European Union consumers are 'exporting' negative environmental impacts, whilst keeping the bulk of economic benefits linked to consuming goods and services, a new study reveals.
Although the environmental impacts of consumption by EU citizens are felt around the world, countries outside of the EU have experienced the highest environmental #pressures and impacts associated with EU citizens’ consumption. Large shares of 10 major environmental pressures and impacts are ‘outsourced’ to countries and regions outside the EU while more than 85% of the economic benefits remain within member countries – albeit with uneven distribution of costs and benefits within the EU.
Publishing their findings on 26 January 2023 in Nature Sustainability, an international group of researchers studied the environmental indicators between 1995 and 2019. These indicators included greenhouse gas emissions, material consumption, land use, consumption of surface and ground water, particulate matter formation, photochemical oxidation and biodiversity loss due to land coverage, as well as freshwater, marine and terrestrial ecotoxicity. Read the publication and the article also on Sciencelinx of the University of Groningen.
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