The EU's environmental legislation comes in two parts. There are environmental standards for the natural environment; water and air quality and wildlife, and there is the EU's policy towards climate change.

In March 2007, EU leaders signed up to ambitious targets for reductions in carbon dioxide emissions – a 20% cut by 2020. This policy is ambitious and costly to implement. But if this target is to be met is the current EU plan the most cost effective way to achieve it?

It has been estimated that the EU's Climate Action and Renewable Energy policy costs each family of four between £330 – £730 per year.1 This policy has led the UK to invest in expensive wind farms and the EU in a costly biofuels programme that has been criticised as being a covert agricultural subsidy.

The Fresh Start Project will look at the whole area of EU environmental legislation, whether for each area the EU should be in charge of setting policy, and if it has implemented cost effective measures. It will look at whether the EU's role should be limited, for instance to setting guidelines for states to implement in their own ways or if it should be involved at all.

1 http://www.openeurope.org.uk/research/whatworks.pdf
http://www.openeurope.org.uk/research/environmenttargets.pdf


Environment Chapter (10 Jul 2012)

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The minutes of the APPG for European Reform meeting on Environment Legislation can be found here.

Supporting Documents:

- The slides used in the meeting can be read here

The minutes of the Fresh Start Group meeting on Environment Legislation can be read here.