Pollution curbs worry ICI: EC proposals set liability for environmental damage
Thursday 18 March 1993
Sir Denys Henderson, ICI's chairman, visited Brussels on Tuesday for what ICI said was a regular two-yearly visit. He discussed plans for energy liberalisation but also emphasised that attempts to deal with the costs of environmental damage must not penalise business.
Although the British government and ICI regard the green paper as an important first step, they are concerned that any legislation arising out of it must be kept within reasonable limits. Ioannis Paleokrassas, the EC environment commissioner, emphasised that the document was only a first step. 'This green paper will be the beginning of a very extended discussion,' he said.
He set a deadline of October for comments on it and hoped that the European Community could move rapidly afterwards with legislation. The paper investigated the basic issues, he said: 'Who is the polluter, what is the cost, and who pays?'
The EC initiative follows the damage caused by the tanker Braer off the Shetlands and oil spills off the Spanish coast. It forms part of an attempt to incorporate environmental costs in the prices of goods and services - what the Commission's president, Jacques Delors, has called 'green logistics'.
'We are looking for a balanced solution which will not create a tremendous increase in costs but will ensure that the principle of 'the polluter pays' will be respected,' Mr Paleokrassas said. The commissioner confirmed that one approach under discussion was an EC-wide fund to pay for environmental damage.
ICI specifically warned against reproducing the US Super Fund, which has proved more effective at boosting lawyers' incomes than remedying the problem. Mr Paleokrassas said this had been taken into account, adding: 'We are aware of the shortcomings of the Super Fund.' Any approach would have to rest on two pillars - 'a system of economic incentives and disincentives' but also 'legal sanctions and penalties, which in some cases should be severe'. He hinted that the EC might close down persistent environmental offenders.
The Government is keeping a close watch on the discussions, which could have very far-reaching consequences for the insurance and banking sectors as well as chemical companies and other branches of industry.
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
New era of cheap oil 'will destroy green revolution'
Ukip founder Alan Sked and Nigel Farage 'begged Enoch Powell to stand as a candidate'
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
iJobs Money & Business
£32000 - £35000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Services Manage...
£Neg. (DOE) + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: A Finance Account Manager with...
£40000 - £470000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: Java Developer / J2EE Devel...
£45000 - £55000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: An exciting opportunity h...