28 Apr European Parliament calls for an EU-wide legal framework to protect soil
Brussels, 28. April 2021 – Healthy soils are, quite literally, the basis for the functioning of our ecosystems, our food, a stable climate and, in short, our very existence. Therefore, healthy soils are an essential component in reaching the objectives of the EU Green Deal of protecting the climate and biodiversity. But around 70% of soils in the EU are unhealthy and most of them are under serious threat. Now, given the inherent transboundary effects of soil degradation, the European Parliament has adopted a resolution on the protection of soil in Europe and calls for an EU-wide legal framework to address the threats to soil.
This is a strong sign to the European Commission: Soils in Europe need to be protected with an EU-wide, binding legal framework!
Manuela Ripa, shadow rapporteur for the resolution for the group of the Greens / EFA: “This is a strong sign to the European Commission: Soils in Europe need to be protected with an EU-wide, binding legal framework! Soil is a limited, non-renewable resource and an essential ecosystem of crucial environmental and socioeconomic importance. It performs many key functions that are vital to human existence and ecosystem survival. Yet, there is still no general legislation to protect soils. While air and water are already addressed by extensive EU framework legislation, soil protection has been a matter of national regulations. Now, the EU Parliament calls on the Commission to come up with a strong proposal to protect soil.
The resolution calls for a strong legal framework to protect soil, with clear objectives and measures. These measures include the prevention of soil sealing, priority to brownfield recycling, ending land degradation by 2030 and ending net land take by 2050 at the latest, while also calling for effective and inclusive public participation and consultation when it comes to the consumption of soils.”
❗ The EU Parliament is calling for an 🇪🇺-wide LEGAL framework for soil protection - with over 400 in favour!— Manuela Ripa, MEP 🌍🌱🐝 (@RipaManuela) April 28, 2021
Now, let's cross fingers for the final vote to go through in #EPlenary later today and then it's the Commission's turn to make a proposal for the protection of soil! pic.twitter.com/UOly8TI0Ak
A previous attempt by the EU Commission from 2006 to propose an EU framework by soil protection was supported by the European Parliament, but blocked by a minority of Member States – above all Germany and France.