Finally an EU legislation on soil protection!

Brussels, 18.11.2021. For a long time, the European Parliament has been fighting for it: an EU-wide legislative proposal on soil protection. Now the European Commission has announced that it will finally present a legislative proposal for the protection of EU soils by 2023.

Manuela Ripa, Greens/EFA Group shadow rapporteur for the European Parliament resolution on soil protection last April, comments enthusiastically:

“It is a huge success that the European Commission is responding to the European Parliament’s call, closing the legislative gap and committing the EU to protecting this vital resource. After all, around 70% of our soils are in poor condition. Soil protection must no longer be left to the EU Member States alone, which have done far too little in this regard. Soil protection is climate protection. Healthy soils are important CO2 reservoirs and the basis for species protection, healthy food and biodiversity.”

The aim of the legislative proposal is to significantly improve the condition of European soils by 2030 and to protect soils on the same legal basis as air and water. This is to be achieved, among other things, through the remediation of contaminated sites, sustainable soil use, avoidance of land sealing, a halt to the drainage of peatlands and stricter monitoring and reporting obligations on the part of EU countries. Healthy soils are a key element in achieving the goals of the European Green Deal and protecting climate and biodiversity.

Manuela Ripa concludes: “Since the consequences of soil degradation do not stop at any national border, it is right to tackle soil protection at European level. National solo efforts do not help – this has been scientifically proven by the European Environment Agency. I am pleased that the EU Commission is finally taking concrete action and sending a clear signal to the member states and the agricultural lobby!”


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