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European Green Deal: Commission adopts new proposals to stop deforestation, innovate sustainable waste management and make soils healthy for people, nature and climate

18.11.2021
Brussels

EU News 257/2021

Today, the Commission adopted three new initiatives that are necessary for making the European Green Deal a reality. The Commission is proposing new rules to curb EU-driven deforestation, as well as new rules to facilitate intra-EU waste shipments to promote circular economy and tackle the export of illegal waste and waste challenges to third countries. The Commission also presents a new Soil strategy to have all European soils restored, resilient, and adequately protected by 2050. With today's proposals, the Commission is presenting the tools to move to a circular economy, protect nature, and raise environmental standards in the European Union and in the world.

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The Commission proposes a new Regulation to curb EU-driven deforestation and forest degradation. Just counting from 1990 to 2020 the world has lost lost 420 million hectares of forest – an area larger than the European Union. The proposed new rules would guarantee that the products that EU citizens buy, use and consume on the EU market do not contribute to global deforestation and forest degradation. The main driver of these processes is agricultural expansion linked to the commodities soy, beef, palm oil, wood, cocoa and coffee, and some of their derived products.

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Under the revised Regulation on waste shipments, the Commission delivers on the circular economy and zero pollution ambitions by proposing stronger rules on waste exports, a more efficient system for the circulation of waste as a resource and determined action against waste trafficking. Waste exports to non-OECD countries will be restricted and only allowed if third countries are willing to receive certain wastes and are able to manage them sustainably. Waste shipments to OECD countries will be monitored and can be suspended if they generate serious environmental problems in the country of destination. Under the proposal, all EU companies that export waste outside the EU should ensure that the facilities receiving their waste are subject to an independent audit showing that they manage this waste in an environmentally sound manner.


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