Environmental Protection Expenditure
Spending on environmental protection as a percentage of GDP has increased slightly since 2000. This indicates that relatively more financial resources have been used to protect the environment. The share of environmental expenditure was also slightly higher in 2015 than in previous years.
National environmental expenditures include all expenditures for environmental protection purposes. This concerns intermediate consumption, investment by companies, and final consumption by households and government. Nature and landscape management expenditure is also covered by national environmental expenditure. Renewable energy and energy savings are not covered by environmental protection.
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Between 2000 and 2015, national environmental expenditure rose from EUR 10 billion to EUR 16.6 billion. Of this 16.6 billion euros, 5 billion euros has been spent on environmental investments, the other expenditure is for environmental services. Most spending is related to wastewater treatment (34 percent) and waste management (32 percent), followed by nature management (8 percent) and air pollution (7 percent). Since 2000, expenditure on air pollution prevention and water pollution, in particular, has risen sharply. Expenditure on soil and noise pollution has actually decreased. Households paid € 1.4 billion in 2015 for waste collection and € 2.1 billion for sewage and wastewater treatment.
Total environmental expenditures increased from EUR 17.5 billion in 2013 to a peak of EUR 18.7 billion in 2015, which decreased to EUR 18.0 billion in 2016 and then increased again to EUR 18.3 billion in 2017. The increase in the period 2013-2105 was the result of an increase in both government and companies and hardly in households. In 2017, environmental expenditure increased in comparison to the previous year, mainly among companies (over 3 percent). Environmental expenditure for households increased by 3 percent from 2013 to 2017, from 1.75 to 1.77 billion euros, for households.
What Are Environmental Expenditures?
Environmental expenditure is the annual expenditure on environmental management measures to prevent or combat environmental pollution caused by economic sectors. Environmental expenditures include environmental investments, depreciation, wages, and running costs (such as operation and maintenance). The cost of measures that have a positive effect on the environment but which pay for themselves within three years is not included in environmental expenditure.