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Environmental economics

The economics of environmental policy

Links between production, the environment and environmental policy (forthcoming)

This study will examine the links between environment and production with a focus on a number of sectors (such as motor vehicles, plastics, food processing, and water and sewerage). How do firms depend on the environment and how do they affect it. Also, as part of the study, life cycle analysis was undertaken for certain single use plastics to feed into the Impact Assessment accompanying the proposal on “Reducing marine litter: action on single use plastics and fishing gear”. This intermediate product is provided below, whilst the full study will be available later in 2019.

Environmental potential of the collaborative economy (2018)

Collaborative- or sharing economy refers to business models where individual/private use of products and services turns into shared usage on a temporary basis, facilitated by online platforms and open marketplaces, to reduce costs while leading to potential environmental gains as well. It was estimated that the collaborative economy can save up to 7% of household budget spending and reduce waste by 20% if the market operates under favourable conditions.

Current literature generally shows positive environmental and social impacts, with room for further research on the net impacts. This study explains that how the collaborative economy affects sustainable development is complex, with both positive and negative drivers behind. The objectives of the study were to assess and quantify to the extent possible the net environmental impact and the socio-economic potential of collaborative economy today and in the future (towards 2030), to analyse the conditions under which its contibution is highest, to assess impacts on consumption and other socio-economic impacts (including rebound effects), to address data/research gaps and to identify ways for EU policies to promote positive impacts while mitigate adverse ones. The study focused on three key areas: transport, tourism and durable goods-sharing and developed five in-depth case studies, Life-Cycle Assessment and macro-econometric modelling and drew some main conclusions as follows. The size (market share) of collaborative economy in Europe is still small, despite the rapid growth in some known platforms, with future environmental impacts likely to remain small-scale when compared to the overall economy. Collaborative and traditional models are however expected to converge. Clear environmental and socio-economic benefits at transaction level are less clear at sector or macro level where several processes take place in different directions, making net impacts largely dependent on rebound effects. Rebound effects can reduce or cancel out environmental gains in case savings are re-spent according to standard consumption patterns, while that can also compensate for some of the production- and job losses induced by the collaborative economy. The potential to reduce energy use and emissions is the largest in case of transport, where car-sharing can cut the number of cars and the total distance travelled by the vehicules.

Scoping study on modelling of EU environment policy (2016)

This study looks at modelling in the context of EU environment policy. Modelling can be structured around the three thematic priorities of the 7th Environment Action Programme (natural capital; resource efficient, low carbon economy; and human health and wellbeing) along with the horizontal priority objectives. Modelling can provide information on all the EU's evaluation criteria: effectiveness, efficiency, relevance, coherence and EU value added. A clear need is for integrated economic, social and environmental analysis. There are modelling gaps and also challenges in terms of data and models. A modelling assessment could have as a priority the combined assessment of environmental policy, its social implications and its contribution to the Juncker priority on jobs, growth and investment though eco-innovation.

Study to analyse differences in costs of implementing EU policy (2015)

This study examines differences in the costs of implementation of EU environmental law across Member States. Differences in the costs of implementation can be a sign of risks to implementation and can lead to unnecessary burdens on individuals and businesses. Both a literature review and case studies find differences between countries: even where the EU requirements are the same, national choices lead to cost differences for businesses. Some differences in costs simply reflect different countries' situations, and is to be expected. However, there also seem to be differences in administrative costs between countries for actions that should be broadly comparable. Whilst the data is too poor to provide systematic evidence, there are indications of potential to improve efficiency, for example, by adoption of best practice.

Costs of environmental legislation for selected industries over time (2015)

This study examines how business spending on environmental protection has changed over time. In particular, it looks to see if the cumulative costs of environmental policy are increasing or decreasing for 6 industrial case studies: Mining and quarrying, manufacturing, refineries, chemical industries, the base metal sector and the power sector. The time series cover the period 1995 – 2012. The data used is collected as part of the Structural Business Statistics by National Statistic Offices. Over the period, the analysis shows a small downward trend with some peaks and troughs. In 2012, the environmental protection expenditure was around 2% of value added for these sectors. New environmental regulations do not in general appear to be leading to higher environmental expenditures (at the level of the EU). This seems to be because sectors become more efficient over time in responding to legislation, and so the costs of existing regulations fall over time. However, there are large differences between sectors and member states.

Influences on consumer behaviour: Policy implications beyond nudging (2014)

Many policy interventions are based on information supply, e.g., energy labelling. Yet, the evidence does not support the common premise that 'informed people make the right choices'.

This policy brief summarises (only 19p) recent scientific findings in behavioural economics, psychology and sociology and their implications for policy-making. It discusses the influences of biases and framing, the role of values and social norms, as well as of physical infrastructures in shaping behavioural outcomes.

The authors argue that policies need to jointly address the multiple drivers of behaviour and in a coherent way. Also, instead of focusing exclusively on individuals, policies may be more effective when they target groups or whole segments of society with tailored approaches. The brief closes with a set of potential future policy options.

Global integrated assessment to support EU future environment policies (GLIMP) (2012)

Drawing on a complex global modelling exercise carried out over two years, this project shows the relationships - by year 2050 - between the EU and other world regions in four critical areas: fisheries; phosphorus (see as scarce resources); long-term bioenergy prospects; and biofuels - history and projections for land use change to 2020. Its focus is on environment-related issues whereby actions within the EU, or the fact that no actions are being taken, are expected to have significant consequences elsewhere in the world, or where the EU needs global partners to effectively address a problem. This global, model-based assessment produced as well a world baseline scenario for 2050 that was carefully coordinated with the OECD environmental outlook to 2050.

Final report and annexes (pdf ~4 MB)

Economic assessment of policy measures for the implementation of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (2012)

The study proposes an economic assessment of four categories of policy measures that could be used to implement the MSFD: Command-and-Control instruments; Market-Based Instruments; social instruments (information, awareness raising); and technical measures. The study developed a database of about 140 policy measures, covering the pressures they best respond to, the sectors and uses they best apply to, their effectiveness, costs and benefits, as well as key success and limiting factors for their implementation. The study developed deeper analysis for 5 case studies: a tax on NOx emissions from shipping (Norway), a levy on aggregates’ extraction (UK); a lump-sum charging system for ship-generated waste collection (Baltic Sea); a fisheries area closure scheme (Scotland); a Marine Protected Area (Spain). The study leads to some conclusions on under which conditions different measures and policy mixes work best (clear environmental goal, thorough measurement of results, spatially specific design, effective legal framework and enforcement capacity, use of revenue recycling of fee-based instruments, early involvement of key stakeholders, provision of sufficient lead time for implementation).

Expanding the Evidence Base for the Design of Policy influencing Consumer Choice (2011)

Policy makers designing effective policy to influence consumer choice need to understand how consumers make their purchasing decisions in real life situations. The study identified several important drivers and other key aspects, some of which cover behavioural aspects often ignored in consumer policy making. It investigated the practical tools needed to help policy makers build up sufficient evidence to guide individual pieces of policy. It includes a behavioural experiment to demonstrate the practical aspects of policy design.

Implementation of the CAP Policy Options with the Land Use Modelling Platform - A first indicator-based analysis (2011)

Using land-use modelling steered by economic drivers and agro-environmental constraints, the study assesses a range of environmental impacts resulting from the implementation of different policy settings foreseen under the CAP reform, focusing on the greening component of direct payments. Results are expressed in terms of land cover changes (e.g. arable land, permanent crops, pasture, natural and semi-natural vegetation, artificial surfaces, etc.) and environmental indicators such as the conservation of Green Infrastructure and biodiversity or the change in Soil Organic Carbon stocks. In general and at the EU27 level, the greening options that are modelled have a lower level of environmental impact than under the Status Quo scenario. However, several indicators also show pronounced regional differences and local developments, which do not follow the national or European trends and the results emphasize the importance of geographically targeted measures.

Coastal zones in Europe: Impacts of land use policy alternatives (2011)

Following-up on the 2010 study on "Land use modelling : Implementation - Preserving and enhancing the environmental benefits of land use services", this report describes how the EU-ClueScanner land allocation model has been used to analyse the impacts of different scenarios (more or less environmentally-friendly) related to land use in coastal areas. With a 1km spatial resolution and 10 land classes, it shows the results of these scenarios for the period 2000-2050. Results are presented through maps and indicators describing, inter alia, built-up areas, coastal erosion, risk of coastal flooding, soils quality, landscape fragmentation and biodiversity index. This report provides insight for the analysis of options for Coastal Zone Management in Europe.

Transition Costs (2011)

This paper provides a basis for discussion on structural change and the transition to a resource-efficient economy. It examines the process of economic growth and structural change at a macro-economic and a micro-economic scale so that the costs and benefits of transition can be assessed. It points out that there is no fixed 'status quo' in the economy compared to on-going structural change. It looks at the factors resulting in higher or lower costs of structural change, whether induced by policy or economic conditions. As a result, it provides a basis for reconsidering how to look at the costs and benefits of policy change - suggesting that the costs of transition to a green economy are best compared to alternative scenarios of transition costs, rather than to a 'no cost' scenario.

Design, implementation and cost elements of Green Infrastructure projects (2011)

Green Infrastructure (GI) is a valuable tool for addressing ecological preservation and environmental protection as well as societal needs in a complementary fashion. This study developed a definition of Green Infrastructure projects based on terminology and working definitions used in different EU member states and identified a set of European green infrastructure projects and initiatives with a view to operationalise the Green Infrastructure concept and create a typology of GI projects. Thereafter the study analyses green infrastructure projects carried out by EU funds or as national initiatives and provides elements of their design and process used to implement them on the ground, estimates of their cost and benefits, and of their potential to respond to multiple objectives (biodiversity management and enhancement, increasing resilience to climate change, protection against natural disasters, etc). Furthermore, the study reports on the potential of current EU policy(-ies) and available funding instruments to promote green infrastructure projects and provide for the capacities and planning needed to develop and implement them on the ground and provides recommendations for EU, national and regional/local policy makers to take them up when designing Green Infrastructures policies and projects.

Assessment of the Natura 2000 co-financing arrangements of the EU financing instrument (2011)

This study confirms that, despite the increased effort and some good examples on financing Natura 2000 from the Community funds, the existing EU co-financing framework is not fully effective. The problem arises from both gaps in the framework and significant constraints that make it difficult to use to its full potential. In particular, current funding is less than is needed; capacity building is needed to guarantee the most best use of the EU co-financing framework; and, there is scope to complement existing funding streams with innovative thinking and new funding mechanisms.

Costing the environmental needs related to rural land management (2011)

The study estimates the costs of undertaking environmentally beneficial land management on agricultural and forested land in 2020. A large proportion of the costs associated with environmentally beneficial management on farmland and woodland are associated with arable land. The study highlights, however, that it cannot be assumed that simply having sufficient budgetary resources available will lead to the environmental outcomes being achieved. Policy design and effective implementation are critical factors that will influence the cost of achieving the desired results. In many cases achieving changes in management practices also requires a change in attitude and approach to a farm’s core business activities.

Taking into account opportunity costs when assessing costs of biodiversity and ecosystem action (2011)

Addressing the challenge of halting the loss of biodiversity and the preservation of ecosystem services is key for European policy, thus providing adequate financial support for the successful protection of biodiversity and ecosystems services is crucial. Within Europe, however, there is limited data on their conservation costs, thus making the implicit costs of conservation explicit via the identification and inclusion of opportunity costs in estimates could help address this incoherence. Opportunity costs reflects the foregone economic benefits from alternative activities or uses of a resource on a particular site. This study is a first attempt to provide a comprehensive overview on the total costs for biodiversity and ecosystem actions in the European Union and makes a significant contribution to the understanding of opportunity costs within the context of biodiversity policies and actions established in various EU member states. The estimates produced demonstrate the broad scale of biodiversity costs but also the significance of opportunity costs within these, acknowledging the high variance between Member States and even regions. Given the wide discrepancies in costs categories present in existing estimates of biodiversity action costs, the study developed a general cost typology to enable the comparison of results from different cost assessments. The typology aims to deliver a clear categorisation of costs that could also serve as a model for an even broader application of the method beyond the project scope, and to allow for the integration of all relevant data from existing cost estimates. The combined cost of these different policy actions is roughly estimated at €10.6 billion per year. Within this, opportunity costs amount to approximately €8.4 billion.

The costs of not implementing the environmental acquis (2011)

This report examines the costs associated with the gaps in implementing the EU environmental acquis. These costs relate to many impacts – in particular, potential environmental benefits are not realised, but also impacts such as uncertainty for business and infringement costs. The costs are often not easy to quantify but, as an indicative estimate, the costs of the implementation gap between current legally binding targets and the current level of implementation could be equivalent to around 50 billion Euros per year.

EU Resource efficiency perspectives in a global context (2011)

This study provides a global, model-based analysis of five distinct resource themes: energy; land, phosphorus, fresh water and fish stocks. The assessment finds that, with ambitious global efforts, there is substantial potential to improve efficiency in the use of these resources:

  • the increase in global annual energy use between 2010 and 2050 could be limited to less than 25%. For greenhouse gas emissions, this would halve the gap between the situation of unchanged policy and the 450 ppm CO2 eq mitigation scenario.
  • net global agricultural expansion between 2010 and 2050 may be halted, with expansion in Africa reduced by half, by improving the efficiency of agricultural production, consumption and food supply chains.
  • the global increase, up to 2050, in the use of phosphorus fertilisers from primary sources could be limited to 11%, mainly by making better use of manure and by recycling phosphorus from human excreta.
  • globally, water efficiency, in all sectors combined, could be improved by 25%.
  • fish stocks may recover and marine biodiversity may improve if a temporary reduction in fishing efforts is implemented.

Final report (pdf ~ 8.2 MB)

Macroeconomic modelling of sustainable development and the links between the economy and the environment (2011)

This study examines the economic underpinning for resource policy. It provides a matrix of risks for Europe's future use of different resources: the nature of the risks, timescales, examples and quantifications of risks. The study notes an ongoing shift in Europe to resource imports: by 2030 two thirds of resource use will be either imports or use outside the EU. Marginal abatement cost curves are developed, showing that resource use can be reduced with benefits in terms of jobs and growth. A number of policy simulations are carried out, with the conclusion that we could realistically reduce the total material requirements of the EU economy by 17%, and that this could boost GDP by up to 3.3% and create between 1.4 and 2.8 million jobs. Every percentage point reduction in resource use is worth around 23 billion Euros to business and could lead to up to 100,000 to 200,000 new jobs.

Final report (pdf ~820 KB)

Executive summary (pdf ~217 KB)

Sustainability Scenarios for a Resource Efficient Europe (2011)

This study analyses scenarios for sustainability and resource efficiency for the global and European economy up to and beyond 2050. These scenarios cover different resources (raw materials, metals, energy, climate water, land biodiversity) and economic sectors (construction and housing, agriculture and food, industry and manufacturing, transport). The report provides the baselines, the assumptions for the key underlying variables used in modelling, as well as the assumptions made about entering new variables in models or modelling suites to explore sets of parameters that create a vision for a Resource efficient EU by 2050 (i.e. how resource availability, efficiency, etc is factored into the scenarios and models). The report identifies and recommends models and modelling approaches to assess policies to deliver a vision of a resource efficient Europe and to measure progress in achieving it, recognising the importance of cross-cutting policies and issues. For example, the linkages between resources and the economy that do not involve economic transactions and are not well-covered in existing models. The study also identifies key gaps in the existing models, such as the links between land use change and climate change, as well as omissions due to the limited understanding of the nature, direction and strength of these links.

Final Report and Annexes A and B (pdf ~ 1.2 MB)

Annex C: Tabular overview of selected sustainability scenario studies (pdf ~ 0.4 MB)

Annex D: Detailed factsheets of selected sustainability scenario studies (pdf ~ 1.2 MB)

Scoping Study on the Macroeconomic View of Sustainability (2010)

This study examine whether the current macroeconomic models are up to the task of evaluating policy from a sustainable development viewpoint or whether they 'miss' something that may systematically bias them. The analysis focused on sixty of the most used models, and looked at them in the light of what both neoclassical and ecological economics would suggest is needed and important. Three major constraints were spotted, which in certain circumstances could be material for policy makers: the often one-way linkages from economy to environment; physical limits, such as stocks and maximum carrying capacities are not usually covered in the analysis; the models are not good for making a proper assessment of ‘extreme’ scenarios. There is particular scope for improvement in the modelling of resource use but recommendations also cover: the role of technology; non-linear relationships, thresholds, limits; and, uncertainty. Overall, it should be possible to move macroeconomic models towards a more systematic modelling of the two-way linkages between the environment and the economy, and to allow for a more comprehensive assessment of how the economic, environmental and social aspects of our societies affect each other.

Final Report (pdf ~1,1 MB)

Study on the evolution of some deforestation drivers and their potential impacts on the costs of avoiding deforestation scheme (2010)

The study describes the drivers for deforestation in the main regions in which it happens, namely Latin America and the Caribbean, Sub-Saharan Africa and Pacific Asia. On a global scale, the most important identified direct drivers for deforestation are agricultural expansion for food and energy production, followed by infrastructure development and wood extraction. The study estimates, using GLOBIOM and G4M models, the effects of changes in drivers on deforestation levels. Six shock areas are identified for quantitative modelling analysis: increased demand for biofuels, wood, meat, infrastructure and for biodiversity schemes. Some shock areas are analyzed on a global scale as well as for each of the 3 hotspots regions while the policy shocks related to infrastructure development and biodiversity protection are modelled both on a global scale and at a geographic-explicit level, namely the Congo Basin. The scenarios chosen do not necessarily seek full realism since the objective is rather to understand which kind of drivers is more important than other. Consequently, the technical details of the study are not as robust as they can be in more specific analysis fully dedicated to a specific driver, since some compromises in the modelling had to be made.

The study concludes that the two policy shocks leading to the worst consequences in terms of additional deforestation are an increase in consumption of 1st generation biodiesel and an increase in meat consumption. The Latin America and Caribbean region is predicted to experience, across all scenarios, the highest levels of deforestation worldwide between 2020 and 2030. By analyzing associated annual marginal costs of avoiding certain degrees of deforestation under the various shock scenarios, the modelling exercise also shows that world demand has significant implications in terms of financing a REDD mechanism: with more ambitious avoided deforestation targets, the need for financing not only becomes higher but also less predictable as the impacts of possible shocks become more influential.

Summary

Report

Annexes

Land use modelling : Implementation - Preserving and enhancing the environmental benefits of land use services (2010)

A new open source land allocation model - the EU-ClueScanner – has been developed in order to assess the environmental impacts of land use change in Europe at a 1 km2 scale, with a time horizon of 2030. The report describes the methodology used in order to develop this model and the related set of environmental, economic and social indicators. In addition to the reference scenario (IPCC B1), the report describes eight policy alternatives that were used as examples for testing the model. These policy alternatives relate to biofuel production, increased biodiversity protection and climate change adaptation and mitigation measures related to water management and soil protection. The implementation of the modeling framework shows that it is successful in simulating different spatial land use policy options, in identifying hotspots of change and in providing results in terms of specific indicators. The annex to the report explains how scenarios, indicators and data can be changed in order to study different policies.

Final report (pdf ~3,9 MB)

Executive summary (pdf ~170 kb)

Study on how businesses take into account their risks related to biodiversity and ecosystem services: state of play and way forward (2010)

The study examines what drives companies to address their biodiversity and ecosystem services risks and identifies the measures taken to tackle those risks and the main barriers for taking actions. The report presents case studies of sectors selected for their dependency and impact on biodiversity and ecosystem services (food and drink production, retail, tourism, bio-tech), their special link to consumers (retail) and to the whole economy (the financial sector). The study shows that, although businesses demonstrate concerns for sustainability, they are much less aware of biodiversity and ecosystem services as an isolated issue. Large companies are most advanced in addressing these risks, while SMEs seem to lack resources, awareness, knowledge and influence (e.g. against sub-suppliers) to do so. Sectors most dependent on biodiversity and ecosystem services (e.g. food production, pulp & paper, tourism) appear to be the most advanced in addressing their risks; securing future supply seems their main driver to do so and there is a growing trend towards direct procurement, ensuring a better control of upstream suppliers. For sectors closest to consumers (e.g. retail sector), the demand for labels/certified products and the promotion of corporate image are seen as the most important drivers.

The economic benefits of environmental policy (2010)

This report describes the areas in which environmental policies deliver Europe’s current economic priorities, often more successfully than other forms of economic policy intervention. It provides evidence of the role of environmental policy both in providing a short term economic stimulus and in building a sustainable, efficient and resilient economy in the long term. It highlights many areas where environmental policy is essential for sustainable economic progress. The report explains and illustrates how environmental policy may benefit the economy by delivering eight key economic outcomes. These are that environmental policy: Enhances Productivity, Stimulates Innovation, Increases Employment (and/or the quality of Employment), Improves our Balance of Trade, Strengthens our Capital Base, Supports Public Finances, Promotes Economic Cohesion, Encourages the Transition to a Resilient and Sustainable Economy.

Scoping Study on completing the European Single Market for environmental goods and services (2010)

The study explored what improvements EU Single Market needs to facilitate the growth of European eco-industries and to support the better trading and movement of eco-industry workers, technology and products and services. Fourteen important problems causing a malfunctioning of Single Market for environmental goods and services have been identified, ranked and policy recommendations have been formulated. Amongst the most important policy priorities to be put in place or further strengthened are: The improvement of legal clarity and efforts to correctly transpose and uniformly implement environmental legislation, the better implementation of the Services Directive, the introduction of a common EU-wide approach for subsidizing new environmental technology applications or supporting environmental goods and services, the further development of uniform green procurement rules, the reduction of EU labour market complexities, the promotion of EU-wide recognition of qualifications and skills in eco-industry and also the adoption and promotion of common EU standards, certification and testing procedures where necessary.

Establishing Environmental Sustainability Thresholds and Indicators (2010)

Environmental thresholds are tipping points which, once crossed, can lead to abrupt changes in the services provided by ecological systems. The study analyses how some of these thresholds can be monitored through indicators so that action is taken before the thresholds are crossed. It focuses on 4 threshold areas representing widespread problems in EU: water quality (focussing on eutrophication), water quantity, soil erosion and non-renewable resource use (for which a threshold perspective is introduced by analysing a potential link between non-renewable material consumption and air pollutant emissions thresholds). The study proposes new sets of indicators but concludes that knowledge and data availability are still too incomplete and uncertain for most environmental thresholds in EU to allow for specifying threshold values adjusted for regional conditions. The study recommends developing a searchable repository of threshold research and to better integrate threshold-related aspects into environmental data collection procedures.

Designing Policy to Influence Consumers (2009)

30 years of Nobel prize winning research shows that consumers make choices through a mix of mental shortcuts, emotion and conscious deliberation. Yet, EU policies usually assume consumers only make conscious deliberation. For instance, it is often assumed more information is a good thing - but the opposite is shown to be true. Designing policies based on how consumers actually make choices would be likely to significantly improve policy outcomes and suggests the use of new instruments. This report summarises the global knowledge from marketing and economic research and makes clear the significant implications for the organisation of the Commission's policy work, and its range and design of instruments for greening consumer choice. It is also a fascinating insight into our own mental processes.

Study on the Competitiveness of the EU eco-industry (2009)

The goal of this study is to perform a competitiveness screening of the EU eco-industries in order to identify factors which need to be addressed in the industrial competitiveness policy for eco-industries based on a quantitative economic foundation. It finds that the eco-industry is one of Europe's biggest sectors with an annual turnover of €319 billion and has been growing by around 8% per annum. The competitiveness screening identifies those framework conditions and possible market failures that are most important for industrial competitiveness.

Environment and the Single Market (2009)

A harmonised approach is still missing within the EU in a number of environmental policy areas. While many commonly agreed objectives exist on the European level, frequently Community environmental legislation leaves the action needed for better achieving these objectives largely to the Member States. There are many good reasons for this; the national capacities and institutions can be utilised, and variations in local conditions might be more appropriately addressed. However, cross-national differences in environmental standards may persist. Stakeholders and academics disagree to what extent such differences in environmental standards might cause competition distortions and what effects such distortions might have in achieving the desired environmental objective. Furthermore, the absence of environmental policies at European level might also cause market distortions. The study searched for cases where the absence of common approaches to legislation and lack of harmonisation has led or may lead to market distortions and discussed options to overcome them. The introduction of European standards might potentially level the playing field and contribute to the removal of market barriers.

Scoping study on cost effectiveness of EU environmental policy (2009)

This scoping study investigates whether the costs per unit of environmental benefits for a given environmental target vary across EU Member States as a result of different policy implementation. The analysis is based on existing ex-post cost-effectiveness evidence and more indirect indicators of possible cost-effectiveness differences. The study shows that there is little information on whether the cost of achieving a given environmental target differs between Member States. One of the main explanations is that ex-post recording of costs and their allocation to specific policies is very difficult and is therefore not done in any systematic manner across the EU. Where there is information, it is often difficult to compare MS because the environmental targets vary or because other factors might explain differences (geography, industrial structure etc). However, the indirect indicators' assessment suggests that differences in cost-effectiveness between MS do exist in most environmental areas. The existence of such differences suggests that, if best practice could be more widely identified and adopted, the cost of environmental policy might be reduced, allowing for more to be done for less. The identified examples (mainly in the water quality domain) point to the use of economic instruments as being more cost-effective in implementation of environmental policies compared to command and control measures.

The links between the environment and competitiveness (2009)

This study asks ‘if’ and ‘to what extent’ existing theories on the links between the environment and competitiveness are correct in practice. It does so by looking at water policies and the evidence on resource productivity. In general, there is a positive correlation between competitiveness of countries and their resource productivity However, resource productivity varies considerably and what is good for the competitiveness of a firm or sector might easily be bad for the competitiveness of a different firm or sector in the same country. There is significant potential for increased resource productivity and a role for policy in encouraging this by, for example, raising the prices of resources.

Study on understanding the causes of biodiversity loss and the policy assessment framework (2009)

This study examines the causes of biodiversity loss. These tend to be an interaction of socio-economic forces and, what turns out to be, poor decision-making and policy choices for a range of ecosystem contexts. Most of the pressure on biodiversity stems from human-induced disturbance to ecosystems with underlying causes of economic and market failures. Case studies on marine, coastal, wetlands and forest ecosystems provide real life examples.

Further Developing Assumptions on Monetary Valuation of Biodiversity Cost of Policy Inaction (2009)

This study updates the figures used in the Cost of Policy Inaction study on halting biodiversity loss also available on this site. Firstly, it involves further development of reference values and sensitivity analysis of benefit transfer focussing on: (a) Geographic benefits transfer; (b) Time benefits transfer; (c) Benefits transfer across land-uses within a biome (eg from natural areas to other uses); and (d) Benefits transfer across biomes. Secondly, it examines in more detail the scope for substitution effects (from services generated by similar ecosystems or by man-made capital) to affect the values used in the COPI study. For example, limits of substitution may make the costs exponential or hit a critical threshold. Conversely there may be full substitution in the short term where there are no service losses.

Scenarios and models for exploring future trends of biodiversity and ecosystem services changes (2009)

This study addressed the use of scenarios, models and other quantitative tools for exploring future trends in biodiversity and their impacts on ecosystem services. The study reviewed the different scenarios and models used to explore future trends in biodiversity loss and ecosystem change and their associated impacts on ecosystem services. It summarised the key findings from recent global and regional assessments, assessed the limitations of existing models with respect to their suitability for producing robust projections of changes in biodiversity and ecosystem services, instigated a peer-review of the study’s’ initial conclusions during a expert workshop and finally it proposed a set of options for suitable models and scenarios to be used in future studies such as for 'The Economics of Ecosystems & Biodiversity (TEEB)' and other assessments. The results of this study are of general use for policy analysis and reflection on biodiversity and ecosystem services issues.

Study on the Implementation Efficiency of the Environmental Liability Directive (ELD) and related Financial Security issues (2009)

In view of Commission's reporting obligations under to ELD (report due before end of April 2010), a second more comprehensive study followed-up the 2008 exploratory study (see below). This study explored further certain issues on the implementation efficiency of the Directive in the EU Member States by identifying and collecting available information on ELD case studies and running questionnaires targeting the authorities in the Member States and operators potentially affected by the ELD. Furthermore, the study updated the available information about the development of the EU market and the availability of products that respond to the need for financial security as required under the Directive. Also experiences with implementation in the US have been examined. The results of this study are available at:

Scenarios and models for exploring future trends of biodiversity and ecosystem services changes (2009)

This study addressed the use of scenarios, models and other quantitative tools for exploring future trends in biodiversity and their impacts on ecosystem services. The study reviewed the different scenarios and models used to explore future trends in biodiversity loss and ecosystem change and their associated impacts on ecosystem services. It summarised the key findings from recent global and regional assessments, assessed the limitations of existing models with respect to their suitability for producing robust projections of changes in biodiversity and ecosystem services, instigated a peer-review of the study’s’ initial conclusions during a expert workshop and finally it proposed a set of options for suitable models and scenarios to be used in future studies such as for 'The Economics of Ecosystems & Biodiversity (TEEB)' and other assessments. The results of this study are of general use for policy analysis and reflection on biodiversity and ecosystem services issues.

Full Study report (pdf ~1,9 MB)

Appendices (pdf ~3,7 MB)

Modelling of EU land-use choices and environmental impacts - Scoping study (2008)

This scoping study has allowed the identification of key trade-offs over land use, as reviewed how climate, socio-economic and policy drivers may affect these trade-offs, and what is the optimal scale for the assessment of drivers and impacts of land use changes. The contractor has performed a detailed inventory of on-going and forthcoming research and has assessed how it can contribute to the building of a modelling framework.

Policy Summary

Final report

Appendices

Financial Security in the Environmental Liability Directive (2008)

This study addressed the issue of Financial Security under the Environmental Liability Directive. According to Article 14 of the Directive, Member States have been asked to mobilise in order to promote the uptake of financial security options by the operators. The study collected information on the transposition and the implementation efforts of Liability Directive by the Member States, but also on key design elements for the national laws and provisions that the Directive allows (like exemptions, mandatory use of financial security, coverage, permitting, etc). Furthermore, the study examined the insurance products available at the time in the European market, their limitations, coverage and appropriateness for ELD requirements. The study will inform the 2010 Commission's report on the effectiveness of the Directive in terms of actual remediation of environmental damages and on the availability at reasonable costs and on conditions of insurance and other types of financial security.

Cost of policy inaction - The case of not meeting the 2010 biodiversity target (2008)

The report presents the results of an analysis of the costs of the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services from forests and other ecosystems. In the first years of the period 2000 to 2050, it is estimated that we are losing forest ecosystem services with a value equivalent to around €28 billion each year, and this value increases over the period to 2050. Losses of our natural capital stock are felt not only in the year of the loss, as the reduction in the service flow continues over time. Monetised estimates are provided along with modelled estimates of the quantified loss. However, the monetary estimate is partial, excluding some ecosystem services, some negative feedback effects of these losses on GDP growth are not fully accounted for, and the values do not account for non-linearities and threshold effects in ecosystem functioning. These first results suggest that the socio-economic impacts of biodiversity loss can be substantial.

Facts and Figures: the links between EU's economy and the environment (2007)

This is an overview publication of 22 pages that summarises the key results from many of the studies in this area. Its purpose is to quicly and neutrally puts the facts on the table about the size of the EU eco-industry (turnover and employment), the cost to EU businesses, and the issue of international competitiveness and the cost of environmental pollution and degradation to the economy.

Sectoral costs of environmental policy (2007)

This study aims to answer a series of questions frequently asked about environmental policy. Are the costs significant for firms? Do the costs affect their international competitiveness? Is the sum of individual environmental policies more or less than the its constituent parts meaning that it is the cumulative burden that needs to be assessed? How are the costs of environmental policy changing over time? Do costs differ between Member States, suggesting that the European playing field is not level? Do the costs of an individual environmental policy come down over time as firms innovate and seek ways to reduce costs? Are their benefits from environmental policy to firms? It concentrates on a the oil chain industry, electricity producers, the iron and steel industry, and the textiles and leather sectors.

Improving Assessment of the Environment in Impact Assessment (2007)

The following are the main conclusions of a Workshop and report aimed at improving the assessment of the environmental effects of proposed legislation or policies in areas that are not primarily environmental (energy, transport, agriculture etc). It is aimed at making sure that Impact Assessment is a powerful tool for environmental policy integration. Evidence indicates that where such best practice is followed, Impact Assessment is more likely to lead to a better proposal or law, with environmental concerns integrated and taken account of. The one page policy-makers' summary includes recommendations on setting up a framework for Impact Assessment, how to assess the environmental impacts, how to ensure good quality assessment and how to identify trade-offs between the different pillars of sustainable development.

Cost of policy inaction - scoping study (2006)

This study examines the possibility to use cost of policy inaction (COPI) for analysis of environmental policies, and provides some pointers for how DG Environment might use the tool. COPI is defined as the environmental damage occurring in the absence of additional policy or policy revision. COPI is an instrument best used in the early phases in policy development, when the emphasis is on identifying problems, warning, communicating the need for policy action, and perhaps also sketching the urgency relative to other issues and indicating which sectors need to take action or revise their policies.

Ex-post estimates of costs to business of selected pieces of EU environmental legislation (2006)

This report addresses the question to what extent the ex-ante and ex-post estimates of costs to business resulting from EU environmental legislation differ, how these differences can be explained, and what the implications are for cost assessments. This report is the result of a project which involved a literature review, the writing of a methodological paper, six case studies, and an expert workshop.

The case studies were on the following pieces/areas of EU environmental legislation: the Large Combustion Plant Directives; the Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (IPPC) Directive (focusing on the ceramic industry in Belgium); ozone depleting substances; car emissions; packaging and packaging waste; and the Nitrates Directive.

Previous evidence suggests that overestimation of ex-ante costs is common, though not a universal rule. The case studies carried out for this study confirm this. In many cases, the ex-ante estimates were about twice as large as the ex-post results, but in some cases the differences were either much larger or there was hardly any difference at all.

Case studies

A study to examine the benefits of the End of Life Vehicles Directive and the costs and benefits of a revision of the 2015 targets for recycling, re-use and recovery under the ELV Directive (2006)

Value of Biodiversity (2006)

This study brings together EU examples where biodiversity loss or the modification/loss of habitats has led to the loss/degradation of ecosystem services, and consequently to economic costs and/or social losses. The report focuses on ten of these examples, which are presented as case studies. All ten case studies provided evidence that the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services results in socio-economic costs, including financial losses Regarding the underlying reasons behind the loss, unsustainable resource management, including overexploitation of aquatic resources and agricultural intensification, combined with sectorally-oriented development initiatives are the principle drivers.

Economic analysis of reaching a 20% share of renewable energy sources in 2020 (2006)

This study identified how the EU would reach 20% share of renewables by 2020 in least cost manner.

Policy Assessment at Member State level (2005)

Member States are increasingly adopting Impact Assessment-like systems for use in policy analysis at their level. Whilst this has been established practice for some for a number of years, others have only more recently adopted systematic frameworks.

The way in which Member States use their frameworks influences the way in which Europe implements its environmental policies and the Commission has a role in supporting the spread of best practice. With this in mind, a workshop was held in November 2005 to bring together experts from Member States and to discuss on the basis of past examples (documented in a background report).

Estimates of marginal external costs of air pollution in Europe (2002 and 2005)

In 2002, DG Environment had prepared estimates of externalities for air pollution in the EU. The following report gives the external costs in terms of euros per tonne for SO2, NOx, VOCs, ammonia and particulate matter for each EU Member State: had prepared a database of externalities for air pollution in Europe as part of the the This gives the marginal external costs of air pollution (SO2, NOx, VOCs and PM10) in terms of euros per ton of pollutant for each EU Member State. Furthermore, these external costs are divided between rural and urban areas. Finally, preliminary estimates of the externalities from shipping are given for the Eastern Atlantic, Baltic Sea, English Channel, Northern Mediterranean, and North Sea.The database was largely based on existing data generated by the ExternE project and taking into account the approach to valuation of mortality recommended by economics experts at a workshop convened by DG Environment. The default values of the database are available in two versions, both in pdf format:

These estimates of marginal external costs of air pollution have been updated in 2005 as part of the cost benefit analysis of the Clean Air for Europe Programme (CAFE). See Estimates (2005) of marginal external costs of air pollution in Europe. It needs to be emphasised that the values are context sensitive and thus need to be used with caution.

Populating the Environmental Valuation Reference Inventory: 40 European valuation studies (2002)

The following study was undertaken by Economics for the Environment Consultancy Ltd (eftec). The purpose of the study was to review 40 economic valuation studies that had taken place in European countries. These reviews could then be used to populate the EVRI database (Environment Valuation Reference Inventory) with European studies, as well as providing examples of monetary valuation in practice. The Commission is not responsible for any errors in the studies.

Workshops on the State-of-the-art in noise valuation and on the costs and benefits of Noise mitigation (2001)

In December 2001 DG Environment invited leading noise valuation leading experts on a Workshop of the State-of-the-art in noise valuation. The main objectives of the workshop were to discuss the best current valuation techniques and estimates for monetary value of noise exposure, and to identify research needs in that field. In order to support the work and discussions of the experts during the workshop itself, DG Environment had commissioned a review of the state-of-the-art in noise valuation:

Workshop on the value of reducing the risk of ill-health or a fatal illness (2001)

Health impacts are often a significant portion of the benefits of improvements in environmental quality. We know that, for example, air pollution can cause ill-health (morbidity) or can lead to fatal illnesses (mortality). However, we often cannot reduce risks to zero without incurring significant and disproportionate costs. Individuals try to strike a balance between risk and costs (financial or otherwise) for themselves. Society needs to seek such a balance as well. If we did not, then we would use resources inefficiently: for example, we might spend money on reducing air pollution that would save more lives if spent on health care. If we seek to balance the costs of a policy against its benefits, then we must compare the benefit of reductions in risk against costs. Any decision in this context means placing an implicit monetary value on health benefits. Decision-making will be easier and become more consistent if we have a monetary estimate of the value of health benefits.

The monetary value represents the strengths of society's preferences. It is consistent with people's observed actions. For example, while no one would trade their life for a sum of money, most people will be prepared to choose between safety equipment with different prices and offering different levels of safety. We can use these values for small changes in risk when assessing the benefits of policies that also deliver small changes in risk over large populations. In air quality benefit assessments, the value of reducing the risk of fatalities can often be 80 per cent of the total benefits when health impacts are expressed in monetary terms. It is therefore important that as one of the inputs to decision-making we can monetise changes in risk and that we use the best available understanding of existing practice when doing so. Environment DG therefore held a workshop on 13th November 2000 that brought together some of the experts in the subject to examine methodology and findings.

Five papers are attached which explain the background to this workshop and its findings.

Economic Evaluation of Sectoral Emission Reduction Objectives for Climate Change (2001)

The objectives of this 2 year long study were (i) to identify the (least-cost) contribution of different sectors and gases for meeting the Community’s quantitative reduction for greenhouse gases under the Kyoto protocol; and (ii) to determine a package of cost-effective policies and measures for all sectors and gases towards meeting the goals.

Economic Evaluation of Air Quality Targets for Heavy Metals (2001)

The European Commission has in recent years produced several Directives that aim to regulate air pollution by setting limits for the allowable concentration of pollutants in ambient air. Directives have already been agreed that cover pollutants such as sulphur dioxide, lead and carbon monoxide. For some other pollutants, such as the heavy metals arsenic, cadmium and nickel, the Commission intends to bring forward legislation in the near future. These heavy metals are pollutants that may be linked to a higher risk of lung cancer when breathed in. They are mainly produced through combustion processes, for industrial and commercial power generation. There are also some emissions from large industrial processes in the metals industry, such as blast furnaces. This particular study examines the benefits to human health of reducing concentrations of these metals in the air to meet different possible limit values, and examines the economic costs that would be involved in meeting these limit values.

Economic Evaluation of Air Quality Targets for PAHs (2001)

The European Commission has in recent years produced several Directives that aim to regulate air pollution, by setting limits for the allowable concentration of pollutants in ambient air. Directives have already been agreed that cover pollutants such as sulphur dioxide, lead and carbon monoxide. For some other pollutants, such as poly aromatic hydrocarbons, the Commission intends to bring forward legislation in the near future. Poly aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are pollutants that may be linked to a higher risk of lung cancer. They are mainly produced through combustion processes, such as domestic woodburning. There are also some emissions from vehicles, and hotspots can arise around certain industrial processes, such as aluminium smelters. This particular study examines the benefits to human health of reducing concentrations of PAHs in the air to meet different possible limit values, and examines the economic costs that would be involved in meeting these limit values.

An Analysis of the Preventive Effect of Environmental Liability- Environmental Liability, Location and Emissions Substitution: Evidence From the Toxic Release Inventory (2001)

A General Analysis of the Financial Assurance Issues of Environmental Liability (2000)

A Market-Based Analysis of Financial Assurance Issues Associated with U.S. Natural Resource Damage Liability (2000)

The Potential Economic Impact of Environmental Liability. The American and European Contexts (2000)

Socio-Economic Impacts of the Identification of Priority Hazardous Substances under the Water Framework Directive (2000)

Socio-Economic Impacts of the Identification of Priority Hazardous Substances under the Water Framework Directive Following recent adoption of the Water Framework Directive, the European Commission is required to identify, from a list of 32 priority substances, the priority hazardous substances (PHSs) that are of particular concern for the aquatic environment. Consideration of the socio-economic implications is part of the proposed procedure for the identification of PHSs. This study is a first survey of existing information on the potential socio-economic costs of the possible identification of substances as PHSs. It contains a short methodological discussion and a summary of findings in the main report. The individual substances are discussed in specific annexes.

Economic, legal, environmental and practical implications of a European Union System to reduce ship emissions of SO2 and Nox (2000)

The aim of the study is to consider, analyse and recommend policy options to further the objective of reducing the harmful environmental impact of emissions of SO2 and NOx from ships operating in European waters. The policies that have been considered are of both a regulatory and an incentive-based nature.

The main chapters of the report present the salient points and discuss the essential issues, while the appendices to this report contain a great level of detail and have been contributed by the individual experts:

Appendix 1(pdf ~140K): Levels and characteristics of shipping traffic, marine fuel use and resulting atmospheric emissions in European waters

Appendix 2(pdf ~580K): Atmospheric emissions & air quality

Appendix 3(pdf ~100K): Existing environmental differentiation schemes

Appendix 4 (pdf ~500K): Legal analysis: prescription, enforcement and observance

Appendix 5 (pdf ~150K): Marine fuels & ship emission controls

Appendix 6 (pdf ~1,570K): Environmental assessment of policy options

Appendix 7(pdf ~200K): Economic analysis of policy options

Main report (pdf ~480K)

Economic Valuation of Environmental Externalities from Landfill Disposal and Incineration of Waste (2000)

Cost-benefit analysis (CBA) is increasingly being used as a tool to produce information for policy makers on the costs and benefits of environmental legislation. In the field of waste management, some elements of CBA are better researched than others. However, policy makers need information on the whole range of impacts in order to make balanced decisions. This study therefore focuses on areas where information is not readily available, in particular on the valuation of environmental externalities from landfill disposal and incineration of waste. The study extensively reviews existing literature on this subject. It gives an overview of the main externalities, pathways and impacts of emissions. The main economic valuation techniques are described, including a presentation of key standard values in table form. The underlying assumptions and uncertainties of these standard values are discussed in detail. Finally, some calculation examples are included to illustrate the possible use of these data.

European Environmental Priorities: An Integrated Economic and Environmental Assessment (2000)

In 1997, the Environment Directorate-General commissioned a comprehensive multi-sectoral study to identify which environmental issues Europe would be facing in the years to come. The purpose of this ambitious study was also to analyse what would be the environmental and economic consequences to solve or mitigate the environmental problems.

Some of the main highlights of the study are:

  • For all problems where meaningful analysis could be carried out, the benefits outweighed the costs of meeting stricter environmental targets in 2010. In particular significant net benefits were identified in areas related to air quality and acidification.
  • Secondary benefits of meeting EU climate change commitments to other policy areas (acidification and air quality) are very substantial.
  • International emissions trading in greenhouse gases reduces EU’s compliance costs significantly, even if this slightly diminishes the secondary benefits.
  • Negative environmental consequences of transport and agriculture are and will remain significant in the foreseeable future.
  • On substances, particulate matter and nitrogen remain major problems.
  • The study shows that for many European-wide environmental problems the basic knowledge of scientific, biological or economic issues needs further improvement.

The following reports (in alphabetical order) describe the nature of the main environmental problems, their likely trends, the environmental implications of actions including their costs and benefits.

In addition three supporting studies were made, namely

Assessment of Environmental Valuation Reference Inventory (EVRI) and the Expansion of Its Coverage to the EU (2000)

The Environmental Valuation Reference Inventory (EVRI) is a North American database of valuation studies accessible through the Internet. At present, the database contains detailed information of about 700 environmental valuation studies, primarily from North America but with about 10 % of its studies from Europe. One of the potential uses of the database is in facilitating benefits transfer - the tranfer of a monetary valuation for an environmental asset from an existing study to a similar environmental asset. The main aim of this report is to assess what adaptations would be needed before using EVRI in Europe. The overall assessment is largely positive, finding it to be a user-friendly database that provides summaries of existing work that could facilitate benefits transfer. The main requirement to increase its usability in the European context would be to deposit more of the existing European studies in the database.

Part I describes the evaluation of EVRI studies for european conditions.

Part II presents a list of european valuation studies.

Part III assesses the caputure of european studies in EVRI.

Induced and Opportunity Cost and Benefit Patterns in the Context of Cost-Benefit Analysis in the Field of Environment (2000)

Economic evaluation of a Directive on National Emission Ceilings for Certain Atmospheric Pollutants (1999)

The study makes an assessment of what set of national emission ceilings would be most cost-effective in meeting the different possible targets for reducing ozone and acidification. For each target the cost effective set of ceilings was calculated, taking into account differences in abatement costs between member states, and the different impact of pollutants depending on their point of origin. Three scenarios (high, central and low ambition) were examined for meeting ozone targets. Three additional scenarios were examined in which targets were set for both ozone and acidification. For each scenario, the consultants calculated what set of emission ceilings would allow the targets to be met across Europe at least cost. This analysis was performed using a detailed model of emission sources and costs of pollution control technologies (the RAINS model).

Economic Evaluation of Air Quality Targets for CO and Benzene (1999)

The study is to identify and estimate the costs and benefits of meeting ambient air quality standards for carbon monoxide (CO) and benzene in the EU. The study should take the range of scientifically-based limit values for ambient air quality as given and analyze the costs and benefits of attaining these standards. These costs and benefits should be compared with the costs (loss of benefits) of no further action beyond current legislation. Costs are to be determined on the basis of least-cost solutions.

Economic evaluation of air quality targets for tropospheric ozone (1999)

The study identifies and estimates the (least) costs and benefits of meeting ambient air quality standards (different sets of limit/target values) for tropospheric ozone in the EU, taking into account deposition constraints for acidification.

Part A describes the methodology of the analysis and reviews the databases used for the scenario calculations.

Part B presents a range of scenarios for reductions in ground-level ozone, acidification and eutrophication and assesses their costs.

Part C assesses the monetary benefits of the scenarios presented in part B.

Review of the software structure of the TREMOVE model (1999)

The Auto-Oil II Cost-Effectiveness Study (1999)

Study below was undertaken in the context the of the Auto-Oil II Programme. Parts I through III of the reports relate to the method, scope, tools and reference scenarios (i.e. the AOP-II Transport Base Case).  All reports are available in pdf format (~ 160k)

PART I:

PART II:

PART III:   

DATABASES

Financial Costs of Plastics Marking (1999)

Recycling and reuse of plastic material can assist reducing the amounts of plastic waste to dispose of, and reducing resource use in plastic production. Mandatory marking of plastics presents a possible means for increasing the current rates of recycling and reuse. This study determines the financial costs for the EU plastic converter industry of using certain mandatory marking schemes as an important input into the further considerations on ‘mandatory marking’ as an instrument. The study includes also assessments of the impacts on sub-sectors within the converter industry, impacts on the SME's, trade implications and finally, the study comprises a brief appraisal of the implications for the CEE accession countries. The study does not include any considerations on the possible benefits from mandatory marking.

Economic Evaluation of Quantitative Objectives for Climate Change (1999)

This study identifies the least-cost packages of specific policies and measures for meeting the Community's quantitative reduction targets for greenhouse gases under the Kyoto Protocol.

The study analyses separately carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide emissions, and how the different sectors of the economy (i.e. power production, industry, tertiary-domestic, transport, waste sector and agriculture) could reduce the emissions. Potentials and costs of reduction of methane and nitrous oxide are assessed and the respective cost curves are derived. Energy related carbon dioxide emissions are analysed using the PRIMES energy systems model for EU Member States.

The study also analyses the costs and emission reductions of an emissions trade in carbon dioxide for meeting the goals set in the Kyoto Protocol in a cost-effective way. The costs of different trading scenarios in carbon dioxide emissions are analysed using the POLES model, which models global long-term energy consumption.

Annex D by country: (pdf ~400K)

Reduction of the emissions of HFC's, PFC's and SF6 in the European Union (1999)

The report provides a first estimate of the development of the EU-wide use and emissions in 2005 and 2010 of the three industrial halogenated gases included in the Kyoto protocol, namely hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs) and sulphur hexafluoride (SF6). It also makes a preliminary assessment of the options and costs of controlling these three gases, as well as of the barriers for implementing reduction policies.

Options to Reduce Methane Emissions (1998)

This study analyses methane emissions in the EU and strategies to control them. It considers options for the reduction of emissions from each of the main source sectors, agriculture, waste, coal mining and the oil and gas industry, and assesses costs and applicability of the mitigation options available to produce cost curves for reducing emissions. The study also makes projections of methane emissions to 2020 under a ‘business as usual’ scenario on a sectoral basis and combines estimates of achievable reductions from all sectors to give an EU wide projection of methane emissions if a mitigation strategy were implemented.

Options to Reduce Nitrous Oxide Emissions (1998)

This study assesses nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions in the EU and strategies to control them. It considers in detail options for reducing emissions from the agricultural and chemical sectors, and emissions from combustion processes, and assesses their cost-effectiveness and potential reductions, which could be achieved. The study also makes projections of N2O emissions up to 2020 under a ‘business as usual’ scenario and under a ‘with measures’ scenario.

Survey on Environmental Protection Expenditures by Businesses in Portugal (1998)

This pilot survey, done by the Portuguese National Statistics Institute, reports and analyses data on the environmental protection expenditures made by the Portuguese business sector in 1998. The following variables were surveyed: end-of-pipe and integrated technology investments and current expenditure.

The pilot survey was funded by Environment DG of the European Commission and is part of the analyses and studies aimed at supporting the revision of Council Regulation 58/97 on structural business statistics. The Regulation covers reporting on business expenditure for environmental protection.

Economic Evaluation of Environmental Policies and Legislation (1998)

Pilot Survey on the Environmental Expenditure of Enterprises in Belgium (1995, 1996 and 1997)

This pilot survey, done by the Belgian National Statistics Institute, reports and assesses the environmental investments of, and environmental taxes paid by, Belgian enterprises in 1996. Some data, and complementary analyses, for 1995 and 1997 are also presented.

The pilot survey was funded by Environment DG of the European Commission and is part of the analyses and studies aimed at supporting the revision of Council Regulation 58/97 on structural business statistics. The Regulation covers reporting on business expenditure for environmental protection.