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Book launch: “EU Environmental Policy: Its Journey to Centre Stage”

EU environmental policy started in the 1970s and subsequently has grown to become perhaps the most comprehensive body of law and policy in this field in the world. The success of the policy has become one of the reasons why the EU, as an effective transboundary organisation, is now seen as so important in the environmental community. This would have been difficult to forecast at the time. 

With a number of chapters on different topics, the author of the book Nigel Haigh, former Director and Honorary Fellow of IEEP, traces the evolution of the EU’s environmental policy from obscurity to centrality, particularly in the period to 2004. In several cases, he draws on his own experience of the policy debate and the actions involved as well as the wider literature. He shows the significance of a number of prominent environmental threats, such as the hole in the ozone layer, in focusing political energy on the environment. The advance of new ideas, such as the need for integrated pollution control and the goal of sustainable development emerge as important stands in thirty years of evolution. In a final chapter, IEEP’s Director David Baldock looks back at the most recent decade, the growth of new challenges to environmental policy and on to the future.

Given the current controversies over environmental regulation, the book provides a perspective on the scale of achievement which should not be overlooked.

The launch on the 25th May was hosted by IEEP and the Institution of Environmental Sciences and supported by the Society for the Environment. The evening included, for instance, an engaging dialogue between Nigel Haigh and David Baldock about the nature of EU environmental policy, anecdotes from their personal experiences in helping to shape it and exchanges on the future of this important policy field, whichever stage it occupies.

The book is published by Routledge – details can be accessed here.

Nick Rowcliffe’s book review on The unfinished story of EU environment policy (ENDS Report, February 2016) is available as attachment. Reproduced with permission.

The Italian journal Rivista guiridica dell’Ambiente recently published a review of Haigh’s book, available as an attachment. Reproduced with permission. Subscription to the journal can be requested here.

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