out by environment experts from the partner countries, in cooperation with international research institutes and consultancy firms (Arcadis Belgium, Institute for European Environmental Policy, Environmental Resource Management, Metroeconomica, Ecologic).
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