Author: Stelios Bitzilekis
Date of Publication: 24/06/2023
Environmental problems refer to a series of problems that threaten stability on earth's ecosystem and therefore to human societies. As the human population has rapidly grown in a non sustainable way those problems have risen too. Such problems are habitat loss, global warming, deforestation, exploitation of resources.
The environmental problem has taken a worldwide importance and international attention. That’s why, most countries have come to the agreement that non-sustainable growth must be halted and its consequences reversed. In particular, international environmental law is the full legislation of international treaties of states. The most important of these legislations are the Paris agreement and the legislation of the EU commonly known as European climate law.
Laws of the European Union
The legislation about climate change in EU includes Regulation (EU) 2021/1119 establishing the framework for achieving climate neutrality and amending Regulations (EC) No 401/2009 and (EU) 2018/1999 (‘European Climate Law’)
● establishes a framework for achieving climate neutrality within the European union by 2050. Climate or carbon neutrality means to produce just as many emissions as can be absorbed naturally.
● includes, the binding objective of climate neutrality in the EU by 2050. It also aims to achieve negative emissions in the EU thereafter. In fact, the objective is to absorb a part of carbon dioxide that is released in earth’s atmosphere. Reforestation, rewilding of certain areas and protection of natural park play a vital role in that task
● provides for a binding EU target of a reduction in greenhouse-gas emissions by at least 55% compared to 1990 levels by 2030. Moreover, it sets a climate target for 2040 within six months of the first global stock take under the Paris Agreement
● introduces rules to ensure continuous progress towards the global adaptation to climate change goal in the Paris agreement
● More systemic adaptation. Since climate change will have impacts at all levels adaptation actions must also be systemic. The strategy will support the further development and implementation of adaptation strategies. Additionally, it supports plans at all levels of governance especially macro-fiscal policy and local adaptation action.
The Paris agreement
The Paris agreement, signed by 196 states, is the successor of the Kyoto protocol. Particularly, the agreement’s main goal is to halt the rising of global temperature. Two goals are set in this direction. The first one is to prevent the rising of global temperature to 2 degrees Celsius above pre industrial levels. The second one is to keep the temperature at 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre industrial levels.
Moreover, under the Paris agreement, states have a basis in which they can cooperate and share knowledge and technology. This way they tackle the climate crisis. The impact of the Paris agreement has also been strong in the economy. Sustainability is now a key term in macroeconomics and development. This international convention has opened the doors for new markets especially for renewable energy production. This type of new energy should be produced in already human occupied space so that wildlife and biodiversity are not harmed. So, biodiversity has a key role in the reproduction of various landscapes such as grasslands, wetlands and forests that absorb carbon dioxide.
Signified as natura 2000 more than 18 percent of land and 8 percent of marine European areas are protected as vital ecosystems. This legislation is crucial for the conservation of wildlife and endangered species as well as their habitats. Member States must ensure that the sites are managed in a sustainable manner, both ecologically and economically. This is because human activities are not restricted. However, they are confined in the context as stated above. Additionally, there are strictly protected nature reserves within its boundaries.
Environmentalism is now a trend in marketing and economics. Because of the environmental problem and the consciousness around it, people demand more eco-friendly products and solutions. Some businesses contribute with actions against the climate crisis, actions that also serve a marketing purpose. Examples of the fight against climate crisis are becoming carbon neutral for big businesses that have the funds to do so.
On the other hand for mid-scale businesses small investment can be a good advertisement. For example, a certain beer company hired some workers for the cleaning of rivers from plastic. This action took place in various places of Asia using a barrier net as an innovation, with which to extract the plastic and recycle it. Such positive actions need to be encouraged.
On the contrary, using environmental awareness as a tool in order to advertise one's business while doing the opposite also occurs. This type of misinformation is clearly a scandalous advertisement. In most such cases truth will come out with severe consequences for these companies. So, in any case, environmentalism and its laws has become an inevitable situation to take into consideration.