IEEP has long been involved in industrial policy issues, playing a central role in developing the EU's integrated approach. We undertake a wide variety of research, reviewing implementation of industrial legislation, examining potential future changes and analysing its interaction with other policy areas, such as water policy or smart regulation. We are, therefore, actively working to shape and improve industrial pollution control policy in Europe.

Although traditional ‘heavy’ industry has declined significantly in most parts of the EU in recent decades, industrial production still consumes large quantities of resources, including energy and water. A major by-product of the production process is the generation of pollution – particularly to air, water and land – with industrial pollution responsible for some of the most extreme pollution incidents in recent years.

Some European pollution policies are specific to individual types of plant or activities (e.g. combustion plants, incinerators), while the Industrial Emissions Directive (formerly the  Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control Directive (IPPC)) has established a more comprehensive approach to the environmental management of a wide range of industrial activities.

IEEP has long been involved in industrial policy issues. We were instrumental, for example, in contributing to a trans-Atlantic dialogue on integrated approaches to pollution control in the late 1980s, which ultimately led to the adoption of IPPC within the EU. We have worked with national governments and EU institutions on policy development, the implementation of specific Directives, the nature of policy instruments to change industrial performance and a whole range of interactions with wider economic issues. Today, IEEP is actively engaged in the ongoing challenge of interpreting and implementing the EU legislation already in place as well as considering novel issues such as unconventional gas extraction. There is also a need to think more widely, for example about how industrial legislation interacts with the Europe 2020 Strategy and objectives on 'smart regulation'. IEEP recognises all these issues as important when trying to deliver effective and efficient environmental protection.

Our work on industrial pollution includes research on a number of aspects of this wider strategic agenda and more specific issues and support measures related to pollution control. Particular interests include:

  • Pollution control policy
  • Regulatory Structures and Approaches
  • Air Quality
  • Chemicals