Commission presents instruments to curb EU-driven deforestation and forest degradation

In the framework of the European Green Deal, the EU Commission adopted on November 17 three new initiatives to curb EU-driven deforestation, in addition to new rules to facilitate intra-EU waste shipments to advertise round financial system and deal with the export of unlawful waste and waste challenges to 3rd international locations.

The Commission additionally offered a brand new Soil technique to have all European soils restored, resilient, and adequately protected by 2050. With the proposals on November 17, the Commission is presenting the instruments to move to a round financial system, defend nature, and lift environmental requirements within the European Union and on the planet.

“To succeed in the global fight against the climate and biodiversity crises we must take the responsibility to act at home as well as abroad,” EU Commission Executive Vice-President for the European Green Deal Frans Timmermans stated. “Our deforestation regulation answers citizens’ calls to minimise the European contribution to deforestation and promote sustainable consumption. Our new rules to govern waste shipments will boost the circular economy and ensure that waste exports do not harm the environment or human health elsewhere. And our soil strategy will allow soil to get healthy, be used sustainably and receive the legal protection it needs,” he added.

EU Environment, Oceans and Fisheries Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevicius stated if the expects extra bold local weather and environmental insurance policies from companions, it ought to cease exporting air pollution and supporting deforestation itself. “The deforestation and waste shipment regulations we are putting on the table are the most ambitious legislative attempts to tackle these issues worldwide ever. With these proposals, we are taking our responsibility and walking the talk by lowering our global impact on pollution and biodiversity loss. We also put forward a ground-breaking EU soil strategy with a strong policy agenda that sets out to grant them the same level of protection as water, marine environment and air,” he stated.

The Commission proposes a brand new Regulation to curb EU-driven deforestation and forest degradation. Just counting from 1990 to 2020 the world has misplaced misplaced 420 million hectares of forest – an space bigger than the European Union. The proposed new rules would assure that the merchandise that EU residents purchase, use and devour on the EU market don’t contribute to international deforestation and forest degradation. The primary driver of those processes is agricultural growth linked to the commodities soy, beef, palm oil, wooden, cocoa and low, and a few of their derived merchandise.

The Commission famous that the Regulation units necessary due diligence rules for firms which need to place these commodities on the EU market with the purpose to make sure that solely deforestation-free and authorized merchandise are allowed on the EU market. The Commission will use a benchmarking system to evaluate international locations and their degree of threat of deforestation and forest degradation pushed by the commodities within the scope of the regulation.

The Commission stated it is going to step up dialogue with different huge shopper international locations and have interaction multilaterally to hitch efforts. By selling the consumption of ‘deforestation-free’ merchandise and decreasing the EU’s impression on international deforestation and forest degradation, the brand new rules are anticipated to cut back greenhouse gasoline emissions and biodiversity loss. Finally, tackling deforestation and forest degradation could have constructive impacts on native communities, together with essentially the most susceptible individuals like indigenous peoples, who rely closely on forest ecosystems.

Under the revised Regulation on waste shipments, the Commission delivers on the round financial system and nil air pollution ambitions by proposing stronger rules on waste exports, a extra environment friendly system for the circulation of waste as a useful resource and decided motion in opposition to waste trafficking. Waste exports to non-OECD international locations will probably be restricted and solely allowed if third international locations are keen to obtain sure wastes and are in a position to manage them sustainably. Waste shipments to OECD international locations will probably be monitored and could be suspended in the event that they generate severe environmental issues within the nation of vacation spot. Under the proposal, all EU firms that export waste outdoors the EU ought to be sure that the amenities receiving their waste are topic to an impartial audit displaying that they handle this waste in an environmentally sound method.

Within the EU, the Commission is proposing to simplify the established procedures significantly, facilitating waste to re-enter the round financial system, with out reducing the required degree of management. This helps to cut back the EU’s dependence on major uncooked supplies and helps innovation and the decarbonisation of EU trade to satisfy the EU’s local weather targets. The new rules are additionally bringing waste shipments to the digital period by introducing digital change of documentation.

The Regulation on waste shipments additional strengthens motion in opposition to waste trafficking, one of the severe types of environmental crime as unlawful shipments doubtlessly comprise as much as 30% of waste shipments value €9.5 billion yearly. Improving the effectivity and effectiveness of the enforcement regime consists of organising an EU Waste Shipment Enforcement Group, empowering the European Anti-Fraud Office OLAF to assist transnational investigations by EU Member States on waste trafficking, and offering stronger rules on administrative penalties, the Commission stated.

New Soil Strategy

Finally, the Commission additionally offered on November 19 a brand new EU Soil Strategy – an necessary deliverable of the European Green Deal and the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 for tackling the local weather and biodiversity crises. Healthy soils are the inspiration for 95% of the meals we eat, they host greater than 25% of the biodiversity on the planet, and are the biggest terrestrial carbon pool on the planet. Yet, 70% of soils within the EU aren’t in a superb situation, the Commission stated, including that the Strategy units a framework with concrete measures for the safety, restoration and sustainable use of soils and proposes a set of voluntary and legally binding measures. This technique goals to extend the soil carbon in agricultural land, fight desertification, restore degraded land and soil, and be sure that by 2050, all soil ecosystems are in a wholesome situation.

The Strategy requires making certain the identical degree of safety to soil that exists for water, the marine setting and air within the EU, the Commission stated, including that this will probably be accomplished by means of a proposal by 2023 for a brand new Soil Health Law, following an impression evaluation and broad session of stakeholders and Member States. The Strategy additionally mobilises the required societal engagement and monetary sources, shared data, and promotes sustainable soil administration practices and monitoring, supporting the EU ambition for international motion on soil.

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