The brief: European Commission adopts zero pollution action plan

The brief: European Commission adopts zero pollution action plan

The European Commission on May 12 adopted the Zero Pollution action plan. This Communication sets out an integrated vision for 2050 where pollution is reduced to levels that are no longer harmful to human health and natural ecosystems.

The details

The EU Action Plan: “Towards Zero Pollution for Air, Water and Soil” – a key deliverable of the European Green Deal and the main topic of this year’s EU Green Week – ties together all relevant EU policies to tackle and prevent pollution. In this regard, it gives a special emphasis on how to use digital solutions to tackle pollution. Reviews of relevant EU legislation are foreseen to identify remaining gaps and where better implementation is necessary to meet the necessary legal obligations.

EU Commission Executive Vice-President Frans Timmermans said the Zero Pollution Action Plan “is geared to bringing the way we live, produce, and consume within the boundaries the planet has set. Pollution determines how healthy and how long our lives will be. Zero pollution is at the heart of the Green Deal, closely connected with our strategies such as Farm to Fork and Biodiversity”.

The actions

Pollution in the EU and elsewhere is one of the five main drivers of the risk of ecocide.

To steer the EU towards the 2050 goal of a healthy planet for healthy people, the Action Plan sets key 2030 targets to reduce pollution at source. Namely, improving air quality to reduce the number of premature deaths caused by air pollution by 55%; improving water quality by reducing waste, plastic litter at sea (by 50%) and microplastics released into the environment (by 30%); improving soil quality by reducing nutrient losses and chemical pesticides’ use by 50%; reducing by 25% the EU ecosystems where air pollution threatens biodiversity; reducing the share of people chronically disturbed by transport noise by 30%, and significantly reducing waste generation and by 50% residual municipal waste.,

Other initiatives

Jointly with the Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability adopted last year, the action plan translates the EU’s zero pollution ambition for a toxic-free environment into action. It goes hand in hand with the EU’s goals for climate neutrality, health, biodiversity and resource efficiency and builds on initiatives in the field of energy, industry, mobility, food, circular economy, and agriculture.

This year’s EU Green Week, the biggest annual event on environment policy, on June 1-4 will allow citizens across the EU to discuss zero pollution from its many angles at the main Brussels conference, online and in more than 600 partner events.

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