Voluntary adoption of EU environmental legislation can save lives and funds, study says

on 30 January 2012.

Voluntary adoption of EU environmental legislation in the water sector and especially improved drinking and wastewater standards could lead to a decrease in morbidity and mortality and to benefits ranging between 9 and 21 billion euros per year in the European Neighbourhood partner countries and the Russian Federation, the international study project on Socio-economic Benefits of Enhanced Environment Protection says.

The study was conducted in Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Syria, the occupied Palestinian territory, Tunisia and elsewhere. To see the results follow the link here

The results, which were presented by the European Commission, also highlighted that reduced air pollution, due to enhanced environmental protection, could save between 50.000 and 150.000 lives per year in the region. In the field of waste management, adopting EU legislation would lead to an additional 64 million people being connected to proper municipal waste collection and to the creation of around 25.000 jobs in this sector alone. Major positive social and economic benefits would also result from reinforced nature protection, sustainable forest management, reduced land degradation, increase use of renewable energy, and better adaptation to climate change.

The study intends to alert decision-makers and the society in general in the European Neighbourhood Region that strengthened environmental protection 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.

The East and South regional summary studies as well as a Benefits Assessment Manual are published on the website