Regulating Light Pollution in Europe: Legal Challenges and Ways Forward
Light pollution raises important regulatory issues based on risks to human health, ecological and environmental harm. Questions arise as to whether it should be regulated, and, if so, how. There has been recent regulation across the world. European examples include Slovenia, France, a number of Italian regions and the UK. There are also initiatives pertaining to lighting at European level, such as the EU Eco Design of Energy Using Products Directives, a review of LED street lighting, and a Council of Europe Resolution based on human rights and the environment. The purpose of this paper is to show that the effective regulation of light pollution requires a complete understanding of the problem, and a strategy specifically designed to address the whole problem. This paper will first outline the main problems warranting regulation, and a legal definition for light pollution will be suggested. Secondly, the arguments for and against the regulation of artificial lighting will be evaluated. Thirdly, the different forms of legal regulation will be explored in Europe by way of case studies (taking France, Italy and the UK), and the key elements of best practice for guidance will be presented. This paper will exclusively address external and not internal artificial lighting at night.
Citation:Morgan-Taylor,M. (2015) Regulating Light Pollution in Europe: Legal Challenges and Ways Forward. In: Urban Lighting, Light Pollution and Society, Meier et al (eds), Routledge, chapter 9.
- Department of Law