“Environmental crime has become a key threat to global security and a profitable criminal activity, as much in the EU as worldwide. Crimes against the environment threaten the survival of all living species and have an enormous financial impact, which is set to increase further. Aside from the economic losses for all of society, organised crime is also partially responsible for climate change.

In the European Union’s Serious and Organised Crime Threat Assessments of 2013, 2017 and 2021 Europol identified environmental crime as a key threat to the security of EU citizens. Europol has recorded a sharp increase in the number of cross-border cases in which the Agency was asked to support national authorities since 2017, when the EU Justice and Home Affairs Council included environmental crime in the list of key crime priorities for the EU.

The growing engagement of Europol in coordinated international investigations comes with the increasing availability of criminal intelligence in this area. Therefore, a comprehensive picture of the threats posed by the criminal networks involved in environmental crimes in the EU is now available.”

Catherine De Bolle
Executive Director of Europol

Read EUROPOL’s threat assessment on environmental crime HERE