EU expenditure on environmental protection amounted to €292 billion in 2021

EU expenditure on environmental protection amounted to €292 billion in 2021.

BRUSSELS, TGO: In 2021, the EU expenditure on environmental protection amounted to €292 billion, including investments and consumption, according to Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. Rising on average by over 3% each year, the expenditure on environmental protection increased by 54% since 2006.

As a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP), expenditure on environmental protection remained relatively stable over the last 15 years at about 2.0% of GDP.

This information comes from data on environmental protection expenditure accounts published by today.

Following the tendency of previous years, corporations’ spending was the largest share of the environmental protection expenditure, accounting for 55% of the total in 2021. The general government and non-profit sector share of the expenditure was 24%, while the households’ share was 21% of that year’s total.

Compared with 2006, all three institutional sectors registered spending increases: 62% for corporations, 41% for general government and the non-profit sector, and 52% for households.

Eurostat estimates that, in 2021, waste management and wastewater treatment accounted for 28% and 23% of total expenditure in the general government and non-profit sector. Data show that 24% of total expenditure went to environmental R&D and other environmental protection activities, including general environmental administration and education, 13% to biodiversity and landscape protection, and the remaining 11% to air protection, soil and groundwater protection, noise reduction and protection against radiation.

As far as corporations are concerned, wastewater and waste management represented 27% and 56% of their expenditure in 2021, respectively. Protection of ambient air and climate accounted for 7% of the total. The remaining 10% was devoted to protecting soil and groundwater, biodiversity, noise reduction, protection against radiation and environmental R&D.

In 2021, EU investments in assets essential to provide environmental protection services amounted to €59 billion, €5 billion more than in 2020. These services included wastewater treatment plants, vehicles to transport waste, and acquisitions of land to create a natural reserve or cleaner equipment for producing with less polluting emissions.