More Than Rio

by Einar Du Rietz

The Rio circus has barely started and already, reports are streaming in on plans for international taxation schemes, close to police power for the UNEP…believe me, the list will be longer. For regular reports from our team in Rio, check out .

Meanwhile, in Europe, the environment ministers don’t want to appear less bold.

Reports Euractiv: “The EU’s 27 environment ministers have set out the key elements of the bloc’s environment policy for decades to come, calling for “an ambitious and compelling 2050 vision for a green Europe” that decouples economic growth from environmental degradation.”

Lot’s of things will happen before 2050, no doubt, and though this policy has been carried through many instanses and is basically an extension of previous programs, you can rest assured that it will have impact on, if not the environment, the economy and your daily life. It should be pointed out that, in the byzantine circles of Brussels and Strasbourg, the major burden for the moment, will be the same: The tax payers money.

The conclusions will add to pressure for the European Commission to produce a follow up to its 6th Environmental Action Programme (EAP), which expires in July.

For details on the scheme, please consult the various documents in the link. My reflection is something else. It might very well be that environmental issues are perfectly fit for supra national bodies. It might even be that fisheries and agriculture are. In all of these three areas however, the result so far has been disastrous, not primarily because of the EU, but because of vested interests and the fact that they are considered political issues at all. As for the environment, we’ve seen peculiar and costly experiments as e.g., REACH and WEEE, not to mention the fact that the committee on occasion has red flagged species they have never heard of. Fisheries is a disaster, where, hopefully we will soon see some solution to the absurd combination of quotas and subsidies. CAP, no, let’s not even go in there.

The reason is not that the decision makers are evil, or even stupid. The reason is that the want to keep their jobs. Therefore, they have to do something. And you will have to foot the bill.



About the Author: Einar Du Rietz

Einar Du Rietz is a journalist and communications consultant based in Europe. He has authored several environmental reports for the Electrolux Group and written many blogs for the Center for the New Europe at CNE Environment.