Worth of EU eco-industries analysed
Expenditure on resource and pollution management in the EU increased by 5% from 1994 to 1999, a new European Commission report has found. Spending on waste management also increased massively over the period, while that on air quality fell.
Carried out by UK-based consultancy Ecotec for the Commission\'s environment directorate using data from Eurostat, the survey of EU environmental spending updates a similar analysis from 1999, for the first time including comparable data for EU accession countries (ED 02/12/99).
Characterising the economic importance of the \"eco-industries\", the report estimates that by 1999 the sector accounted for euros 183bn-worth of goods and services. Average per capita spending was euros 500, while eco-industries accounted for over 2m direct jobs and almost as many indirectly. Pollution management is worth euros 10.3bn annually in candidate countries, compared to euros 127bn in the EU.
Waste management is the fastest growing sector (11% per year) and also covers the largest proportion of expenditure. Sewage treatment spending increased by 3% annually, while air pollution control expenditure fell by 5% each year.
The report\'s authors say the value of the study lies in the ability to pick out trends in the market and identify regulatory causes for them. They suggest the landfill directive and the urban wastewater treatment directive have prompted the increases in spending, while the drop in air quality expenditure is a result of early investments having been made in the wake of the original 1988 large combustion plants directive.
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