EUROPEAN COMMISSION AIMS FOR ECONOMIC GROWTH, MAY PULL ITS PUNCH ON WASTE REDUCTION
The European Union's Juncker Commission named job creation, debt reduction, and increasing industrial competitiveness as top priorities while threatening to abandon support for major environmental legislation in a recently leaked draft workplan. There has already been opposition to scaling back air quality legislation that would establish national emission limits for six toxic air pollutants, but lack of executive support means plans for a massive waste reduction program are more uncertain. The waste reduction legislation would require 70% of municipal waste and 80% of packaging be recycled by 2030. The workplan claims member states cannot agree on terms of the legislation, and the Commission has expressed reluctance to advance proposals that seem unlikely to garner enough support to be instituted. Industry groups claim European Union rules are already making firms uncompetitive globally, but environmentalists counter that Europe's relatively stringent environmental regulations give companies an advantage in product efficiency. For the full story, see http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-eu-30445744.