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Sustainability—A Long, Hard Road

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Legal Aspects of Sustainable Development

Abstract

Sustainability—a term compromising a group of themes and being of immense importance for today’s and all future generations. It has developed in last decades to one of the most central concepts in environmental law and poses an important component of political and juridical aims. The Treaty of Amsterdam implemented sustainability in primary law as a basic objective of the European Union. As a consequence, the EU established the Sustainable Development Strategy (EU SDS) with the aim to improve the living situation of all generations. Also on a national level, many measures have been taken to enhance the “sustainable development” approach. But one has to ask the question: does the concept of sustainability work? Do the measures taken, inter alia, in the fields of transport, energy, climate change and waste management lead to the desired success or is it just a sublime goal, a program without (sufficient) implementation? Or is it even just a tokenism?

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Notes

  1. 1.

    Directive 2003/87/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 October 2003 establishing a scheme for greenhouse gas emission allowance trading within the Community and amending Council Directive 96/61/EC, OJ L 275, 25.10.2003, pp. 32–46.

  2. 2.

    Regulation (EU) No 421/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 April 2014 amending Directive 2003/87/EC establishing a scheme for greenhouse gas emission allowance trading within the Community, in view of the implementation by 2020 of an international agreement applying a single global market-based measure to international aviation emissions, OJ L 129, 30.4.2014, pp. 1–4.

  3. 3.

    The “Klimaschutzgesetz” published in the federal law gazette (“BGBl”) I number 106/2011, in the currently valid version.

  4. 4.

    Decision No 406/2009/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 April 2009 on the effort of Member States to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions to meet the Community’s greenhouse gas emission reduction commitments up to 2020, OJ L 140, 5.6.2009, pp. 136–148.

  5. 5.

    The “Bundes-Verfassungsgesetz” (B-VG) published in the federal law gazette (“BGBl”) I number 1/1930, in the currently valid version.

  6. 6.

    Directive 2009/28/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 April 2009 on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources and amending and subsequently repealing Directives 2001/77/EC and 2003/30/EC, OJ L 140, 5.6.2009, pp. 16–62.

  7. 7.

    Directive 2012/27/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2012 on energy efficiency, amending Directives 2009/125/EC and 2010/30/EU and repealing Directives 2004/8/EC and 2006/32/EC Text with EEA relevance, OJ L 315, 14.11.2012, pp. 1–56.

  8. 8.

    Directive 2010/31/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 19 May 2010 on the energy performance of buildings, OJ L 153, 18.6.2010, pp. 13–35.

  9. 9.

    Directive 2009/125/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 October 2009 establishing a framework for the setting of ecodesign requirements for energy-related products, OJ L 285, 31.10.2009, pp. 10–35 and Directive 2010/30/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 19 May 2010 on the indication by labelling and standard product information of the consumption of energy and other resources by energy-related products, OJ L 153, 18.6.2010, pp. 1–12.

  10. 10.

    Directive 2009/72/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 July 2009 concerning common rules for the internal market in electricity and repealing Directive 2003/54/EC, OJ L 211, 14.8.2009, pp. 55–93.

  11. 11.

    The “Ökostromgesetz” published in the federal law gazette (“BGBl”) I number 75/2011, in the currently valid version.

  12. 12.

    Directive 2008/98/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 19 November 2008 on waste and repealing certain Directives, OJ L 312, 22.11.2008, pp. 3–30.

  13. 13.

    Council Directive 1999/31/EC of 26 April 1999 on the landfill of waste OJ L 182, 16.7.1999, pp. 1–19.

  14. 14.

    The “Bundesgesetz über eine nachhaltige Abfallwirtschaft” published in the federal law gazette (“BGBl”) I number 102/2001, in the currently valid version.

  15. 15.

    Council Directive 96/82/EC of 9 December 1996 on the control of major-accident hazards involving dangerous substances, OJ L 10, 14.1.1997, pp. 13–33.

  16. 16.

    Directive 2012/18/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 4 July 2012 on the control of major-accident hazards involving dangerous substances, amending and subsequently repealing Council Directive 96/82/EC, OJ L 197, 24.7.2012, pp. 1–37.

  17. 17.

    Retrieved May 22, 2015 from http://www.alpconv.org/en/convention/framework/default.html and see also the “Alpenkonvention”, published in the federal law gazette (“BGBl”) III number 477/1995, in the currently valid version.

  18. 18.

    Directive 2009/33/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 April 2009 on the promotion of clean and energy-efficient road transport vehicles, OJ L 120, 15.5.2009, pp. 5–12.

  19. 19.

    Regulation (EU) No 510/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 May 2011 setting emission performance standards for new light commercial vehicles as part of the Union’s integrated approach to reduce CO2 emissions from light-duty vehicles, OJ L 145, 31.5.2011, pp. 1–18.

  20. 20.

    Regulation (EU) No 1291/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2013 establishing Horizon 2020—the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (2014–2020) and repealing Decision No 1982/2006/EC, OJ L 347, 20.12.2013, pp. 104–173.

  21. 21.

    Directive 2014/94/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 October 2014 on the deployment of alternative fuels infrastructure, OJ L 307, 28.10.2014, pp. 1–20.

  22. 22.

    Regulation (EU) No 1143/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 October 2014 on the prevention and management of the introduction and spread of invasive alien species, OJ L 317, 4.11.2014, pp. 35–55.

  23. 23.

    Directive 2011/92/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 December 2011 on the assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects on the environment, OJ L 26, 28.1.2012, pp. 1–21.

  24. 24.

    Directive 2014/52/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 April 2014 amending Directive 2011/92/EU on the assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects on the environment Text with EEA relevance, OJ L 124, 25.4.2014, pp. 1–18.

  25. 25.

    Directive 2004/35/CE of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 April 2004 on environmental liability with regard to the prevention and remedying of environmental damage, OJ L 143, 30.4.2004, pp. 56–75.

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Kerschner, F., Wagner, E. (2016). Sustainability—A Long, Hard Road. In: Mauerhofer, V. (eds) Legal Aspects of Sustainable Development. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-26021-1_4

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