"Decoupling" ambition for EC's sixth environment programme

Proposals for the EC's sixth Environment Action Programme (EAP) were unveiled by the European Commission at the end of January.1 Its main goal is the decoupling of economic growth and environmental damage - but specific measures and timetables for achieving this will mostly have to wait for future "thematic strategies" on air pollution, resource consumption, pesticides, waste recycling and soil protection. Working with business is another major theme - but the Commission's ambitions to use environmental taxes in place of legislation face continued obstacles.

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