World-wide Environmental Problems

Although the European Economic Community had enough economic and political arguments for dealing with environmental problems [see section 16.1], it did not initially have a solid legal basis for so doing. In order to set Community objectives for the reduction of pollution and nuisances, reference could only be made to Article 2 of the EEC Treaty, which assigned to the Community the task, inter alia, of promoting "an accelerated raising of the standard of living" of the populations belonging to it. In order to undertake urgent measures to stop the process of deterioration of the environment, the Community provisions had to be based on Article 235 of that Treaty [Article 352 TFEU], which specifically permitted action in areas in which the Treaty had not provided the necessary powers, but which required unanimity of the Member States, with the slowness that it involved.

The legal basis of environment policy was considerably enlarged by the Single Act of 1987 [see section 2.1] and . Now, the treaty of Lisbon sets the achievement of a high level of protection and improvement of the quality of the environment among the objectives of the Union (Article 3 TEU). The common environment policy has now the following objectives: preserving, protecting and improving the quality of the environment; protecting human health; rationalising the utilisation of natural resources; promoting measures at international level to deal with regional or world-wide environmental problems, and in particular combating climate change (Article 191 TFEU, ex Article 174 TEC].

National environmental Problems

Top Ten environmental Problems

Modern environmental Problems