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EU proposes new raft of green legislation

The European Commission has released information on planned initiatives for what will be a busy year regarding the boosting of recycling in the European Union (EU).

Anticipated actions include a green paper on sustainable consumption and production, suggesting improvement to integrated product policy, and including ecolabel, environmental management schemes, resource and waste policies and innovation.

This oncoming broad-based consultation document was revealed in the Commissions latest annual environmental policy review, which has been released alongside a mid-term review of its 2002-2012 sixth environment action programme.

The annual review also stated that the Commission would this year publish a green paper on ship dismantling, propose EU-wide voluntary targets for green public procurement, and reinforce implementation of waste shipment regulations and directives on port (waste) reception facilities, maybe making legislative proposals.

It also said the Commission would make its industrial policy increasingly eco-friendly, maybe by improving the energy-using products directive. There would also be a report on how member states are implementing the EU environmental technologies action plan, whose goals will be promoted this year by calls for proposals from the EU seventh framework programme on research.

In a commentary, Brussels said: Improving resource efficiency and making our production and consumption patterns more sustainable will deliver environmental benefits while improving economic performance and competitiveness.

As regards ship dismantling, the review paper said: Often ships are dismantled on beaches in Asia under poor conditions where workers are killed or injured by accidents or exposed to toxic substances.

Looking at the action programme mid-term review, the Commission committed itself to further initiatives promoting environmental taxation, green technologies and improvements to environmental legislation, including the development of new benchmarks to assess eco-friendly policies.

The assessment claimed nonetheless that the EU was on track to achieving the goals set out on the action plans launch in 2002.


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