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EU Industry spending on environment protection falls

EU industry spent less on environmental protection as a share of GDP in 2013 than a decade ago, while the public sector and specialized producers increased spending slightly, according to Eurostat.  Industry spent 0.4% of GDP in environmental protection, a drop of 0.02 percentage points, according to figures released last week. France, Portugal and Cyprus recorded the lowest industry spending, while Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovenia and Romania were at the higher end. In most member states, environmental protection expenditure by industry concentrated on air protection measures, wastewater treatment and waste management activities, according to Eurostat.

The public sector increased its environmental protection spending by 0.06 percentage points over the decade to 0.67% of GDP in 2013. Relatively high levels of public spending were recorded in the Netherlands and Malta while Slovakia and Spain fell below the average range. Most member states focused their expenditure on waste management and wastewater treatment.

Specialized producers – public or private enterprises provide market services for sale – spent the most on environmental protection at 1.11% of GDP in 2013, with a 0.10 percentage point increase since 2003. They accounted for more than 60% of the expenditure in waste management and wastewater treatment, the two areas where overall spending was highest.

Last year, an update of the EU’s environmental accounting rules added environmental protection expenditure to the list of data that member states are required to collect. Previous requirements had covered air emissions, environmental taxes and material flows.

Issue 42