What are the LAWS that PROTECT the ENVIRONMENT - Examples

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At present, the regulations that are dedicated to environmental regulation and protection are widely dispersed, by this we mean that currently there is no single code that includes environmental laws, which adds complexity to the study and application of the same.

In this article by Ecologist Verde, and taking into account that the extensive environmental legislation that exists both internally in the countries and internationally makes it impossible to mention each and every one of these standards, we are going to see in detail some of the most relevant regulations and laws. Keep reading if you want to discover what are the laws that protect the environment.

Laws that protect water

Regarding water, we find different regulations depending on the environment where these waters are found. Thus, for example, we find laws that protect water like the following:

  • Protection of the marine environment, as the Law 41/2010, of December 29, on the protection of the marine environment, by means of which the discharges from ships and aircraft are controlled, protecting endangered marine species, as well as the declaration of marine protected areas.
  • The other waters, like groundwater, find protection in the Royal Legislative Decree 1/2001 of July 20, which approves the revised text of the Water Law, which controls the discharges that may be made, both in rivers and in places that may affect subsoil waters, among other things.

Laws that protect biodiversity

Within the laws that protect the environment, also stand out those in the field of The Biodiversity. The most relevant law that we find at the state level is the Law 42/2007 Natural Heritage and Biodiversity, which regulates the basic aspects of conservation, sustainable use, improvement and restoration of natural heritage. Thus, it regulates the most essential aspects of ecological processes, conservation of natural habitats and wild fauna and flora.

When it is said that a law regulates the basic (or minimum) aspects, it means that this norm will regulate the minimum protection that must be met, with other regulations, whether autonomous or local, in charge of establishing a more protective framework. broad on these matters.

We recommend this other article on Loss of biodiversity: causes and consequences and also this other one about What are the rights of animals.

Laws on climate change

On this matter, in recent times constant changes are taking place and new regulations are being generated to deal with the climate crisis in which we are immersed, without going any further, we see it necessary to highlight that the project of Climate Change and Energy Transition Law, aimed at achieving the objectives in this matter acquired by Spain at an international level[1].

Likewise, on January 21, 2022, the Council of Ministers agreed on the “Declaration of the Government in the face of the Climate and Environmental Emergency”, said declaration is in line with the international commitment of reduce global greenhouse gas emissions, assumed by the Paris Agreement, as well as with the commitments made in the United Nations 2030 Agenda, on the Sustainable Development Goals.

To have more notions about these issues, we encourage you to read these other articles about the Causes and consequences of climate change and How climate change affects people.

Laws on renewable energy

Regarding renewable energies, we do not find an exception to the normative dispersion existing in the matter of environmental legislation. Renewable energies are all those that use natural resources as energy sources, such as the sun, wind and water. Thus, and due to the cataloging of them as a source of obtaining green energy, we find standards for promote the use of renewables. At the European level we can find the Directive 2022/2001 Relating to the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources, which has a deadline of application by the member states until June 30, 2022.

We recommend that you read the information that you will see in this link on Renewable energies in Spain.

Environmental liability laws

In the field of laws that protect the environment, we cannot forget the rules that regulate and guarantee compliance with the liability for environmental damage.

At the European level we find the “Directive 2004/35 / EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on environmental liability in relation to and repair of environmental damage "[2], the purpose of it is to establish a framework of environmental responsibility based on one of the basic principles of environmental protection "Who pollutes pays", focusing on the prevention and repair of damage caused to the environment. Said Directive establishes certain minimums that the member states must comply with through the application of their internal regulations. In the case of Spain, the internal application derived from this European standard is found in the Law 26/2007 on environmental responsibility, which regulates damage to both water, soil, estuaries and the shoreline of the sea, as well as damage to species of fauna and flora that are permanently or temporarily in Spain.

As was well said at the beginning of this article, this is only a small sample of the environmental legislation existing today, since currently environmental standards are widely dispersed among the different existing regulations, it is important to highlight the difficulty that this implies, not being easy to find and apply them. For this reason, it is necessary that environmental legislation be unified as soon as possible, to make it easier to understand and apply, both for individuals and companies.

Finally and if you want to delve further into these issues related to environmental protection lawsWe encourage you to read these other Green Ecologist posts on What is Environmental Law, What are crimes against the environment with examples and Environmental Policy: what it is and examples.

If you want to read more articles similar to What are the laws that protect the environmentWe recommend that you enter our Environmental Education category.

  1. Draft Law on Climate Change and Energy Transition: https://www.cnmc.es/sites/default/files/2950933_1.pdf
  2. Directive 2004/35 / CE of the European Parliament and of the Council, of April 21, 2004, on environmental liability in relation to the prevention and repair of environmental damage: https://www.miteco.gob.es/es/calidad- and-environmental-evaluation / themes / environmental-responsibility / directive2004_35_ce_consolidada260619_tcm30-194075.pdf
  3. LAW 26/2007, of October 23, on Environmental Responsibility: https://www.miteco.gob.es/es/calidad-y-evaluacion-ambiental/temas/responsabilidad-mediambiental/Ley_Responsabilidad_Medioambiental_26_2007_tcm30-194076.pdf
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