On 17 November 2021, the European Commission published its new EU Soil Strategy for 2030. Two more important documents appeared on the same day: the Proposal for a regulation on deforestation-free products and the Proposal for a new regulation on waste shipments.
The three initiatives were presented by the Commission Vice President and the Environment Commissioner in the following words:
Frans Timmermans – Executive Vice-President for the European Green Deal: “To succeed in the global fight against the climate and biodiversity crises we must take the responsibility to act at home as well as abroad. Our deforestation regulation answers citizens’ calls to minimise the European contribution to deforestation and promote sustainable consumption. Our new rules to govern waste shipments will boost the circular economy and ensure that waste exports do not harm the environment or human health elsewhere. And our soil strategy will allow soil to get healthy, be used sustainably and receive the legal protection it needs.”
Virginijus Sinkevičiu – Commissioner for the Environment, Oceans and Fisheries: “If we expect more ambitious climate and environmental policies from partners, we should stop exporting pollution and supporting deforestation ourselves. The deforestation and waste shipment regulations we are putting on the table are the most ambitious legislative attempts to tackle these issues worldwide ever. With these proposals, we are taking our responsibility and walking the talk by lowering our global impact on pollution and biodiversity loss. We also put forward a ground-breaking EU soil strategy with a strong policy agenda that sets out to grant them the same level of protection as water, marine environment and air.”