Together with our Planet, we are facing a very complexed emergency called the climate change. It will require a wide range of changes in many spheres of our lives. Thus, the Green Deal calls for integrated policies for those ‘systems’ with the highest environmental impact: energy, food, mobility, infrastructure and buildings.
To deliver these systemic changes, we need to adopt wide-ranging approaches to all our initiatives, strategies and action plans. That means that all our future climate, biodiversity and resource policies must be mutually reinforcing – and the sectoral sector policies must contribute to the achievement of these ambitions.
To achieve them we will work in close cooperation on all aspects under the European Green Deal, to ensure coherence, consistency and most important, effectiveness of the measures proposed.
I am looking forward prepare the next steps for the actions under my competence in particular the biodiversity strategy, the new circular economy action plan, the zero pollution ambition and the protection of marines resources.
The first delivery under the Green Deal will be the adoption of the biodiversity strategy for 2030 by March next year. This will constitute the Commission’s input into next year’s conference on Biodiversity in Kunming (China), with global targets to protect biodiversity and commitments to address main causes of biodiversity loss in the EU. I strongly believe that good example is the best way to make a global influence.
The Biodiversity Strategy will identify which measures, including legislation, should be undertaken to enhance protection of biodiversity-rich land and sea areas, but also more broadly to restore damaged ecosystems and their essential services. I must remind you that, according to the United Nations, healthy ecosystems is 30 percent of solution to climate change.
As outlined in the Communication, all EU policies should contribute to preserving and restoring EU's natural capital. The Biodiversity Strategy will therefore address all the main drivers of biodiversity loss and damage to ecosystems, identifying measureable objectives and the tools to integrate those objectives into the relevant policies.
The European Green Deal Communication furthermore outlines the way forward for achieving a zero-pollution ambition for a toxic-free environment that protects health and ecosystems. Actions under the Zero-Pollution Action Plan, the Chemical strategy for Sustainability, but also under the Circular Economy and the Farm to Fork Strategy will be crucial to deliver this objective.
The Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability will be proposed by summer 2020. One of its objective will be to step up action to better protect vulnerable groups, to address the combined effects of chemicals and risk posed by endocrine disruptors. I look forward to receiving your continued support in working out the details of the strategy in the coming months.
The Zero-Pollution Action Plan for air, water and soil will be adopted in 2021. We have already started to assess our air and water policies and for both areas the main challenge remains implementation, however policy improvements can still be made. The Commission will propose further measures to address new sources of water pollution such as chemicals and micro-plastics. It will also propose to more closely align the air standards with the World Health Organization recommendations, strengthen monitoring and help further local authorities to achieve cleaner air.
The new Circular Economy Action Plan will be adopted in March 2020. It will look at the entire life cycle of products and materials. It will aim at achieving a ‘sustainable products’ policy that would enable circular design of all products, based on a common methodology and principles. Reducing and reusing materials before recycling them will be prioritised. The Plan will foster new business models and set minimum requirements to prevent environmentally harmful products from being placed on the EU market. Especially, in sectors such as textiles, construction, electronics and plastics.
Dear Ministers, representatives of the EU Member states, I’ll be looking forward to work with on these changes. The European Green Deal isn’t a deal between Commissioners, and it’s not a deal between me and Frans Timmermans. It is the deal for all Europeans. For people inside the Commission, for citizens of our States. It will require efforts from all of us to address many challenges. But on the end of the day, it’s the way for the EU and the Member States to become stronger economically, socially and environmentally.
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