The European Commission has put forward a proposal for an Environment Action Programme that will guide EU environment policy up to 2020.
If the proposal is accepted by the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union, the 7th EU Environment Action Programme will become EU law.
As part of its nine priorities in the Environment Action Programme, boosting sustainable, resource-efficient, low-carbon growth would be a legal requirement.
Concrete steps would need to be taken including shifting taxation from labour to pollution as well as drawing up partnership agreements between Member States and the Commission on implementation of EU environmental law, and developing a system for tracking environment-related expenditure in the EU budget.
Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik said: “The new Action Programme sets out the path for Europe to become a place where people live in a safe and healthy natural environment, where economic progress is based on a sustainable, green economy and where ecological resilience has been achieved.”
Climate Action Commissioner Connie Hedegaard said: “We cannot wait until the economic crisis is over before we tackle the resources, environmental and climate crises. We must address all these at the same time and so include climate and environmental concerns into all our policies. This strategy gives businesses and politicians the long-term view we very much need for making the transition to a sustainable, low-carbon society in Europe.”
The 6th Environmental Action Programme covered the period from 2002 to 2012.