In 2004, public sector environmental protection expenditure was estimated to be £5.9 billion, representing 0.5 per cent of GDP. This was a rise of 9.3 per cent compared with 2003, when the level of spending stood at £5.4 billion.
Expenditure on waste management amounted to £3.5 billion. Most of this was spent by local authorities with £0.3 billion directly on waste-water management, which accounted for 64.4 per cent of total government environmental protection expenditure.
Expenditure on nature conservation rose 12.5 per cent to £0.7 billion in 2004. Expenditure on measures to protect the atmosphere and on climate change prevention fell to £250 million in 2004 compared with £313 million in 2003. Government expenditure on other environmental protection activities, research and development, education and administration amounted to £1.1 billion, up from £0.9 billion spent in the previous year.
The majority of environmental protection expenditure is in the form of particular short-term programmes and as these become active and inactive there can be large movements in expenditure within the domains targeted by such programmes. However, overall environmental protection expenditure continues to increase year on year.
Source: Office for National Statistics
Notes: Environmental accounts provides data on the environmental impact of UK economic activity and the use of the environment by the economy.
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