EU environmental policies and legislation protect natural habitats, keep air and water clean, ensure proper waste disposal, improve knowledge about toxic chemicals and help businesses move toward a sustainable economy.

The following is a list of EU Environment and Climate Change related legislation documents and weblinks that are currently available on Lean Business Ireland.

Action plan in favour of environmental technologies [archived]
Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament - Stimulating Technologies for Sustainable Development: An Environmental Technologies Action Plan for the European Union

The European Union is adopting an action plan to promote environmental technologies (technologies whose use is less environmentally harmful than relevant alternatives) in order to reduce pressures on our natural resources, improve the quality of life of European citizens and stimulate economic growth. The action plan’s objectives are to remove the obstacles so as to tap the full potential of environmental technologies, to ensure that the EU takes a leading role in applying them and to mobilise all stakeholders in support of these objectives.

Actions concerning specific geographic regions – Development and integrated management of coastal zones
Recommendation 2002/413/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 May 2002 concerning the implementation of Integrated Coastal Zone Management in Europe

The European Union recommends that the Member States adopt a strategic and integrated approach to the management of their coastal zones. To that end, it lays the foundations for such an approach based on the protection of the coastal area, its economic and socio-cultural development and on coordination. It also recommends a series of principles, a national stocktaking exercise and a national strategy.

Actions concerning specific geographic regions – Thematic strategy on the urban environment
Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament on Thematic Strategy on the Urban Environment {SEC(2006) 16 }

The EU sets out cooperation measures and guidelines aimed at improving the urban environment. The measures essentially concern the exchange of experience and the circulation of information at the most appropriate levels in order to ensure that legislation is implemented effectively and that best practices are promoted within local authorities.

Addressing water scarcity and droughts in the EU
Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council - Addressing the challenge of water scarcity and droughts in the European Union {SEC(2007) 993} {SEC(2007) 996}

It recognises the major challenges caused by water scarcity and medium- or long-term droughts in the EU and provides guidelines for addressing them. These deal with:

  • water pricing;
  • water allocation;
  • drought prevention and drought responses;
  • water supply alternatives;
  • ¬†high-quality information and technological solutions tackling water scarcity and droughts.

Addressing wildlife trafficking – EU action

It appraises the current situation and assesses the EU's measures to fight against wildlife trafficking both at global level and within the EU. It also serves to launch a debate on the EU's future approach to wildlife trafficking.

Agenda for a sustainable and competitive European tourism
Communication from the Commission - Agenda for a sustainable and competitive European tourism

This Communication is the official launching and endorsement of an Agenda for sustainable and competitive tourism. The objectives of this Agenda are to deliver economic prosperity, social equity and cohesion and environmental and cultural protection.

Air pollution from medium combustion plants
Directive (EU) 2015/2193 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 November 2015 on the limitation of emissions of certain pollutants into the air from medium combustion plants

It lays down rules to control air emissions of sulphur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx) and dust (particles) from medium combustion plants*, as well as rules to monitor carbon monoxide (CO) emissions from these plants.

The aim is to reduce potential harm to human health and the environment.

Alien and locally absent species
Council Regulation (EC) No 708/2007 of 11 June 2007 concerning use of alien and locally absent species in aquaculture

The Regulation aims to create a framework governing aquacultural practices in order to ensure adequate protection of the aquatic environment from the risks associated with the use of non-native species and locally absent species in aquaculture