Environmental Awareness
graphic Apple
CO2 Modal

Environmental Awareness Information

'Sustainability' refers to the absolute carrying capacity of this earth to maintain a population in a decent sate of wellbeing. Quite what the "carrying capacity" is, we dont know. We do know there are absolute limits in the amount of fossil fuels and other non-renewable resources. There are also limits to how much carbon dioxide we can make without the world warming up beyond control. globe image Environmental Impacts

The 7 main environmental impacts according to the UN and its conventions.

Most people have an idea of what 'Sustainable Development' means, and yet everybody has a different understanding.

Click to read other peoples Definitions of Sustainable Development.

Maureen says: "It is taking care of the future"

Now have a go at deciding what it means to you.

Write your own definition

Environmental laws to control pollution date back to the 1300's when Parliament passed laws to curb the smell from the River Thames polluting their own atmosphere. Later, King Charles 1st banned the use of wood to smelter sand to make glass. There had been a rapid decline in woods to fuel the habit. This lead to a search for another fuel and somebody found that coal could do the job even better. Coal was found near St Helens, where glass is still made to this day. This is a fine early example of environmental law creating business opportunities.

Rylands v Fletcher 1865 (H 774) established that there are strict laibilities. An escape of water from a reservoir flooded a mine. This classic law case established that the liability for the consequences of non-natural operations on land rests with the owner of the land. The ruling stated:"Anyone who brings or collects and keeps on his (sic) land anything likely to do mischief it if escapes must keep it at his peril and if he does not do so is prima-facie strictly liable for all that damage which is the natural consequence of its escape"

This ruling had consequences for all who pollute. The decision shows that people who bring any "beasts, water, filth or stench" on to their land have a strict liability to look after it. This liability has been extended to environmental water, fire, gases, oil, chemicals, colliery spoil, poisonous vegetation, and even a chair-o-place at a fairground. But oil from an oil tanker at sea did not qualify - because the oil did not come from the land.

There is a mass of legislation relating to environmental issues e.g. Environmental Protection Act 1990, Landfill Directive 1999, Landfill Tax Regulations 1996, Climate Change Levy (which came into force from April 2001) Clean Air Act 1993, Transport pollution legislation, Water Resources Act 1991, Water Industries Act 1991, Directives on waste electrical and electronic equipment, e.g. Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations 1997. More on UK Environmental law

However, the new approach to regulation and the environment is to move away from specific regulations, instead to develop "risk based regulation" - this according to the Head of Modern Regulation at the Envirornment Agency

Produced byEnvironmental Practice at Work Publishing Company LtdCopyright 2007