Eurostat, the European Union’s statistical office, reported that the EU’s expenditure on environmental protection reached €292 billion in 2021, including investments and consumption. Spending on environmental protection has increased by 54% since 2006, increasing by over 3% annually. Over the last 15 years, expenditure on environmental protection has remained about 2.0% of GDP. The data comes from current environmental protection expenditure accounts published by Today.
The corporate share of environmental protection expenditure was 55% in 2021, similar to previous years. A total of 24% of expenditures came from government and non-profits, while 21% came from households. Spending increased across all three institutional sectors: 62% in the corporate sector, 41% in government and non-profits, and 52% in households.
In the general government and non-profit sector, waste management and wastewater treatment made up 28 percent and 23 percent, respectively, of total expenditures in 2021. Data show that 24% of total expenditure was devoted to research and development. This is followed by 13% to biodiversity and landscape protection, and 11% to air, soil, and groundwater protection, noise reduction, and radiation protection.
Corporations spent 27% of their budgets on wastewater and 56% on waste management in 2021. Environmental protection accounted for 7% of budgets. The remaining 10% was allocated to protect soil and groundwater, biodiversity, noise reduction, radiation protection, and environmental research and development.
The EU invested €59 billion in assets essential to providing environmental protection services in 2021, €5 billion more than in 2020. The services included wastewater treatment plants, vehicles for transporting waste, and land acquisition for the creation of a natural reserve as well as cleaner equipment for producing less pollution.