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“Nowadays the European Union has the most environmentally-friendly arsenal of rules in the world, and it has done more to tackle pressing ecological problems, such as climate change, than any other major power. But it has not always been so. Caring for the environment did not feature in the Treaty of Rome, which gave birth to the modern day EU. Yet environmental problems were never far away. Europe’s love affair with automobiles was moving into top gear, industry was busy belching out pollutants and raw sewage was being pumped into our rivers and seas.”