Lawmakers in the European Union and its member states, like their counterparts in the United States, increasingly are using economic tools to protect the environment while reducing their focus on command and control regulation. The reliance on economic approaches to environmental protection may disproportionately impact low income and minority communities. Although evidence of environmental injustice in Europe is not as strong as in the United States, several recent studies demonstrate that traditional environmental protection measures in Europe have disproportionately funneled pollution to low income communities. Economic-based environmental measures can only exacerbate that trend.
Stephen M. Johnson, Economics v. Equity II: The European Experience, 58 Wash. & Lee L. Rev. 417 (2001),