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Environment

Soil strategy for 2030

Reaping the benefits of healthy soils for people, food, nature and climate.

Soil Green
© Mike Atkins - JRC global soil biodiversity atlas

The EU soil strategy for 2030 sets out a framework and concrete measures to protect and restore soils, and ensure that they are used sustainably. It sets a vision and objectives to achieve healthy soils by 2050, with concrete actions by 2030. It also announces a new Soil Health Law by 2023  to ensure a level playing field and a high level of environmental and health protection.

The new EU soil strategy for 2030 is a key deliverable of the EU biodiversity strategy for 2030. It will contribute to the objectives of the European Green Deal. Healthy soils are essential for achieving climate neutrality, a clean and circular economy and halting desertification and land degradation. They are also essential to reverse biodiversity loss, provide healthy food and safeguard human health.

Objectives

The EU soil strategy aims to ensure that, by 2050

  • all EU soil ecosystems are healthy and more resilient and can therefore continue to provide their crucial services
  • there is no net land take and soil pollution is reduced to levels that are no longer harmful to people’s health or ecosystems
  • protecting soils, managing them sustainably and restoring degraded soils is a common standard

Actions

The strategy contains several key actions

  • tabling a dedicated legislative proposal on soil health by 2023 to enable the objectives of the EU soil strategy and achieve good soil health by 2050
  • making sustainable soil management the new normal, by proposing a scheme for land owners to get their soils tested for free, promoting sustainable soil management through the CAP and sharing best practices
  • considering proposing legally binding objectives to limit  drainage of wetlands and organic soils and to restore managed and drained peatlands to mitigate and adapt to climate change
  • investigating streams of excavated soils and assessing the need and potential for a legally binding “soil passport” to boost circular the economy and enhance reuse of clean soil
  • restoring degraded soils and remediating contaminated sites
  • preventing desertification by developing a common methodology to assess desertification and land degradation
  • increasing research, data and monitoring on soil
  • mobilising the necessary societal engagement and financial resources

Timeline

Previous and upcoming actions:

  1. 17 November 2021
    Commission adopts EU Soil Strategy for 2030

Media

Healthy soils are the foundation of 95% of the food we eat and host 25% of all biodiversity on the planet. They are our allies against climate change. Our goal is to ensure that all soil ecosystems in the EU are healthy and resilient by 2050.