REPORT towards a WTO-compatible EU carbon border adjustment mechanism – A9-0019/2021

Source: European Parliament

MOTION FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT RESOLUTION

towards a WTO-compatible EU carbon border adjustment mechanism

(2020/2043(INI))

The European Parliament,

 having regard to the Agreement adopted at the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Paris on 12 December 2015 (the Paris Agreement),

 having regard to the UN Environment Programme Emissions Gap Report 2019,

 having regard to the special reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on global warming of 1.5 °C and on the ocean and cryosphere,

 having regard to the Commission communication of 11 December 2019 on the European Green Deal (COM(2019)0640),

 having regard to the Commission communication of 17 September 2020 on stepping up Europe’s 2030 climate ambition (COM(2020)0562) and its accompanying impact assessment (SWD(2020)0176),

 having regard to the European Council conclusions of 12 December 2019 and of 17-21 July 2020,

 having regard to its resolution of 23 July 2020 on the conclusions of the extraordinary European Council meeting of 17-21 July 2020[1],

 having regard to the conclusions and recommendations of the European Court of Auditors in its special report No 18/2020 of 15 September 2020 entitled ‘The EU’s Emissions Trading System: free allocation of allowances needed better targeting’,

 having regard to its resolution of 28 November 2019 on the climate and environment emergency[2],

 having regard to its resolution of 15 January 2020 on the European Green Deal[3],

 having regard to its position on the 2030 climate target, namely a 60 % reduction in greenhouse gas emissions compared with 1990 levels[4],

 having regard to Rule 54 of its Rules of Procedure,

 having regard to the opinions of the Committee on International Trade, the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs, the Committee on Budgets and the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy,

 having regard to the report of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (A9-0019/2021),

A. whereas the adverse impacts of climate change represent a direct threat to human livelihoods and terrestrial and marine ecosystems, as confirmed by the IPCC special reports on global warming of 1.5 °C and on the ocean and cryosphere; whereas these impacts are unevenly distributed, with most adverse effects being felt by poorer countries and people;

B. whereas according to the World Health Organization (WHO), as of 2030 climate change is expected to contribute to approximately 250 000 additional deaths per year, from malnutrition, malaria, diarrhoea and heat stress;

C. whereas the average global temperature has already risen past 1.1 °C above pre-industrial levels[5];

D. whereas the EU and its Member States are committed under the Paris Agreement to delivering climate action on the basis of the latest available scientific evidence and now have the objective of achieving climate neutrality by 2050 at the latest;

E. whereas over the past few decades, the EU has managed to successfully decouple territorial greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from economic growth, with GHG emissions falling by 24 %, while GDP grew by more than 60 % between 1990 and 2019; whereas this does not take into account the EU’s emissions embedded in its international trade and therefore underestimates its global carbon footprint;

F. whereas in 2015 the ratio of imported to exported emissions in the EU was approximately 3:1, with 1.317 billion tonnes of CO2 imported and 424 million tonnes exported[6];

G. whereas existing EU law has been effective in delivering the climate goals adopted so far; whereas the current design of the Emission Trading System (EU ETS), in particular the existing provisions on carbon leakage, has not provided effective incentives for the necessary decarbonisation of certain sectors, notably in industry, and has in some cases led to unjustified windfall profits for the beneficiary companies, as highlighted by the European Court of Auditors[7];

H. whereas the Commission should continue its work on developing methodologies to ascertain a product’s carbon and environmental footprint, by employing a full life cycle approach and ensuring that the accounting of embedded emissions in products reflect reality as far as possible, including emissions from international transport;

I. whereas the Commission should also study the traceability of products and services in order to identify more precisely all the impacts of their life cycles, such as the extraction and use of materials, the manufacturing process, the use of energy, and the mode of transport used, with the aim of setting up databases;

J. whereas around 27 % of global CO2 emissions from fuel combustion currently relate to internationally traded goods[8]; whereas 90 % of international goods transport is carried out at sea, leading to significant GHG emissions; whereas only GHG emissions from domestic waterborne navigation were included in the EU’s initial nationally determined contribution (NDC); whereas this is subject to revision in light of the EU’s enhanced 2030 target;

K. whereas the COVID-19 crisis has delivered some important lessons, hence why the Commission’s proposal for a new recovery instrument – Next Generation EU – underlines the need to strengthen European autonomy and resilience and the need for short circuits, in particular shorter food supply chains;

L. whereas it is essential that the Commission has an integrated vision of climate policies, for example by addressing emission reduction targets, such as those for maritime transport, in coordination with carbon pricing strategies;

M. whereas ensuring effective and meaningful carbon pricing as part of a broader regulatory environment can serve as an economic incentive to develop production methods with a lower GHG footprint and can spur investments in innovation and new technologies, providing for the decarbonisation and circularity of the EU’s economy; whereas an effective Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) can play a role in that context;

N. whereas trade can be an important tool to promote sustainable development and help fight climate change; whereas the EU’s single market is the world’s second-largest consumer market, putting the Union in a unique position as a global standard setter;

O. whereas combating climate change is a factor in competitiveness and social justice and offers major potential in terms of industrial development, job creation, innovation and regional development;

P. whereas Article XX of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) allows World Trade Organization (WTO) members to implement measures that are necessary to protect human, animal or plant life or health (b), or natural resources (g);

Q. whereas the EU should accept that a third country can set up a CBAM if that country implements a higher carbon price;

R. whereas US President Biden has taken a favourable stance through his electoral platform to seek to ‘impose carbon adjustment fees or quotas on carbon-intensive goods from countries that are failing to meet their climate and environment obligations’; whereas this would create a new opportunity for cooperation between the EU and the US in fighting climate change and restoring this key partnership;

S. whereas the EU’s increased ambition on climate change should not lead to the risk of carbon leakage for European industries;

General remarks

1. Is deeply concerned that currently none of the NDCs submitted, including those of the EU and its Member States, are in line with the objective of keeping the global temperature increase, as provided by the Paris Agreement, to well below 2 °C, while pursuing efforts to limit the global temperature increase to 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels;

2. Is concerned by the lack of cooperation by some of the EU’s trade partners in international climate negotiations over the past few years, which, as recently observed at COP25, undermines our collective global ability to reach the objectives of the Paris Agreement; encourages all parties to support a collective and science-based global effort that can deliver the achievement of these goals; calls on the Commission and the Council to uphold a transparent, fair and inclusive decision-making process in the UNFCCC;

3. Stresses that the EU and its Member States have the responsibility and opportunity to continue assuming a leading role in global climate action along with the other leading global emitters; points out that the EU has been leading global climate action, as evidenced by its adoption of the objective to achieve climate neutrality by 2050 at the latest and its plan to scale up its 2030 GHG emission reduction target; strongly encourages the Commission and the Member States to intensify their climate diplomacy ahead of and after the adoption of the legislative proposal for a CBAM and, in particular, to ensure continuous dialogue with trade partners in order to incentivise global climate action; stresses the need for concurrent diplomatic efforts to ensure that the EU’s neighbourhood countries are engaged early on;

4. Highlights the central role of citizens and consumers in the energy transition, and the importance of stimulating and supporting consumer choice in order to reduce the effects of climate change by promoting sustainable activities and collateral benefits that lead to a higher quality of life;

5. Takes note of the Commission’s proposal to set the EU’s 2030 climate target to ‘at least 55 % net emissions reduction’ compared to 1990 levels; highlights the fact, however, that Parliament adopted a higher target of 60 %;

6. Notes that while the EU had substantially reduced its domestic GHG emissions, the GHG emissions embedded in imports to the EU have been constantly rising, thereby undermining the Union’s efforts to reduce its global GHG footprint; underlines that the net imports of goods and services in the EU represent more than 20 % of the Union’s domestic CO2 emissions; considers that the GHG content of imports should be better monitored in order to identify possible measures to reduce the EU’s global GHG footprint;

Designing a WTO-compatible CBAM

7. Supports the introduction of a CBAM, provided that it is compatible with WTO rules and EU free trade agreements (FTAs) by not being discriminatory or constituting a disguised restriction on international trade; considers that as such, a CBAM would create an incentive for European industries and EU trade partners to decarbonise their industries and therefore support both EU and global climate policies towards GHG neutrality in line with the Paris Agreement objectives; states unequivocally that a CBAM should be exclusively designed to advance climate objectives and not be misused as a tool to enhance protectionism, unjustifiable discrimination or restrictions; stresses that this mechanism should support the EU’s green objectives, in particular to better address GHG emissions embedded in EU industry and in international trade, while being non-discriminatory and striving for a global level playing field;

8. Stresses that Least Developed Countries and Small Island Developing States should be given special treatment in order to take account of their specificities and the potential negative impacts of the CBAM on their development;

9. Recalls the specific constraints and challenges facing the outermost regions, compounded, in particular, by their remoteness, their insularity and the limited size of their market, and calls for the CBAM to give special consideration to their specific characteristics, in accordance with Article 349 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU);

10. Reiterates that the introduction of a CBAM should be part of a package of legislative measures to ensure the swift reduction of GHG emissions deriving from EU production and consumption, in particular by scaling up energy efficiency and renewable energies; stresses that the CBAM should be coupled with policies aimed at enabling and promoting investments in low-carbon industrial processes, including through innovative financing tools, the new Circular Economy Action Plan and a broader EU industrial policy that is both environmentally ambitious and socially fair, with a view to steering a decarbonised reindustrialisation of Europe to create quality jobs at a local level and ensure the competitiveness of the European economy, while fulfilling the EU’s climate ambition and offering predictability and certainty to secure investments towards climate neutrality;

11. Emphasises that product standards can ensure low-carbon, resource-efficient manufacturing as well as help to guarantee minimal negative environmental impacts from product use; therefore asks the Commission to propose, as a complement to the introduction of a CBAM, more ambitious and binding norms and standards on products placed on the EU market in terms of GHG emission reduction and savings on resources and energy, in support of the Sustainable Product Policy Framework and the new Circular Economy Action Plan;

12. Considers that in order to prevent possible distortions in the internal market and along the value chain, a CBAM should cover all imports of products and commodities covered by the EU ETS, including when embedded in intermediate or final products; stresses that as a starting point (already by 2023) and following an impact assessment, the CBAM should cover the power sector and energy-intensive industrial sectors like cement, steel, aluminium, oil refinery, paper, glass, chemicals and fertilisers, which continue to receive substantial free allocations, and still represent 94 % of EU industrial emissions;

13. Underlines that the GHG emissions content of imports should be accounted for on the basis of transparent, reliable and up-to-date product-specific benchmarks at the level of the installations in third countries and that, as a default, if data is not made available by the importer, account should be taken of the global average GHG emissions content of individual products, broken down by different production methods with varying emission intensities; considers that the carbon pricing of imports should cover both direct and indirect emissions and therefore also take into account the country-specific carbon intensity of the electricity grid or, if data is made available by the importer, the carbon intensity of the energy consumption at the level of the installation;

14. Notes that the Commission is currently assessing all the different options for the introduction of a CBAM, ranging from tax instruments to mechanisms using the EU ETS; stresses that the modalities for the design of a CBAM should be explored alongside the revision of the EU ETS so as to ensure they are complementary and consistent, and to avoid overlapping that would lead to double protection of EU industries; underlines the importance of a transparent process behind a CBAM, including by engaging with the WTO and the EU’s trading partners in coordination with the European Parliament and carefully assessing and comparing the effectiveness, efficiency and legal feasibility of different forms of a CBAM with a view to reducing total global GHG emissions; insists that the primary aim of the CBAM is environmental and that environmental criteria should therefore play an essential role in the choice of instrument, ensuring a predictable and sufficiently high carbon price that incentivises decarbonisation investments in order to realise the aims of the Paris Agreement;

15. Stresses the importance of assessing the impacts of each option on the living standards of consumers, especially those belonging to more vulnerable groups, as well as their impact on revenue; calls on the Commission to also include in the impact assessment the consequences for the EU budget of the revenue generated from the CBAM as an own resource, depending on the design and modalities chosen;

16. Considers that in order to address the potential risk of carbon leakage while complying with WTO rules, the CBAM needs to charge the carbon content of imports in a way that mirrors the carbon costs paid by EU producers; stresses that carbon pricing under the CBAM should mirror the dynamic evolution of the price of EU allowances under the EU ETS while ensuring predictability and less volatility in the price of carbon; is of the opinion that importers should buy allowances from a separate pool of allowances to the EU ETS whose carbon price corresponds to that of the day of the transaction in the EU ETS; underlines that the introduction of the CBAM is only one of the measures in the implementation of the European Green Deal objectives and must also be accompanied by the necessary measures in non-ETS sectors as well as an ambitious reform of the EU ETS to ensure it delivers meaningful carbon pricing that fully respects the polluter pays principle, and to contribute to the necessary GHG emissions reduction in line with the EU’s updated 2030 climate target and 2050 net zero GHG emissions target, including by addressing the linear reduction factor, a rebasing of the cap and assessing the potential need for a carbon floor price;

17. Highlights that an excise duty (or tax) on the carbon content of all consumed products, both domestic and imported, would not fully address the risk of carbon leakage, would be technically challenging given the complexity of tracing carbon in global value chains and might place a significant burden on consumers; acknowledges that a fixed duty or tax on imports could be a simple tool to give a strong and stable environmental price signal for imported carbon; believes, however, that given its fixed nature, such a tax would be a less flexible tool to mirror the evolving price of the EU ETS; stresses that, in practice, an evolving tax that automatically mirrors the price of the EU ETS would be equivalent to a notional ETS; acknowledges that, should the CBAM be of a fiscal nature, there is a possibility that a mechanism based on Article 192(2) of the TFEU would be introduced;

18. Stresses that importers should have the option to prove, in accordance with EU standards for monitoring, reporting and verification of the EU ETS, that the carbon content of their products is lower than those values, and avail of a payable amount adapted accordingly, to encourage innovation and investment in sustainable technologies across the world; considers that this should not impose a disproportionate burden on SMEs; highlights that the implementation of the mechanism will need to be underpinned by a set of EU standards that will prevent it from being circumvented or misused, and will require strong independent infrastructure in order to be administered;

19. Stresses that the CBAM should ensure that importers from third countries are not charged twice for the carbon content of their products to ensure they are treated on an equal footing and without discrimination; calls on the Commission to assess carefully the impact of the different CBAM options on Least Developed Countries;

20. Highlights that unlike the ETS, the mechanism should not treat burning wood for fuel as carbon neutral and within the revised and updated framework the carbon embedded in logged wood and depleted soil should have a price;

21. Urges the Commission to minimise the risk of exporters to the EU trying to bypass the mechanism or compromise its effectiveness, for example by re-routing production between markets or exporting semi-finished goods;

Trade-related aspects of a CBAM

22. Calls for the Paris Agreement and its 1.5 ℃ goal to become one of the main guiding principles of trade policy, to which all trade initiatives and their policy tools must be adjusted, by including it in, inter alia, FTAs as an essential element; is convinced that such a purpose-built trade policy can be an important driver in steering economies towards decarbonisation in order to achieve the climate objectives set in the Paris Agreement and the European Green Deal;

23. Expresses its deep concern over the erosion of the multilateral trading system; calls on the Commission to actively engage with trade partners’ governments to ensure a continued dialogue on this initiative, thereby providing incentives for climate action both within the Union and by its trading partners; underlines that trade policy can and should be used to promote a positive environmental agenda and to avoid major differences in the levels of environmental ambition between the EU and the rest of the world, and that a CBAM should be designed as an action complementing actions under the trade and sustainable development chapters of the EU’s FTAs; underlines that global action which makes the CBAM redundant must be the final goal of the initiative, as the rest of the world catches up with the level of ambition the EU has set for reducing CO2 emissions; is therefore of the view that the CBAM should be regarded as a means to help the acceleration of this process and not as a means of protectionism; expects the Commission to initiate negotiations on a global approach within the framework of the WTO or the G20;

24. Considers that international trade and trade policy are key enablers of the transition towards a climate-neutral, resource-efficient, circular global economy and, as such, support the global efforts towards the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement; considers that there is an urgent need to pursue a comprehensive reform of the WTO, enabling it to guarantee fair trade, while at the same time combating global warming; notes that the GATT rules date back to 1947 and is of the view that they need to be rethought in the present context of climate crisis; expects the Commission to take urgent initiatives for WTO reform in order to achieve compatibility with the climate objectives; calls on the Commission to intensify its efforts to achieve global CO2 pricing and to facilitate trade in climate and environmental protection technologies, for example through trade policy initiatives such as the WTO Environmental Goods Agreement;

25. Calls on the Commission to pursue multilateral WTO reforms that bring international trade law into line with the goals of the Paris Agreement and other aspects of international law, in particular the conventions of the International Labour Organization (ILO); points out that a CBAM is compatible with WTO rules if it is designed with a clear environmental objective in mind to reduce global GHG emissions and if it upholds the highest environmental integrity;

26. Underlines that the CBAM can help to contribute to the SDGs; recalls that the promotion of decent work is also an SDG and urges the Commission to ensure that goods placed on the EU market are produced under conditions that respect the ILO conventions;

27. Notes that in order to be compatible with WTO rules, GATT provisions such as Article I (the principle of most-favoured nation treatment), Article III (the national treatment principle) and, if necessary, Article XX (general exceptions) could be the basis for any CBAM design, whose rationale should be solely and strictly environmental – reducing global CO2 emissions and preventing carbon leakage;

28. Underlines the principle of non-discrimination under GATT Article III; stresses that treating imports and domestic production in the same way is a key criterion for ensuring WTO compatibility of any measure; emphasises that the CBAM should constitute an alternative to existing measures on carbon leakage under EU law in sectors covered by the EU ETS in so far as it would create a level playing field between EU domestic and foreign producers by applying a charge on the embodied carbon emissions of all goods in those sectors, regardless of their origin, thereby ensuring full protection against carbon leakage for European industry and avoiding emission transfers to third countries; emphasises that the implementation of the CBAM should therefore go hand in hand with the parallel, gradual, rapid and eventual complete phasing out of those measures for the sectors concerned so as to avoid double protection for EU installations, while assessing the impact on exports and dependent sectors along the value chain; emphasises that the design of the CBAM should follow a simple principle whereby one tonne of carbon should not be protected twice;

29. Underlines the importance of ensuring a global level playing field for the competitiveness of European industries without generating harmful effects on climate and the environment; urges the Commission, therefore, to consider the possible introduction of export rebates, but only if it can fully demonstrate their positive impact on climate and their compatibility with WTO rules; stresses that in order to prevent perverse climate effects by incentivising less efficient production methods for European exporting industries and ensure WTO compatibility, any form of potential export support should be transparent, proportionate and not lead to any kind of competitive advantages for EU exporting industries in third countries, and should be strictly limited to the most efficient installations so as to maintain GHG reduction incentives for EU exporting companies;

30. Stresses that any mechanism must create an incentive for industries in the EU and abroad to produce clean and competitive products and avoid carbon leakage, without endangering trade opportunities;

31. Notes that the CBAM is part of the European Green Deal and a tool to achieve the EU’s goal of net zero GHG emissions by 2050; notes that the most carbon- and trade-intensive industrial sectors could potentially be impacted by the CBAM, either directly or indirectly, and that they should be consulted throughout the process; notes further that the CBAM could influence supply chains in such a way that they would internalise carbon costs; stresses that any CBAM should be easy to administer and not place an undue financial and administrative burden on enterprises, especially SMEs;

The CBAM and own resources

32. Acknowledges that the CBAM could be implemented either as an extension of the current regime of customs duties or as a complementary scheme within the existing EU ETS framework; emphasises that both approaches could be entirely consistent with an own resources initiative;

33. Supports the Commission’s intention to use revenues generated by the CBAM as new own resources for the EU budget, and asks the Commission to ensure full transparency about the use of those revenues; highlights, however, that the budgetary role of the CBAM should only be a by-product of the instrument; believes that those new revenues should allow for greater support for climate action and the objectives of the Green Deal, such as the just transition and the decarbonisation of Europe’s economy, and for an increase in the EU’s contribution to international climate finance in favour of Least Developed Countries and Small Island Developing States, which are most vulnerable to climate change, in particular to support them to undergo an industrialisation process based on clean and decarbonised technologies; calls on the Commission to take into account the social effects of the mechanism in its upcoming proposal with a view to minimising them; stresses that the revenues generated from a CBAM should by no means be used as disguised subsidies for high-polluting European industries, as this would ultimately compromise its WTO compatibility;

34. Recalls that Parliament, the Council and the Commission agreed to the creation of new own resources, including the CBAM, during the next multiannual financial framework under the Interinstitutional Agreement on budgetary discipline, on cooperation in budgetary matters and on sound financial management, as well as on new own resources, including a roadmap towards the introduction of new own resources (IIA)[9]; stresses that assigning the financial flows generated by the CBAM to the EU budget would help to mitigate issues of fiscal equivalence and ensure a fairly distributed impact across Member States, as well as ensuring a lean structure with minimal administrative overhead costs; concludes, therefore, that defining the proceeds as an EU own resource would reduce the share of GNI-based contributions in the financing of the EU budget, and would thus help to mutualise the impact of the CBAM in a fair way across all Member States; considers that any savings at national level due to lower GNI-contributions will increase Member States’ fiscal space; stresses that the implementation of the mechanism should be accompanied by the removal of environmentally harmful subsidies granted to energy-intensive industries, in particular tax exemptions and breaks on energy used by energy-intensive industries;

35. Takes note of various prudent revenue estimates, ranging from EUR 5 to 14 billion per year, depending on the scope and design of the new instrument; highlights the fact that the EU budget is in any event uniquely suited to absorbing revenue fluctuations or even long-term regressive effects;

36. Is determined to ensure that the CBAM-based own resource will be part of a basket of own resources sufficient to cover the level of overall expected expenditure for the repayment costs of the principal and interests of the borrowing incurred under the Next Generation EU instrument, while respecting the principle of universality; recalls moreover, that any surplus from the repayment plan must still remain in the EU budget as general revenue;

37. Stresses that the introduction of a basket of new own resources, as provided for in the roadmap towards the introduction of new own resources under the IIA, could facilitate a better focus of expenditure at EU level on priority areas and common public goods with high efficiency gains compared to national spending; recalls that any failure to respect the terms agreed in the IIA by one of the three institutions could expose it to a legal challenge by the others;

38. Calls on the institutions to follow up actively in the spirit and to the letter of the roadmap towards the introduction of new own resources under the IIA, which prescribes that this new own resource is to enter into force by 1 January 2023 at the latest;

Implementing the CBAM and other aspects

39. Stresses that the implementation of the CBAM must be accompanied by the removal of all forms of environmentally harmful subsidies granted to energy-intensive industries at national level; calls on the Commission to evaluate the different practices of Member States in that matter in the light of the polluter pays principle;

40. Requests that the CBAM be monitored through an independent body, under the auspices of the Commission, which should regularly report and provide transparent information to Parliament, the Council and Commission on request and at least twice a year;

41. Notes that the EU is the world’s largest carbon importer and that the carbon content of exported goods from the EU is well below the carbon content of imported goods; deduces that European efforts to combat climate change are greater than the average international effort; highlights that in order to measure the overall climate impact of the Union, a solid reporting method is needed that takes into account the emissions of imported goods and services to the EU;

42. Stresses that sufficient international climate efforts, such as robust, widespread and consistent international carbon pricing and fully competitive low-emission technologies, products and production processes will render the mechanism obsolete over time; considers that climate change is a global problem that requires global solutions, and therefore believes that the EU should continue to support the establishment of a global framework for CO2 pricing in line with Article 6 of the Paris Agreement; encourages the Commission to design the mechanism with a clear and ambitious timeline for its implementation and evolution; recalls that some technical solutions for mitigating CO2 are still at the pilot stage and thus calls on the Commission to continue efforts to develop them further; calls on the Commission to design the mechanism as part of a comprehensive and long-term-oriented policy package that is consistent with achieving a highly energy- and resource-efficient, net-zero GHG economy by 2050 at the latest;

43. Recalls that the EU’s climate policy, industrial policy and the goal to maintain and increase sustainable economic growth must go hand in hand; stresses that any mechanism must be embedded in our industrial strategy, creating an incentive for industries to produce clean and competitive products;

44. Underlines that a properly functioning mechanism should ensure the reduction of emissions imported into the EU and provide the most effective climate protection against the risk of carbon leakage while respecting WTO rules; stresses that the mechanism should be designed in way that ensures its effective and simple application and at the same time prevents circumventing behaviour such as resource shuffling or the import of semi-finished or end products not covered under the mechanism;

45. Calls on the Commission to provide technical advice and support to industries at home and abroad, especially for SMEs, in setting up reliable GHG emission accounting systems for imports in order to maintain a strong European industry without causing technical obstacles for trading partners;

46. Calls for a special evaluation of the impact of the mechanism on SMEs and on competition within the internal market; calls for the creation, if needed, of a support mechanism for SMEs to successfully adjust to the new market reality, thereby preventing them from being victims of unfair practices by larger market players;

47. Notes, furthermore, that in order to prevent unfair competition on the European market, no competitive disadvantages among competing materials should be created by the mechanism; underlines that the most climate-friendly materials should not suffer competitive disadvantages;

48. Emphasises its importance in ensuring that European citizens and their interests are represented and in contributing to the achievement of EU priorities such as climate protection, sustainable growth and international competitiveness; calls on the Commission and the Council, therefore, to fully involve Parliament, as co-legislator, in the legislative process to establish the mechanism;

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49. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council and the Commission.

 

EXPLANATORY STATEMENT

Climate change can no longer be dismissed as a matter for scientists and future generations. Every day, we see its disastrous consequences right on our doorstep, and are left aghast by the devastating images that reach us from around the world. Climate disasters such as fires, heatwaves, droughts, floods, tidal waves, hurricanes, ice loss, pandemics and displaced people are all part of the reality in which we now live. And temperatures have only risen by an average of 1.1°C!

The Paris Agreement was a call to arms. We need to step up our efforts and aim higher because if we continue along the current path our climate policies will lead to warming of 3 to 4°C, if not more according to the bleakest scenarios. This would unleash unknown chaos across the globe! The European Union has to take responsibility for the greenhouse gas emissions it produces and those which, increasingly, it imports. And it has a pivotal role to play in multilateralism and essential international cooperation. As an economic and trading power, it must lead by example.

The people of Europe have woken up to the dangers and the urgency. They are doing their bit. Young people are taking part in climate protests. A growing number of economic actors are investing huge sums in renewables, in the energy efficiency and sobriety of buildings and transport, and in decarbonising industry and services. Farmers are showing that agriculture can actually help cool – rather than warm – the planet. To fight climate change we need to do more than just counter its dangerous effects; we need a collective will to transform our development model into something more sustainable, more socially fair, more resilient and more sovereign. Decarbonisation is not only imperative but should also be seen as an opportunity, as a powerful motor for job creation, technological, social, industrial and democratic innovation, and a regional leveller.

With the objective of achieving climate neutrality by 2050 at the latest, the Green Deal and the Climate Law, the fight against climate change lies at the very heart of the Union’s political agenda. Yet Parliament resolutions, the Commission’s agenda and Council discussions call on us to do more and better. The target to reduce emissions by 40% by 2030 is obsolete; scientists recommend raising the bar to 65%. Whatever the revised target, though, we will have to scrupulously and systematically review all related European policies, particularly the ETS Directive, which has a considerable influence on carbon pricing and so the strength of the incentive to switch from carbon. No climate policy can be labelled ambitious unless it slashes carbon allowances, abolishes the free allowances hobbling the carbon market, and sets a floor price for each tonne of CO2.

Although it still falls short, the Union’s climate policy goes further than that of many of its trading partners. If the fight against climate change is to be harnessed as an industrial, economic and social opportunity, decarbonising our economy must not trigger a fresh wave of deindustrialisation, since this would entail carbon leakage and investment losses. It is our duty to ensure that the demands we place on our companies do not put them at a disadvantage with respect to competitors exporting to the internal market and producing in countries that have set their sights lower than the Union. This is precisely why we need a carbon border adjustment mechanism (CBAM).

An essential tool, the CBAM will fuel a virtuous cycle aimed, first and foremost, at climate protection. It has several goals:

 to enhance the Union’s climate action;

 to encourage our partners to raise their level of ambition;

 to protect our manufacturers from unfair competition;

 to spur the reshoring of economic activity back to Europe;

 to boost the Union’s own resources.

To achieve these goals, the CBAM must meet several criteria.

 It must eventually apply to all imports to ensure that it covers our entire carbon footprint and prevents distortions on the internal market. Temporarily, it will apply to the main raw materials, since their production emits high amounts of CO2 and is covered by the EU carbon market.

 It must come into effect as soon as possible and by no later than 2023. The shorter the transition period, the more effectively it will dovetail with the ETS market. An effective CBAM should spell the end of free allowances. These form the main instrument shielding against carbon leakage, but they have had strong perverse repercussions and led to windfall profits, as noted by the European Court of Auditors in its special report 18/2020, entitled ‘The EU’s Emissions Trading System: free allocation of allowances needed better targeting’.

 It must be consistent with multilateral trade rules insofar as several articles of the GATT make provision for acting in pursuit of interests greater than trade, such as the environment or health.

 It must feed into the European budget as a new own resource. We believe this revenue stream should be channelled towards the Green Deal and the just transition, with a significant share earmarked for the transition in the poorest countries and those most affected by climate change.

People in Europe are looking to the European Union for decisive and ambitious climate action. They want to see it break with the naivety or cynicism it has shown in trade policy, all too often signing deals in complete disregard for the ensuing social, environmental and industrial costs.

The carbon border adjustment mechanism presents us with a fantastic opportunity to act simultaneously on several fronts: climate, industry, jobs, resilience, sovereignty and reshoring. As such, it represents a major political and democratic litmus test for the Union. The European Parliament must show the way!

OPINION OF THE COMMITTEE ON INTERNATIONAL TRADE (14.12.2020)

for the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety

on towards a WTO-compatible EU carbon border adjustment mechanism

(2020/2043(INI))

Rapporteur for opinion (*): Karin Karlsbro

(*) Associated committee – Rule 57 of the Rules of Procedure

 

 

 

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on International Trade calls on the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions into its motion for a resolution:

1. Welcomes the European Union’s goal of achieving a socially just transition to climate neutrality by 2050, as well as the goal of reducing emissions by 60 % by 2030 as proposed by Parliament; calls for the raised level of ambition in climate efforts in EU trade policy, as well as in many other policy spheres, to be continued; calls for the Paris Agreement and its 1.5 ℃ goal to become one of the main guiding principles of trade policy, to which all trade initiatives and their policy tools must be adjusted, by including it in, inter alia, free trade agreements (FTAs) as an essential element; is convinced that such a purpose-built trade policy can be an important driver in steering economies towards decarbonisation in order to achieve the climate objectives set in the Paris Agreement and the European Green Deal; emphasises that, as a result of the EU’s increased level of ambition on climate change, the risk of carbon leakage could increase; urges the Commission to ensure full carbon-leakage protection in all its policies, while taking into account the competitiveness of European industry and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs); notes that, while the Union had reduced its domestic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 23.2 % below 1990 levels in 2018, its GHG emissions embedded in international trade have been constantly rising; underlines that the net imports of goods and services into the EU represent more than 20 % of the Union’s domestic CO2 emissions;

2. Supports, in the absence of a global carbon price and a multilateral solution, the Commission’s intention to propose a fair and transparent, efficient and market-based EU carbon border adjustment mechanism (CBAM) on condition that it is compatible with and WTO rules and EU FTAs (by being non-discriminatory and not constituting a disguised restriction on international trade), and that it is proportionate, based on the polluter pays principle and fit for purpose in effectively delivering the EU’s climate objectives; considers that a CBAM must apply to goods from all third countries which are not yet part of an effective carbon pricing scheme, or equivalent measures with similar goals and costs to those of the EU Emissions Trading System (EU-ETS), to avoid any discrimination based on origin, and that costs for less ambitious carbon pricing must be deductible from the CBAM;

3. Is convinced that the objective of a CBAM should be avoiding the risk of carbon leakage for the EU and therefore contributing to the overall objective of reducing global emissions and helping the EU to meet its commitments; highlights the fact that an EU CBAM is exclusively designed to further climate objectives, as well as to reduce the risk of carbon leakage, and that this should be done in a proportional and balanced way, be evidence-based and must not be misused as a tool to enhance protectionism, unjustifiable discrimination or restrictions in an already burdened global landscape of international trade; calls for excessive bureaucracy to be avoided in this context; notes that one of the consequences of the measure will be preventing the risk of shifting production outside the EU, as such relocation could nullify the EU’s efforts to reduce emissions and to promote the EU’s international environmental protection policies;

4. Notes that, in order to be compatible with WTO rules, the provisions of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), such as Article I (the principle of most-favoured nation treatment), Article III (the national treatment principle) and, if necessary, Article XX (general exceptions) could be the basis for any CBAM design and its only rationale should be strictly an environmental one – reducing global CO2 emissions and preventing carbon leakage;

5. Calls for thorough impact assessments to be submitted by mid-2021, together with the legislative proposal, for the utmost transparency, and for incentives to be provided for cooperation, as well as engagement, with the WTO and EU’s trading partners, in coordination with the European Parliament; notes that the impact assessment must be conducted with the goal of reducing the risk of carbon leakage and, consequently, of total global emissions; therefore asks the Commission to include the following aspects in the impact assessment:

a. the effects of CBAM on sustainable innovation and changes in trade flows and supply chains;

b. an assessment of the added value of CBAM compared to alternative options;

c. possible pilot sectors for early implementation in which the carbon contents of goods are easily identifiable;

d. the possible impact on EU industry that could result from a mechanism centred solely on basic materials that could lead to a shift in imports towards intermediate and final products not covered by the mechanism, in particular if the mechanism replaces existing carbon leakage measures;

e. whether and how the power sector should be included in the specific case of imports of high-carbon electricity;

f.  the possible effects on EU companies, especially SMEs, in terms of global competition if products are affected by higher prices for their components;

g. an analysis of a combination of key variables, including the sectors, countries and GHG emissions included in CBAM, and their relationship to existing carbon leakage measures;

h. special consideration for least developed and developing countries to make sure that a CBAM does not have a negative effect on their development;

6. Notes that the impact assessment must carefully consider how the CBAM would interact with existing carbon leakage measures under the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS), including whether the current measures or free allowances should be complementary to the CBAM in the initial phase, or whether they should be removed, while avoiding double protection and discrimination against imports, and whether CBAM should be introduced gradually or not, so as to ensure WTO compatibility, while maintaining predictability and stability for EU companies;

7. Stresses that any mechanism must create an incentive for industries in the EU and abroad to produce clean and competitive products, and avoid carbon leakage, without endangering trade opportunities; highlights the role such a mechanism could play, if balanced and appropriately implemented, in energy-intensive industries, such as steel, cement and aluminium, given the trade exposure experienced by those sectors and their participation in the ETS;

8. Notes that CBAM is part of the European Green Deal and a tool to achieve the EU’s goal of no net emissions of GHG in 2050; notes that the most carbon- and trade-intensive industrial sectors could potentially be impacted by the CBAM, either directly or indirectly, and that they should be consulted throughout the process; notes further that CBAM could influence supply chains in such a way that they would internalise carbon costs; stresses that any CBAM should be easy to administer and not place an undue financial and administrative burden on enterprises, especially SMEs;

9. Calls for the CBAM revenues to be used to support global and European climate action; suggests that the revenue must be reinvested in the EU budget for the purposes of research, innovation and the development of carbon-neutral technologies in support of industry’s sustainable transition, and in climate aid to ensure WTO compatibility;

10. Expresses its deep concern over the erosion of the multilateral trading system; calls on the Commission to actively engage with trade partners’ governments to ensure a continued dialogue on this initiative, thereby providing incentives for climate action both within the Union and by its trading partners; underlines that trade policy can and should be used to promote a positive environmental agenda and to avoid major differences in the levels of environmental ambition between the EU and the rest of the world, and that a CBAM should be designed as an action complementing actions under the trade and sustainable development chapters of the EU’s FTAs; underlines that global action which makes the CBAM redundant must be the final goal of the initiative, as the rest of the world catches up with the level of ambition the EU has set for reducing CO2 emissions; is therefore of the view that CBAM should be regarded as a means to help the acceleration of this process and not as a means of protectionism; expects the Commission to initiate negotiations on a global approach within the framework of the WTO or the G20;

11. Calls for a calculation method for carbon contents that does not discriminate between EU and third-country producers, and that comes as close as possible to the real carbon content of the goods concerned; notes the difficulties related to calculations of the carbon content of products from the EU Member States and third countries, and calls for continuous efforts to ensure the comparability of the carbon content of products; highlights that technology for the tracing and tracking of the carbon content and performance of complex products could be helpful in the enforcement of a CBAM for those products; notes that the CBAM must create incentives for countries and producers to share information on carbon pricing and on products’ carbon content;

12. Considers that international trade and trade policy are key enablers of the transition towards a climate-neutral, resource-efficient, circular global economy and, as such, support the global efforts towards the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement; considers that there is an urgent need to pursue a comprehensive reform of the WTO, enabling it to guarantee fair trade, while at the same time combating global warming; notes that the GATT rules date back to 1947 and is of the view that they need to be rethought in the present context of climate crisis; expects the Commission to take urgent initiatives for WTO reform in order to achieve compatibility with the climate objectives; calls on the Commission to intensify its efforts to achieve global CO2 pricing and to facilitate trade in climate and environmental protection technologies, for example through trade policy initiatives such as the WTO Environmental Goods Agreement.

 

INFORMATION ON ADOPTION IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

Date adopted

10.12.2020

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

34

2

5

Members present for the final vote

Barry Andrews, Anna-Michelle Asimakopoulou, Tiziana Beghin, Geert Bourgeois, Udo Bullmann, Jordi Cañas, Daniel Caspary, Miroslav Číž, Arnaud Danjean, Paolo De Castro, Emmanouil Fragkos, Raphaël Glucksmann, Enikő Győri, Roman Haider, Christophe Hansen, Heidi Hautala, Danuta Maria Hübner, Herve Juvin, Karin Karlsbro, Maximilian Krah, Danilo Oscar Lancini, Bernd Lange, Margarida Marques, Gabriel Mato, Sara Matthieu, Emmanuel Maurel, Carles Puigdemont i Casamajó, Samira Rafaela, Inma Rodríguez-Piñero, Massimiliano Salini, Helmut Scholz, Sven Simon, Dominik Tarczyński, Mihai Tudose, Kathleen Van Brempt, Marie-Pierre Vedrenne, Jörgen Warborn, Jan Zahradil

Substitutes present for the final vote

Marco Campomenosi, Nicola Danti, Manuela Ripa

 

FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

34

+

PPE

Anna-Michelle Asimakopoulou, Daniel Caspary, Arnaud Danjean, Enikő Győri, Christophe Hansen, Danuta Maria Hübner, Gabriel Mato, Massimiliano Salini, Sven Simon, Jörgen Warborn

S&D

Udo Bullmann, Miroslav Číž, Paolo De Castro, Raphaël Glucksmann, Bernd Lange, Margarida Marques, Inma Rodríguez-Piñero, Mihai Tudose, Kathleen Van Brempt

RENEW

Barry Andrews, Jordi Cañas, Karin Karlsbro, Samira Rafaela, Nicola Danti, Marie-Pierre Vedrenne

ID

Herve Juvin, Danilo Oscar Lancini, Marco Campomenosi

VERTS/ALE

Manuela Ripa, Heidi Hautala, Sara Matthieu

ECR

Emmanouil Fragkos

NI

Tiziana Beghin, Carles Puigdemont i Casamajó

 

2

ID

Roman Haider, Maximilian Krah

 

5

0

ECR

Geert Bourgeois, Dominik Tarczynski, Jan Zahradil

GUE/NGL

Emmanuel Maurel, Helmut Scholz

 

Key to symbols:

+ : in favour

 : against

0 : abstention

 

 

OPINION OF THE COMMITTEE ON ECONOMIC AND MONETARY AFFAIRS (11.12.2020)

for the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety

towards a WTO-compatible EU carbon border adjustment mechanism

(2020/2043(INI))

Rapporteur for opinion (*): Luis Garicano

 

(*) Associated committee – Rule 57 of the Rules of Procedure

 

 

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs calls on the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions into its motion for a resolution:

1. Believes that the main aim of the carbon border adjustment mechanism (CBAM) should be to fight climate change and support the EU’s climate objectives by addressing the risk of carbon leakage and providing incentives to investment in green and energy-efficient technology at EU and global level, thereby contributing to the global reduction in greenhouse gas emissions; believes that the ultimate aim should be to work towards an effective global climate policy;

2. Considers that the recently adopted European Green Deal objective of achieving climate neutrality by 2050, the target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 60 % by 2030 agreed by Parliament, as well as the Union’s international engagements under the Paris Agreement, will require significant decarbonisation efforts at the EU level, leading to an increase in the carbon price paid by domestic producers under the EU emissions trading system (EU ETS), likely well beyond the current price; considers, therefore, that in the absence of a global price on carbon emissions, the risk of carbon leakage might intensify; welcomes, in that context, the Council and the Commission’s commitment to implement a WTO-compatible carbon border adjustment mechanism which would ensure that the price of imports reflects their carbon content, helping to level the playing field between domestic and foreign producers and thereby assure that the EU’s climate objectives are not undermined by the relocation of production and by increased imports from countries with less ambitious climate policies, which would in turn help to ensure a just transition;

3. Notes that the Commission is currently assessing all the different options for the introduction of a carbon border adjustment mechanism, ranging from tax instruments to mechanisms relying on the EU ETS; highlights that an excise duty (or tax) on the carbon content of all consumed products, both domestic and imported, would not fully address the risk of carbon leakage, would be technically challenging given the complexity of tracing carbon in global value chains and might place a significant burden on consumers; considers that in order to address the risk of carbon leakage while complying with WTO rules, the CBAM needs to charge for the carbon content of imports in a way that mirrors the carbon costs paid by EU producers; believes, in that regard, that the mechanism should ensure a single carbon price, both for domestic producers and importers, in order to comply with the WTO principle of non-discrimination; is of the opinion that the option which best mirrors the carbon cost paid by EU producers, ensuring automatic price adjustment and compliance with the non-discrimination principle, is a mechanism based on the EU ETS; encourages the Commission therefore to implement a system that would require importers to purchase allowances for the volume of carbon emissions incorporated in their products; considers that this could be achieved through the creation of a specific pool of allowances for imports linked to ETS prices (a notional ETS) or through the incorporation of importers into the existing EU ETS pool of allowances; notes that the latter might entail additional technical challenges, such as ensuring price stability (which could potentially be addressed by increasing the existing cap to an appropriate level and making use of the market stability reserve) and introducing safeguards to avoid the risk of potential market interference; acknowledges that a fixed duty or tax on imports could be a simple tool to give a strong and stable environmental price signal for imported carbon; believes, however, that given its fixed nature, such a tax would be a less flexible tool to mirror the evolving price of the EU ETS; stresses that, in practice, an evolving tax that automatically mirrors the price of the EU ETS would be equivalent to a notional ETS; acknowledges that, should the CBAM be of a fiscal nature, there is a possibility that a mechanism based on Article 192(2) of the TFEU would be introduced; insists that the primary aim of the CBAM is environmental and thus environmental criteria should play an essential role in the choice of instrument; stresses that in line with this goal, the selected instrument needs to ensure a predictable and sufficiently high carbon price that incentivises decarbonisation investments in order to fulfil the aims of the Paris Agreement;

4. Considers that the CBAM should ideally apply to any import (from raw materials to intermediate or end products) with basic materials covered by the EU ETS embedded in it, in order to avoid distortions between products in the internal market and along the value chain; acknowledges the technical difficulties of covering all basic materials covered by the EU ETS as early as 2023 and understands that sectors deemed to be at highest risk of carbon leakage might be prioritised in the initial stage; warns the Commission, nevertheless, about the potential damage to EU industries if not all EU ETS sectors are covered and calls on it to propose the broadest sectoral scope possible; urges the Commission, should it take a step-by-step approach, to include a binding calendar for broadening the coverage of the CBAM;

5. Considers that, ideally, the CBAM should measure as precisely as possible the carbon content of imports under its scope; recommends, nevertheless, that a feasible design be introduced that objectively measures the carbon content of each import based on its basic material composition (as outlined in the proposal from the European Economic and Social Committee); recalls that this approximation would weigh each basic material covered by the EU ETS and multiply it by a default carbon intensity value; stresses, however, that importers should have the option to prove, in accordance with EU standards for monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) of the EU ETS, that the carbon content of their products is lower than those values, and avail of a payable amount adapted accordingly, to encourage innovation and investment in sustainable technologies across the world; considers that this should not impose a disproportionate burden on SMEs; highlights that the implementation of the mechanism will need to be underpinned by a set of EU standards that will prevent it from being circumvented or misused, and will require strong independent infrastructure in order to be administered;

6. Proposes that the implementation of the CBAM trigger the gradual phasing-out of the free allocation of allowances until they are completely eliminated, following an appropriate transition period, since this mechanism should ensure that EU producers and importers have to pay the same carbon costs in the EU market; highlights the need for a phasing-out of free allowances during a transition period compatible with a predictable timeline; believes that the transition period should provide regulatory certainty to resource- and energy-intensive industries; stresses that there should be no double protection and that the mechanism needs to be WTO-compatible; believes that for that purpose, the CBAM should deduct the value of free allowances from the payable amount charged to importers, so that the CBAM and free allowances can coexist without resulting in double compensation and while remaining WTO-compliant; notes that this phasing-out should be accompanied by the introduction of support measures for exports that would remain WTO-compliant and consistent with the EU’s environmental objectives; calls on the Commission to assess the introduction of partial export rebates based on the existing benchmark logic of most-carbon-efficient producers, not refunding more than the current level of free allowances, in order to maintain strong decarbonisation incentives while ensuring a level playing field for EU exports;

7. Stresses that the CBAM should ensure that importers from third countries are not charged twice for the carbon content of their products to ensure they are treated on an equal footing and without discrimination; calls on the Commission to assess carefully the impact of the different CBAM options on least-developed countries;

8. Calls for the proceeds of the CBAM to be considered EU revenues;

9. Believes that the above proposal provides a strong basis for compatibility with WTO rules, since it does not discriminate between producers and importers (nor among them), is based on transparent and science-based objective criteria and fulfils its primary objective of protecting the environment and health; calls on the Commission to engage in bilateral and multilateral discussions with trade partners to ease the implementation of the CBAM and avoid retaliation; insists on advancing the Commission’s work on environmental sustainability in the WTO to bring international trade law in line with the climate objectives of the Paris agreement; calls on the Commission to involve Parliament at all stages of the development process of the CBAM; calls for the establishment of a monitoring mechanism and review process in which Parliament is involved to the fullest extent.

INFORMATION ON ADOPTION IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

Date adopted

10.12.2020

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

39

7

8

Members present for the final vote

Gunnar Beck, Marek Belka, Isabel Benjumea Benjumea, Stefan Berger, Gilles Boyer, Francesca Donato, Derk Jan Eppink, Engin Eroglu, Jonás Fernández, Raffaele Fitto, Frances Fitzgerald, José Manuel García-Margallo y Marfil, Sven Giegold, Valentino Grant, Claude Gruffat, José Gusmão, Enikő Győri, Danuta Maria Hübner, Othmar Karas, Billy Kelleher, Aurore Lalucq, Philippe Lamberts, Aušra Maldeikienė, Pedro Marques, Jörg Meuthen, Csaba Molnár, Siegfried Mureşan, Caroline Nagtegaal, Luděk Niedermayer, Lefteris Nikolaou-Alavanos, Lídia Pereira, Kira Marie Peter-Hansen, Sirpa Pietikäinen, Dragoș Pîslaru, Antonio Maria Rinaldi, Joachim Schuster, Ralf Seekatz, Pedro Silva Pereira, Paul Tang, Irene Tinagli, Ernest Urtasun, Inese Vaidere, Johan Van Overtveldt, Stéphanie Yon-Courtin, Marco Zanni, Roberts Zīle

Substitutes present for the final vote

Marc Angel, Manon Aubry, Gabriele Bischoff, Damien Carême, Eugen Jurzyca, Chris MacManus, Margarida Marques, Andreas Schwab

 

FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

39

+

GUE/NGL

Manon Aubry, José Gusmão

PPE

Isabel Benjumea Benjumea, Stefan Berger, Frances Fitzgerald, José Manuel García Margallo y Marfil, Danuta Maria Hübner, Othmar Karas, Aušra Maldeikienė, Siegfried Mureşan, Luděk Niedermayer, Lídia Pereira, Sirpa Pietikäinen, Andreas Schwab, Ralf Seekatz, Inese Vaidere

Renew

Gilles Boyer, Engin Eroglu, Billy Kelleher, Dragoș Pîslaru, Stéphanie Yon Courtin

S&D

Marc Angel, Marek Belka, Gabriele Bischoff, Jonás Fernández, Aurore Lalucq, Margarida Marques, Pedro Marques, Csaba Molnár, Joachim Schuster, Pedro Silva Pereira, Paul Tang, Irene Tinagli

Verts/ALE

Damien Carême, Sven Giegold, Claude Gruffat, Philippe Lamberts, Kira Marie Peter Hansen, Ernest Urtasun

 

7

ECR

Derk Jan Eppink, Eugen Jurzyca, Roberts Zīle

ID

Gunnar Beck, Jörg Meuthen

NI

Lefteris Nikolaou Alavanos

PPE

Enikő Győri

 

8

0

ECR

Raffaele Fitto, Johan Van Overtveldt

GUE/NGL

Chris MacManus

ID

Francesca Donato, Valentino Grant, Antonio Maria Rinaldi, Marco Zanni

Renew

Caroline Nagtegaal

 

Key to symbols:

+ : in favour

 : against

0 : abstention

 

 

OPINION OF THE COMMITTEE ON BUDGETS (11.12.2020)

for the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety

on Towards a WTO-compatible EU carbon border adjustment mechanism

(2020/2043(INI))

Rapporteur for opinion: Elisabetta Gualmini

 

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on Budgets calls on the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions into its motion for a resolution:

1. Recalls that a carbon border adjustment mechanism (CBAM) has long been a candidate for a genuine, green source of own revenue in the EU budget, and was among the ‘basket’ of preferred options for new own resources in Parliament’s legislative resolution of 16 September 2020[10];

2. Acknowledges that the primary purposes of the CBAM must be to protect the climate, mitigate the carbon leakage dilemma, provide a level playing field for decarbonisation costs, and increase demand for low-carbon products and processes, as well as to prevent distortions to competition and trade, and to safeguard the competitiveness of EU industries; stresses that the CBAM will help the EU to meet its climate targets while ensuring a level playing field in international trade, reducing off-shoring of production to third countries with less ambitious environmental regulations, and respecting the ‘polluter pays’ principle, with the aim of galvanising the rest of the world into taking climate action in line with the Paris Agreement and the European Green Deal; believes that the eventual outcome of the introduction of a CBAM would be more innovation and investments in greener technologies; highlights, moreover, the necessity for the CBAM to be designed with the highest environmental integrity in mind;

3. Calls on the Commission to conduct a thorough impact assessment of the different designs for the implementation of the CBAM before presenting a legislative proposal; calls for this impact assessment to from the beginning take into account different scenarios, such as the possibility of covering all present and prospective emissions trading system (ETS) sectors, and the specific characteristics of the sectors that could be covered by the mechanism; considers it indispensable for the assessment to evaluate the impact of different designs on their capability to reduce GHG emissions, their economic and social consequences on the EU industrial sector, with specific regard to SMEs, the competitiveness of EU exporters, and possible counter measures by third countries and their suppliers towards EU industries; believes, at the same time, that in order to maintain strong decarbonisation incentives and to ensure a level playing field for EU goods in third markets, the impact assessment should also examine the merits and likely consequences of export rebates (including if phased in) in the sectors covered and not covered by the CBAM, as well as their complementarity with the carbon leakage measures under the ETS scheme; stresses the importance of assessing the impacts of each option on the living standards of consumers, especially those belonging to more vulnerable groups, as well as their impact on revenue; calls on the Commission to also include in the impact assessment the consequences for the EU budget of the revenue generated from the CBAM as an own resource, depending on the design and modalities chosen;

4. Underlines the importance of avoiding distortions to the internal market, as well as protectionist measures against the EU; notes that the EU’s higher ambition on climate change leads to an increased risk of carbon leakage, due to the lower environmental standards and lack of ambitious climate actions in third countries; urges the Commission, therefore, to ensure full carbon leakage protection in all its policies accordingly; suggests a World Trade Organization-compatible, non-discriminatory and progressive mechanism, and strongly encourages the Commission to remain open to a multilateral approach that can contribute effectively to global climate actions in line with the Paris Agreement, and that could avoid retaliation against the EU economy; urges the Commission, at the same time, to pursue multilateral WTO reforms that bring international trade law in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement; considers that – given the global pandemic and ensuing economic crises – it becomes all the more indispensable to develop international policies which can reconcile climate action imperatives with industrial competitiveness and fair trade;

5. Acknowledges that the CBAM could be implemented either as an extension of the current regime of customs duties or as a complementary scheme within the existing ETS framework; emphasises that both approaches could be entirely consistent with an own resources initiative; highlights that the latter model, centralised according to ETS standards for sectors, materials and carbon prices, would facilitate the establishment of equivalent levels of carbon pricing on EU and non-EU products, and therefore guarantee a fair level playing field in international trade, and compatibility with WTO law, and specifically with Article III of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT); points out that, while the final mechanism should eventually cover as wide a range of imports as possible, the initial CBAM design could be limited to certain sectors of the economy, chosen on the basis of the impact assessment;

6. Recalls that Parliament, the Council and the Commission agreed to the creation of new own resources, including the CBAM, during the next multiannual financial framework (MFF) in the Interinstitutional Agreement on budgetary discipline, on cooperation in budgetary matters and on sound financial management, as well as on new own resources, including a roadmap towards the introduction of new own resources (IIA); stresses that assigning the financial flows generated by the CBAM to the EU budget would help to mitigate issues of fiscal equivalence, and ensure a fairly distributed impact across Member States, as well as ensuring a lean structure with minimal administrative overhead costs; concludes, therefore, that defining the proceeds as an EU own resource would reduce the share of GNI-based contributions in the financing of the EU budget, and would thus help to mutualise the impact of the CBAM in a fair way across all Member States; considers that any savings at national level due to lower GNI-contributions will increase Member States’ fiscal space; stresses that the implementation of the mechanism should be accompanied by the removal of environmentally harmful subsidies granted to energy-intensive industries, in particular tax exemptions and breaks on energy used by energy-intensive industries;

7. Welcomes the fact that if the CBAM becomes a basis for an own resource according to the IIA, it will bring the revenue side of the EU budget into closer alignment with strategic policy objectives such as the European Green Deal, the fight against climate change, the circular economy and the just transition, and thereby help to generate co-benefits, incentives and EU added value; considers that CBAM revenues would be, by their nature and origin, strictly linked to climate policies, external borders and trade policy at the EU level, and would therefore constitute a highly suitable basis for an EU own resource; stresses that the revenues generated from the CBAM would thus not be used, for reasons of environmental integrity, to subsidise policies or actions which run counter to the Paris Agreement and the objectives of the European Green Deal;

8. Underlines that the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions content of imports concerned should be accounted for on the basis of transparent and reliable product-specific benchmarks representing the global average GHG emissions content of individual products, while taking into account different production methods with varying emission intensities; considers that the carbon pricing of imports should also take into account the country-specific carbon intensity of the electricity grid;

9. Takes note of various prudent revenue estimates, ranging from EUR 5 to 14 billion per year, depending on the scope and design of the new instrument; highlights the fact that the EU budget is in any event uniquely suited to absorbing revenue fluctuations or even long-term regressive effects;

10. Is determined to ensure that the CBAM-based own resource will be part of a basket of own resources sufficient to cover the level of overall expected expenditure for the repayment costs of the principal and interests of the borrowing incurred under the Next Generation EU instrument, while respecting the principle of universality; recalls moreover, that any surplus from the repayment plan must still remain in the EU budget as general revenue; underlines that any earmarking of CBAM revenues would contravene the IIA, the Own Resources Decision and the Financial Regulation;

11. Stresses that the introduction of a basket of new own resources, as provided for in the Roadmap towards the introduction of New Own Resources under the Interinstitutional Agreement, could facilitate a better focus of expenditure at Union level on priority areas and common public goods with high efficiency gains compared to national spending; recalls that any failure to respect the terms agreed in the IIA by one of the three institutions could expose it to a legal challenge by the others;

12. Calls on the institutions to follow up actively in the spirit and letter of the Roadmap for the introduction of New Own Resources under the Inter-institutional Agreement, which prescribes that this new own resource is to enter into force at the latest by 1 January 2023.

INFORMATION ON ADOPTION IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

Date adopted

10.12.2020

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

33

2

4

Members present for the final vote

Rasmus Andresen, Robert Biedroń, Anna Bonfrisco, Olivier Chastel, Lefteris Christoforou, David Cormand, Paolo De Castro, José Manuel Fernandes, Eider Gardiazabal Rubial, Vlad Gheorghe, Elisabetta Gualmini, Francisco Guerreiro, Valérie Hayer, Eero Heinäluoma, Niclas Herbst, Monika Hohlmeier, Moritz Körner, Joachim Kuhs, Zbigniew Kuźmiuk, Ioannis Lagos, Hélène Laporte, Pierre Larrouturou, Janusz Lewandowski, Margarida Marques, Siegfried Mureşan, Victor Negrescu, Andrey Novakov, Jan Olbrycht, Dimitrios Papadimoulis, Bogdan Rzońca, Nicolae Ştefănuță, Nils Torvalds, Nils Ušakovs, Johan Van Overtveldt, Rainer Wieland, Angelika Winzig

Substitutes present for the final vote

Herbert Dorfmann, Niclas Herbst, Petros Kokkalis

 

 

FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

33

+

Greens/EFA

Rasmus Andresen, Damian Boeselager, David Cormand, Francisco Guerreiro

GUE/NGL

Petros Kokkalis, Dimitrios Papadimoulis

ID

Hélène Laporte

PPE

Lefteris Christoforou, Herbert Dorfmann, José Manuel Fernandes, Niclas Herbst, Monika Hohlmeier, Janusz Lewandowski, Siegfried Mureşan, Andrey Novakov, Jan Olbrycht, Rainer Wieland, Angelika Winzig

Renew

Olivier Chastel, Vlad Gheorghe, Valérie Hayer, Moritz Körner, Nicolae Ştefănuță, Nils Torvalds

S&D

Robert Biedroń, Paolo De Castro, Eider Gardiazabal Rubial, Elisabetta Gualmini, Eero Heinäluoma, Pierre Larrouturou, Margarida Marques, Victor Negrescu, Nils Ušakovs

 

2

ID

Joachim Kuhs

NI

Ioannis Lagos

 

4

0

ECR

Zbigniew Kuźmiuk, Bogdan Rzońca, Johan Van Overtveldt

ID

Anna Bonfrisco

 

Key to symbols:

+ : in favour

 : against

0 : abstention

 

 

OPINION OF THE COMMITTEE ON INDUSTRY, RESEARCH AND ENERGY (17.12.2020)

for the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety

towards a WTO-compatible EU carbon border adjustment mechanism

(2020/2043(INI))

Rapporteur for opinion: Jens Geier

 

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on Industry, Research and Energy calls on the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions into its motion for a resolution:

A. whereas Article XX of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) allows World Trade Organization (WTO) members to implement measures that are necessary to protect human, animal or plant life or health (b), or natural resources (g);

1. Welcomes the Paris Agreement as an international commitment to fight climate change and underlines the necessity of conducting a thorough evaluation of the compatibility of all international rulebooks with these climate goals; notes that the EU is responsible for 9 % of global greenhouse gas emission levels and is the third-biggest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world; also notes with concern the lack of sufficiently ambitious international climate efforts and measures to implement the decisions made under this agreement, as well as the withdrawal of the USA from it;

2. Welcomes the European efforts in this regard, such as the introduction of the European Green Deal and the goal to achieve a cost-efficient, just, socially balanced and fair transition leading to climate neutrality by 2050 at the latest; stresses the need to uphold a 60 % reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, while making sure that the polluter-pays principle is consistently applied;

3. Believes that asymmetric climate protection measures are not sufficient to combat climate change; underlines that trade policy can and should be used to promote a positive environmental agenda whilst maintaining the EU’s competitiveness, and to address major differences in environmental ambition between the EU and the rest of the world; believes furthermore that a WTO-compatible EU carbon border adjustment mechanism (‘the mechanism’) can incentivise low-emission imports and the creation of low-emission technologies and products in the EU, leading to an urgently needed reduction of EU imported emissions; considers that the mechanism could lead to an increase in international efforts to combat climate change and could be a first step towards international carbon pricing if implemented in a proportional and balanced way; states further that the mechanism should lead to the creation of a virtuous circle to combat climate change on an international level, e.g. by making it part of the negotiations for multilateral environmental agreements;

4. Notes that the EU is the world’s largest carbon importer and that the carbon content of exported goods from the EU is well below the carbon content of imported goods; deduces that European efforts to combat climate change are greater than the average international effort; highlights that in order to measure the overall climate impact of the Union, a solid reporting method is needed that takes into account the emissions of imported goods and services to the EU;

5. Emphasises that the main goal of the mechanism is to facilitate the achievement of carbon neutrality and to incentivise international efforts to combat climate change; underlines that the mechanism should enable European industry to contribute substantially to the EU’s climate goals and third countries to contribute substantially to international climate goals by fostering substantial efforts to decarbonise manufacturing processes, and underlines at the same time that this should create a level playing field for European industry; points furthermore to the need to consider the emissions resulting from the transport of imports when calculating carbon content pricing; considers it necessary for the scope of the mechanism to cover as large a part of the carbon footprint of a product as possible, i.e. through the inclusion of emissions from energy in production and ultimately along the value chain while not causing internal market distortions, notably on downstream markets;

6. Stresses that sufficient international climate efforts, such as robust, widespread and consistent international carbon pricing and fully competitive low-emission technologies, products and production processes will render the mechanism obsolete over time; considers that climate change is a global problem that requires global solutions, and therefore believes that the EU should continue to support the establishment of a global framework for CO2 pricing in line with Article 6 of the Paris Agreement; encourages the Commission to design the mechanism with a clear and ambitious timeline for its implementation and evolution; recalls that some technical solutions for mitigating CO2 are still at the pilot stage and thus calls on the Commission to continue efforts to develop them further; calls further on the Commission to ensure targeted and timely carbon leakage protection for all sectors considered to be at risk; calls finally on the Commission to design the mechanism as part of a comprehensive and long-term oriented policy package that is consistent with achieving a highly energy- and resource-efficient, net-zero greenhouse gas economy by 2050 at the latest;

7. Underlines further that the mechanism should be part of a wider set of policies and complementary measures with goals to enable and promote investments in low-carbon industrial processes, reduce the emission intensity of industry and incentivise energy efficiency measures and the use of renewable energies; states that the mechanism needs to be accompanied by an industrial policy that is environmentally ambitious, economically sound, socially fair and strengthens resilience and global competitiveness; suggests further to support the renovation of building stock, the substitution of raw construction materials, the implementation of the Just Transition Mechanism and incentives to purchase low-carbon materials through public procurement, as well as strong public innovation policies excluding support for fossil lock-in technologies; stresses the need to consider the complementary role of improved product standards in line with the EU Circular Economy Action Plan;

8. Recalls the results achieved by the Union through the rules on product requirements and labelling, which were able to stimulate responsible consumption, engage European citizens, and support industrial competitiveness and innovation; calls on the Commission to explore analogous product policies that could push forward new standards and create lead markets for low-carbon, resource-efficient products and technologies with a view to securing the transition to a sustainable economy and helping to guarantee that product use has minimal negative environmental impacts;

9. Emphasises that asymmetrical climate actions worldwide, and more specifically the lack of ambitious climate actions by European trading partners, could increase the risk of carbon leakage, leading to an increase in global emissions and a competitive disadvantage on international markets for European industry, and that they hence could put at risk European jobs and value chains; stresses that European industry is suffering increased economic pressure due to cheap imports from trading partners and the COVID-19 crisis; thus urges the Commission to ensure more targeted and effective climate and carbon-leakage protection in the design of the mechanism;

10. Stresses that preventing the risk of carbon leakage goes hand in hand with preserving EU industrial competitiveness and avoiding emission transfers to third countries via the reallocation of industrial activities, investments and jobs; highlights that activities taken in order to prevent any risk of carbon leakage should be consistent with climate goals; stresses that strategic sectors are particularly exposed in terms of impact on their output and investment capacity; underlines the need to assess the possible risks of extra-EU industrial delocalisation and outsourcing; points furthermore to the need to create incentives for third-country governments and exporters to reduce their emissions;

11. Recalls that the EU’s climate policy, industrial policy and the goal to maintain and increase sustainable economic growth must go hand in hand; stresses that any mechanism must be embedded in our industrial strategy, creating an incentive for industries to produce clean and competitive products;

12. Suggests a progressive and sector-specific mechanism that first includes, after a thorough impact assessment, sectors with the highest carbon content and trade intensity, such as the energy-intensive steel, cement and aluminium industries, the power sector and the plastics, chemicals and fertiliser industries, before being enlarged over time; believes that such a design could reduce international retaliation and serve as a test phase for European industry; stresses however that this should not lead to internal market distortions or excessive administrative burden, which could limit fair, open and rule-based market competition and have a particularly adverse effect on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), or become a tool for protectionism;

Trade aspects

13. Emphasises that European industry, including SMEs, should have the possibility to access the global supply chain and global markets to remain competitive; expresses its deep concern over the effect of the erosion of the multilateral trading system, increased trade barriers and trade conflicts on the European trade balance; insists that the mechanism be designed in a way that reduces the risk of renewed trade disputes; therefore calls on the Commission to take a multilateral approach, without prejudice to the mechanism’s effectiveness, through continued dialogues with its international trading partners, especially with those with different approaches to climate protection, with the aim to avoid possible international retaliation measures against the EU;

14. Urges the Commission to make the mechanism non-discriminatory and compatible with the WTO acquis and provisions in the EU’s trade agreements, preferably by using Articles XX(b) and (g) of the GATT Agreement; encourages the Commission to ensure a level playing field in international trade, bearing in mind the EU’s status as the world’s largest trading block; stresses that due respect must be paid to the principles of a free and fair global market;

15. Calls on the Commission to continue promoting a global framework for CO2 pricing and facilitating trade in climate and environmental protection technologies, for instance through trade policy initiatives such as the WTO Environmental Goods Agreement; stresses that the Union can play a pioneering role by including ambitious energy and sustainability chapters in its trade agreements;

Methodology

16. Underlines that a properly functioning mechanism should ensure the reduction of emissions imported into the EU and provide the most effective climate protection against the risk of carbon leakage while respecting WTO rules; stresses that the mechanism should be designed in way that ensures its effective and simple application and at the same time prevents circumventing behaviour such as resource shuffling or the import of semi-finished or end products not covered under the mechanism;

17. Believes that the actual carbon content of imported goods should be taken into account in the calculation method to the maximum extent possible, while not causing additional difficulties and disadvantages for European industry; notes the difficulties in gathering verified and reliable data on the carbon content of end or intermediate products due to international value chains; therefore asks the Commission to assess the technical feasibility and availability of reliable data from importers and exporters, e.g. by exploring the potential of advanced technologies like block chain, and to propose solutions if needed; stresses therefore the importance of establishing a thorough monitoring, reporting and verification system in order to evaluate the efficiency of the mechanism; considers that independent third-party verification could be considered a tool to ensure the reliability of the data;

18. Calls on the Commission to provide technical advice and support to industries at home and abroad, especially for SMEs, in setting up reliable greenhouse gas emission accounting systems for imports in order to maintain a strong European industry without causing technical obstacles for trading partners; calls further on the Commission to ensure that importers are allowed to demonstrate the low carbon content of their products, giving them the opportunity to have their carbon payments lowered or be exempted for these products; calls on the Commission to guarantee feasibility and compatibility with the EU emissions trading system;

19. Notes further that in order to prevent unfair competition on the European market, no competitive disadvantages among competing materials should be created by the mechanism; underlines that the most climate-friendly materials should not suffer competitive disadvantages;

20. Believes that the mechanism should take account of the specific situations of least developed countries that have not emitted much historically; stresses that it should not hamper their sustainable development and that their situation should not be further aggravated by relocating polluting industries which are detrimental to the environment and local populations;

21. Calls on the Commission to analyse the possibility of starting to implement the mechanism with a gradual phasing out of free allowances, which would be kept during a transitional phase until the mechanism is fully phased in and efficient; stresses that there should be no double protection and that the mechanism needs to be WTO-compatible;

22. Invites the Commission to assess the possibility of establishing fully WTO-compatible export rebates for the most virtuous industrial actors in terms of carbon efficiency in the design of the mechanism;

23. Underlines that according to its resolution of 14 November 2018 entitled ‘the Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2027 – Parliament’s position with a view to an agreement’[11] and its legislative resolution adopted in plenary on 16 September 2020 on the draft Council decision on the system of own resources of the European Union[12], the resources generated by the mechanism shall be considered European own resources;

24. Calls on the Commission to take into account the social dimension of the mechanism in its upcoming proposal in order to ensure fair burden-sharing; notes that the mechanism could lead to higher product prices for consumers; underlines that consumers, especially those with low incomes, should not suffer from a higher burden on their purchasing power; calls on the Commission and the Member States to assess the potential impacts on living standards, especially of those from vulnerable groups and in Member States that heavily rely on imports from third countries, and to take effective measures to support low-income households and work towards compensating the risk of any rise in the price of imported goods as a result of the implementation of the mechanism;

25. Calls on the Commission to conduct a thorough impact assessment of all the available options for different mechanisms, designs and alternatives before presenting a legislative proposal, in order to evaluate how far they incentivise international climate action and prevent the risk of carbon and investment leakage and to see which instrument achieves the goal of global climate ambition in the most effective way; advises the Commission to make the objective of achieving climate neutrality by 2050 the leading factor in the choice of the form of the mechanism;

26. Calls on the Commission, in its impact assessment, to identify measures for sectors where the risk of carbon leakage is highest while taking into consideration their competitiveness; calls on the Commission to assess the effects of the mechanism on trade partners, including on our neighbouring countries and developing countries; calls further on the Commission to make the results of the impact assessment publicly available as soon as possible, and before the publication of its legislative proposal;

27. Calls for a special evaluation of the impact of the mechanism on SMEs and on competition within the internal market; calls for the creation, if needed, of a support mechanism for SMEs to successfully adjust to the new market reality, thereby preventing them from being victims of unfair practices by larger market players;

28. Emphasises its importance in ensuring the representation of European citizens and their interests are represented and in contributing to the achievement of EU priorities such as climate protection, sustainable growth and international competitiveness; therefore calls on the Commission and the Council to fully involve Parliament, as co-legislator, in the legislative process to establish the mechanism.

 

INFORMATION ON ADOPTION IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

Date adopted

15.12.2020

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

37

32

4

Members present for the final vote

François Alfonsi, Nicola Beer, François-Xavier Bellamy, Hildegard Bentele, Tom Berendsen, Vasile Blaga, Manuel Bompard, Paolo Borchia, Markus Buchheit, Cristian-Silviu Buşoi, Jerzy Buzek, Carlo Calenda, Andrea Caroppo, Maria da Graça Carvalho, Ciarán Cuffe, Nicola Danti, Pilar del Castillo Vera, Christian Ehler, Valter Flego, Niels Fuglsang, Lina Gálvez Muñoz, Claudia Gamon, Jens Geier, Nicolás González Casares, Bart Groothuis, Christophe Grudler, András Gyürk, Henrike Hahn, Robert Hajšel, Ivo Hristov, Ivars Ijabs, Romana Jerković, Eva Kaili, Seán Kelly, Izabela-Helena Kloc, Łukasz Kohut, Zdzisław Krasnodębski, Andrius Kubilius, Miapetra Kumpula-Natri, Thierry Mariani, Eva Maydell, Joëlle Mélin, Iskra Mihaylova, Dan Nica, Angelika Niebler, Ville Niinistö, Aldo Patriciello, Mauri Pekkarinen, Mikuláš Peksa, Tsvetelina Penkova, Morten Petersen, Markus Pieper, Clara Ponsatí Obiols, Jérôme Rivière, Robert Roos, Sara Skyttedal, Maria Spyraki, Jessica Stegrud, Beata Szydło, Riho Terras, Grzegorz Tobiszowski, Patrizia Toia, Evžen Tošenovský, Marie Toussaint, Isabella Tovaglieri, Henna Virkkunen, Pernille Weiss, Carlos Zorrinho

Substitutes present for the final vote

Damien Carême, Eleonora Evi, Klemen Grošelj, Alicia Homs Ginel, Elena Lizzi

 

 

 

FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

37

+

EPP

François-Xavier Bellamy

S&D

Carlo Calenda, Niels Fuglsang, Lina Gálvez Muñoz, Jens Geier, Nicolás González Casares, Robert Hajšel, Alicia Homs Ginel, Ivo Hristov, Romana Jerković, Eva Kaili, Łukasz Kohut, Miapetra Kumpula-Natri, Dan Nica, Tsvetelina Penkova, Patrizia Toia, Carlos Zorrinho

RENEW

Nicola Beer, Nicola Danti, Valter Flego, Claudia Gamon, Klemen Groselj, Christophe Grudler, Ivars Ijabs, Iskra Mihaylova, Mauri Pekkarinen, Morten Petersen

Greens

François Alfonsi, Damien Carême, Ciarán Cuffe, Eleonora Evi, Henrike Hahn, Ville Niinistö, Mikuláš Peksa, Marie Toussaint

GUE

Manuel Bompard

NI

Clara Ponsatí Obiols

 

32

EPP

Hildegard Bentele, Tom Berendsen, Vasile Blaga, Cristian-Silviu Buşoi, Jerzy Buzek, Maria da Graça Carvalho, Pilar Del Castillo Vera, Christian Ehler, András Gyurk, Seán Kelly, Andrius Kubilius, Eva Maydell, Angelika Niebler, Aldo Patriciello, Markus Pieper, Sara Skyttedal, Maria Spyraki, Riho Terras, Henna Virkkunen, Pernille Weiss

ID

Paolo Borchia, Markus Buchheit, Elena Lizzi, Isabella Tovaglieri

ECR

Izabela-Helena Kloc, Zdzisław Krasnodębski, Robert Roos, Jessica Stegrud, Beata Szydło, Grzegorz Tobiszowski, Evžen Tošenovský

NI

Andrea Caroppo

 

4

0

RENEW

Bart Groothuis

ID

Thierry Mariani, Joëlle Mélin, Jérôme Rivière

 

Key to symbols:

+ : in favour

 : against

0 : abstention

 

INFORMATION ON ADOPTION IN COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE

Date adopted

5.2.2021

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

58

8

10

Members present for the final vote

Nikos Androulakis, Margrete Auken, Simona Baldassarre, Marek Paweł Balt, Traian Băsescu, Aurélia Beigneux, Monika Beňová, Sergio Berlato, Alexander Bernhuber, Malin Björk, Simona Bonafè, Delara Burkhardt, Pascal Canfin, Sara Cerdas, Mohammed Chahim, Tudor Ciuhodaru, Nathalie Colin-Oesterlé, Esther de Lange, Christian Doleschal, Marco Dreosto, Bas Eickhout, Cyrus Engerer, Eleonora Evi, Agnès Evren, Pietro Fiocchi, Andreas Glück, Catherine Griset, Jytte Guteland, Teuvo Hakkarainen, Martin Hojsík, Pär Holmgren, Jan Huitema, Yannick Jadot, Adam Jarubas, Karin Karlsbro, Petros Kokkalis, Joanna Kopcińska, Ryszard Antoni Legutko, Javi López, César Luena, Fulvio Martusciello, Liudas Mažylis, Joëlle Mélin, Tilly Metz, Silvia Modig, Dolors Montserrat, Alessandra Moretti, Dan-Ştefan Motreanu, Ljudmila Novak, Grace O’Sullivan, Jutta Paulus, Stanislav Polčák, Jessica Polfjärd, Luisa Regimenti, Frédérique Ries, María Soraya Rodríguez Ramos, Rob Rooken, Silvia Sardone, Christine Schneider, Günther Sidl, Ivan Vilibor Sinčić, Linea Søgaard-Lidell, Nicolae Ştefănuță, Nils Torvalds, Edina Tóth, Véronique Trillet-Lenoir, Petar Vitanov, Alexandr Vondra, Mick Wallace, Pernille Weiss, Michal Wiezik, Tiemo Wölken, Anna Zalewska

Substitutes present for the final vote

Manuel Bompard, István Ujhelyi, Inese Vaidere

 

FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE

58

+

NI

Ivan Vilibor Sinčić

PPE

Traian Băsescu, Alexander Bernhuber, Nathalie Colin-Oesterlé, Christian Doleschal, Agnès Evren, Adam Jarubas, Fulvio Martusciello, Liudas Mažylis, Dolors Montserrat, Dan-Ştefan Motreanu, Ljudmila Novak, Stanislav Polčák, Jessica Polfjärd, Christine Schneider, Edina Tóth, Inese Vaidere, Pernille Weiss, Michal Wiezik

Renew

Pascal Canfin, Martin Hojsík, Jan Huitema, Karin Karlsbro, Frédérique Ries, María Soraya Rodríguez Ramos, Nicolae Ştefănuță, Linea Søgaard-Lidell, Nils Torvalds, Véronique Trillet-Lenoir

S&D

Nikos Androulakis, Marek Paweł Balt, Monika Beňová, Simona Bonafè, Delara Burkhardt, Sara Cerdas, Mohammed Chahim, Tudor Ciuhodaru, Cyrus Engerer, Jytte Guteland, Javi López, César Luena, Alessandra Moretti, Günther Sidl, István Ujhelyi, Petar Vitanov, Tiemo Wölken

The Left

Malin Björk, Petros Kokkalis, Silvia Modig, Mick Wallace

Verts/ALE

Margrete Auken, Bas Eickhout, Eleonora Evi, Pär Holmgren, Yannick Jadot, Tilly Metz, Grace O’Sullivan, Jutta Paulus

 

8

ECR

Sergio Berlato, Pietro Fiocchi, Joanna Kopcińska, Ryszard Antoni Legutko, Rob Rooken, Alexandr Vondra, Anna Zalewska

The Left

Manuel Bompard

 

10

0

ID

Simona Baldassarre, Aurelia Beigneux, Marco Dreosto, Catherine Griset, Teuvo Hakkarainen, Joëlle Mélin, Luisa Regimenti, Silvia Sardone

PPE

Esther de Lange

Renew

Andreas Glück

 

Key to symbols:

+ : in favour

 : against

0 : abstention

 

 

[4] Amendments adopted by the European Parliament on 8 October 2020 on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing the framework for achieving climate neutrality and amending Regulation (EU) 2018/1999 (European Climate Law), Texts adopted, P9_TA(2020)0253.

[5] World Meteorological Organization (WMO), ‘Statement on the State of the Global Climate in 2019’.

[6] Fezzigna, P., Borghesi, S., Caro, D., ‘Revising Emission Responsibilities through Consumption-Based Accounting: A European and Post-Brexit Perspective’ in Sustainability, 17 January 2019.

[7] See ECA Special Report No 18/2020.

[8] Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), ‘CO2 emissions embodied in international trade and domestic final demand: methodology and results using the OECD inter-country input-output database’, 23 November 2020.

RECOMMENDATION FOR A DECISION to raise no objections to the draft Commission regulation amending Regulations (EU) 2019/424, (EU) 2019/1781, (EU) 2019/2019, (EU) 2019/2020, (EU) 2019/2021, (EU) 2019/2022, (EU) 2019/2023 and (EU) 2019/2024 with regard to ecodesign requirements for servers and data storage products, electric motors and variable speed drives, refrigerating appliances, light sources and separate control gears, electronic displays, household dishwashers, household washing machines and household washer-dryers and refrigerating appliances with a direct sales function – B9-0107/2021

Source: European Parliament

RECOMMENDATION FOR A DECISION to raise no objections to the draft Commission regulation amending Regulations (EU) 2019/424, (EU) 2019/1781, (EU) 2019/2019, (EU) 2019/2020, (EU) 2019/2021, (EU) 2019/2022, (EU) 2019/2023 and (EU) 2019/2024 with regard to ecodesign requirements for servers and data storage products, electric motors and variable speed drives, refrigerating appliances, light sources and separate control gears, electronic displays, household dishwashers, household washing machines and household washer-dryers and refrigerating appliances with a direct sales function

REPORT on the New Circular Economy Action Plan – A9-0008/2021

Source: European Parliament

MOTION FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT RESOLUTION

on the New Circular Economy Action Plan

(2020/2077(INI))

The European Parliament,

 having regard to the Commission communication of 11 March 2020 entitled ‘A new Circular Economy Action Plan: For a cleaner and more competitive Europe’(COM(2020)0098), and the staff working document ‘Leading the way to a global circular economy: state of play and outlook’ (SWD(2020)100),

 having regard to the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including SDG 12 “Responsible consumption and production” and SDG 15 “Life on land”,

 having regard to the Commission communication of 14 October 2020 on the Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability Towards a Toxic-Free Environment (COM(2020)0667)[1],

 having regard to its resolution of 10 July 2020 on the Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability[2],

 having regard to the Commission Communication of 10 March 2020 entitled “A New Industrial Strategy for Europe” (COM(2020)0102),

 having regard to the Commission communication of 20 May 2020 entitled “An EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 bringing nature back into our lives” (COM(2020)0380),

 having regard to the IPBES Global Assessment on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services report of May 2019,

 having regard to the Commission communication of 20 May 2020 entitled ´a Farm to Fork Strategy for a fair, healthy and environmentally-friendly food system´ (COM (2020)0381),

 having regard to the Commission communication of 11 October 2018 entitled “A sustainable Bioeconomy for Europe: Strengthening the connection between economy, society and the environment” (COM(2018)0673),

 having regard to the Commission communication of 16 January 2018 ‘A European Strategy for Plastics in a Circular Economy’ (COM(2018)0028),

 having regard the Directive (EU) 2019/904 of the European parliament and of the Council of 5 June 2019 on the reduction of the impact of certain plastic products on the environment,

 having regard to its resolution of 14 March 2019 on a European strategic long-term vision for a prosperous, modern, competitive and climate neutral economy,[3]

 having regard to its resolution of 28 November 2019 on the climate and environment emergency,[4]

 having regard to its resolution of 4 July 2017 on a longer lifetime for products: benefits for consumers and companies[5],

 having regard to its resolution of 9 July 2015 on resource efficiency: moving towards a circular economy (2014/2208(INI)[6],

 having regard to its resolution of 13 September 2018 on implementation of the circular economy package: options to address the interface between chemical, product and waste legislation (2018/2589(RSP)[7],

 having regard to its resolution of 10 July 2020 on a comprehensive European approach to energy storage (2019/2189(INI))[8],

 having regard to Regulation (EU) 2020/741 on minimum requirements for water reuse,

 having regard to the proposal for the 8th Environment Action Programme presented by the Commission on 14 October 2020, in particular the priority objective of accelerating the transition to a circular economy set out in Article 2(2)(c) of the proposal,

 having regard to the Commission communication of 11 December 2019 on ‘The European Green Deal’ (COM(2019)0640),

 having regard to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) special reports on climate change, desertification, land degradation, sustainable land management, food security, and greenhouse gas fluxes in terrestrial ecosystems, and on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate, and the special IPCC report ‘Global Warming of 1.5°C’, its fifth assessment report (AR5) and its synthesis report of September 2018,

 having regard to the first Circular Economy Action Plan launched in 2015 (Commission communication of 2 December 2015 entitled ‘Closing the loop – An EU action plan for the Circular Economy’ (COM(2015)0614)) and the actions taken under that plan,

 having regard to its resolution of 10 July 2020 on a Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability[9],

 having regard to its resolution of 15 January 2020 on the European Green Deal[10],

 having regard to its resolution of 13 September 2018 on a European strategy for plastics in a circular economy[11],

 having regard to its resolution of 13 September 2018 on implementation of the circular economy package: options to address the interface between chemical, product and waste legislation[12],

 having regard to European Parliament resolution of 31 May 2018 on the implementation of the Ecodesign Directive[13],

 having regard to Directive (EU) 2019/904 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 June 2019 on the reduction of the impact of certain plastic products on the environment[14],

 having regard to the revision of EU waste legislation, adopted in 2018: Directive (EU) 2018/851 of 30 May 2018 amending Directive 2008/98/EC on waste[15]; Directive (EU) 2018/852 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 May 2018 amending Directive 94/62/EC on packaging and packaging waste[16]; Directive (EU) 2018/850 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 May 2018 amending Directive 1999/31/EC on the landfill of waste[17]; and Directive (EU) 2018/849 amending Directives 2000/53/EC on end-of-life vehicles, 2006/66/EC on batteries and accumulators and waste batteries and accumulators, 2012/19/EU on waste electrical and electronic equipment[18],

 having regard to Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 2008 on classification, labelling and packaging of substances and mixtures (the ‘CLP Regulation’)[19],

 having regard to the Commission communication of 26 January 2017 on the role of waste-to-energy in the circular economy (COM(2017)0034),

 having regard to the Global Resources Outlook 2019[20], and Resource Efficiency and Climate Change[21] reports by the International Resource Panel,

 having regard to the Science publication “Evaluating scenarios toward zero plastic pollution”[22],

 having regard to Rule 54 of its Rules of Procedure,

 having regard to the opinions of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy, the Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection, the Committee on International Trade, the Committee on Transport and Tourism and the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development,

 having regard to the report of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (A9-0008/2021),

A. whereas the International Resource Panel, in its report ‘Global Resources Outlook 2019’, estimates that half of the total greenhouse gas emissions and more than 90% of biodiversity loss and water stress come from resource extraction and processing; whereas the global economy uses the equivalent of 1,5 planets’ worth of resources and whereas 3 planets would be needed already now, if everyone consumed at the rate of the average EU resident, and whereas a significant reduction in our overall use of natural resources and in our waste production should be the overarching objective of the circular economy; whereas this will require a decoupling of economic growth from resource use, keeping in mind the distinction between absolute and relative decoupling;

B. whereas these figures illustrate the central role of sustainable use of resources, in particular primary raw materials and the need to step up action at all levels and across the world; whereas the concept of circular economy is in its nature horizontal and will contribute significantly to the achievement of other environmental objectives including the objectives of the Paris Agreement;

C. whereas the transition to a circular economy plays a crucial role in reducing the EU’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and achieving the EU´s 2030 climate target and the net-zero GHG emissions objective by 2050 at the latest, and requires a profound transformation of value chains across the economy;

D. whereas a shift to a circular economy has the potential to promote sustainable business practices and whereas European companies and economies are expected to be at the forefront in a global race towards circularity, due to the EU´s well developed business models, our circular knowledge and recycling expertise;

E. whereas the principles of circular economy should be the core element of any European and national industrial policy, and of the national Recovery and Resilience Plans of Member States in the framework of the Recovery and Resilience Facility;

F. whereas the overall energy consumption in the EU is significant and the circular economy action should also involve energy efficiency and the sustainable sourcing of energy sources;

G. whereas designing out of waste is one of the principles of circular economy;

H. whereas the circular economy is relevant to various SDGs including Goal 12 “Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns’’ as well as Goal 13 on “Climate action”;

I. whereas designing out waste and pollution is one of the principles of circular economy;

J. whereas according to recent studies, the circular economy has the potential to increase the EU’s GDP by an additional 0.5 % and create more than 700 000 new jobs by 2030[23], while also has the potential to improve the quality of the jobs; whereas between 2012 and 2018 the number of jobs linked to the circular economy in the EU grew by 5% to reach around 4 million; whereas with supportive policies and industry investment, the expectations are that by 2030 the EU remanufacturing could attain an annual value of between around €70bn and €100bn with the associated employment of between around 450,000 and almost 600,000;

K. whereas the sustainable and responsible sourcing of primary raw materials is critical to achieve resource efficiency and meeting the circular economy objectives; thus sustainable sourcing standards for priority materials and commodities need to be developed;

L. whereas up to 80 % of the environmental impacts of products are determined during the design phase and only 12% of the materials used by the EU’s industry come from recycling[24]

M. whereas the fast rise of e-commerce has significantly increased packaging waste, such as single-use plastic and cardboard waste; and whereas shipments of waste to third countries still remain a concern;

N. whereas it is estimated that 88 million tonnes of food waste are generated in the EU each year and whereas over 50% of food waste is estimated to come from households and the consumer level; whereas food waste has a considerable environmental impact, accounting for about 6% of total EU Greenhouse Gas emissions;

O. whereas plastics create environmental concerns if not properly managed, such as littering, difficulty of reuse and recycling, substances of concern, greenhouse gas emissions and resource use;

P. whereas ECHA has adopted a scientific opinion to restrict the use of micro plastics that are intentionally added to products on the EU/EEA market, in concentrations of more than 0.01% weight by weight;

Q. whereas, according to European Environment Agency (EEA) estimates, between 1996 and 2012, the amount of clothes bought per person in the EU increased by 40%, while at the same time, more than 30% of clothes in wardrobes in Europe have not been used for at least a year. Moreover, once discarded, over half the garments are not recycled, but end up in mixed household waste and are subsequently sent to incinerators or landfill[25]

R. whereas European companies and economies are expected to be at the forefront of those implementing, but also benefiting from, a global race towards circularity, due to the EU´s well developed business models, our circular knowledge and recycling expertise;

S. whereas it has been over two years since the IPCC released its Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C, which stated that limiting global warming to 1.5°C would require rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society;

1. Welcomes the Commission’s new Circular Economy Action Plan; highlights the fact that the circular economy, in combination with the zero-pollution ambition for a toxic-free environment, is key to reducing the overall environmental footprints of European production and consumption, respecting planetary boundaries, and protecting human health, while at the same time ensuring a competitive and innovative economy; underlines the major contribution that the circular economy can give to reaching the goals of the Paris Agreement, the Convention on Biological Diversity and the UN Sustainable Development Goals;

2. Calls on the Commission to bring forward all the initiatives under the Action Plan in line with the dates set out in the Annex of the Communication and to base each legislative proposal on a comprehensive impact assessment, underlines the importance of taking into account also the costs of non-action;

3. Underlines that the circular economy can provide solutions to the new challenges caused and highlighted by the COVID-19 crisis by strengthening the value chains within the EU and globally and reducing their vulnerability, and by making European industrial ecosystems more resilient and sustainable as well as competitive and profitable; notes that this will promote the EU’s strategic autonomy and contribute to the creation of jobs; underlines that the COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the necessity for an enabling environment for the circular economy; calls on the Member States to mainstream circular economy in their national recovery and resilience plans;

4. Believes that a circular economy is the way for the EU and European companies to remain innovative and competitive in a global market while reducing their environmental footprints; therefore urges the Commission and the Member States to direct investments in order to scale up circular economy initiatives and support innovation ; considers that the EU’s economic recovery plan (Next Generation EU) as well as the Just Transition Fund and Horizon Europe should be used to put in place and promote circular economy initiatives, practices, infrastructure and technologies;

5. Underlines improving the functioning of the internal market is a precondition for achieving a circular economy within the EU; stresses in particular the importance of proper implementation and effective enforcement of existing rules for a well-functioning sustainable single market; recalls that the EU is both the world’s second largest economic power and the world’s largest trading power; points out that the single market is a powerful tool that must be used to develop sustainable and circular products or technologies that will become tomorrow’s standards, thus enabling citizens to purchase affordable products that are safe, healthy and respectful of the planet;

6. Underlines the need for an absolute decoupling of growth from resource use; calls on the Commission to propose science-based binding EU mid-term and long-term targets for the reduction in the use of primary raw materials and environmental impacts; calls for setting the EU targets through a back-casting approach to ensure that policy objectives are on a credible path to achieve a carbon-neutral, environmentally sustainable, toxic-free and fully circular economy within planetary boundaries by 2050 at the latest;

7. Calls on the Commission to propose binding EU targets for 2030 to significantly reduce the EU material and consumption footprints and bring them within planetary boundaries by 2050, using the indicators to be adopted by end of 2021 as part of the updated monitoring framework; calls on the Commission to build on the examples set by the most ambitious Member States while taking due account of differences in starting points and capabilities between the Member States;

8. Urges the Commission to introduce by 2021 harmonised, comparable and uniform circularity indicators, consisting of material footprint and consumption footprint indicators, as well as a number of sub-indicators on resource efficiency and ecosystem services; these indicators should measure resource consumption and resource productivity, and include imports and exports, at EU, Member State and industry levels and be consistent with harmonised life cycle assessment and natural capital accounting methodologies; they should be applied across Union policies, financial instruments and regulatory initiatives;

9. Welcomes the Commission’s commitment to update and review the monitoring framework for the circular economy; regrets that the current monitoring framework does not present a comprehensive and holistic set of indicators allowing to measure the decoupling of economic growth from resource use and environmental impact; highlights that the monitoring framework should cover the above-mentioned circularity indicators and in addition the full range of objectives and concrete actions of the Circular Economy Action Plan in order to provide an effective instrument for measuring circularity and progress towards the achievement of its objectives in a comprehensive way;

10. Also highlights the necessity of scientifically robust measurement to capture synergies between the circular economy and climate change mitigation, including through carbon footprint measurements;

11. Highlights the opportunities that lie in the optimised use of products and services, in addition to measures that extend life-cycles and material use; in this context, stresses in particular the opportunities to combine circular economy solutions and digitalisation; calls on the Commission and the Member States to develop policies to support new sustainable and circular business models, such as product-as-a-service (PaaS) approaches that save resources and reduce environmental impacts while ensuring protection for consumers invites the Commission to facilitate such PaaS approaches in the new Sustainable Products Initiative and calls on the Commission and Member States to remove undue regulatory and fiscal barriers to them and promote the development of infrastructures that enable circularity and a sustainable digital economy; recalls that digitalisation also has considerable climate and environmental impacts, such as a growing energy demand, raw material extraction and the generation of electronic waste; calls on the Commission to assess and address these challenges by establishing a methodology for monitoring and quantifying the environmental impact of digital technologies, structures and services including data centres, and by proposing measures – including where appropriate legislative measures – to ensure the environmental sustainability of digital solutions putting energy efficiency, reduction of GHG emissions and resource use and the establishment of a circular economy at the centre of a sustainable digital transition;

12. Calls on the Commission to identify regulatory measures and other actions that would be needed to remove the administrative and legal obstacles to a circular sharing and service economy and to incentivise its development; in particular calls on the Commission to explore solutions to challenges such as liability issues and ownership rights related to the sharing and service economy, keeping in mind that improved legal certainty both for producers and consumers is vital to enable these concepts; suggests that the Commission considers developing a European strategy for the sharing and service economy that deals with these questions, while also addressing social issues;

13. Emphasises the need for better understanding of how Artificial Intelligence technologies can support a circular economy by encouraging their applications in design, business models, and infrastructure; Points out the importance of treating digitisation as an enabler of circular economy, notably when it comes to product passports or material information in the context of an EU-wide ‘dataspace’: Stresses that improving data accessibility and sharing will be key while ensuring active collaboration between stakeholders to make sure that new approaches remain fair and inclusive, and safeguard privacy and data security.

14. Underlines the need to create economic incentives and the right regulatory environment for innovation in circular solutions, materials and business models, while at the same time eliminating market-distorting subsidies and environmentally harmful subsidies, and calls for support for this in the new industrial strategy for Europe and the SME Strategy; emphasises the specific role that first movers, SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) and start-ups are playing in the transition to a circular economy; underlines that research in sustainable materials, processes, technologies and products, as well as their industrial scale-up, can provide European companies with a global competitive advantage; emphasises that policies are needed at the EU and national levels to support the frontrunners in circular economy and circular business models;

15. Highlights the need to engage European industry as a stakeholder in the transition to a more circular economy; recalls the crucial role of circular economy measures in achieving industrial decarbonisation; calls for circularity approaches in industry, at all levels of product design, sourcing of materials, product reuse and recycling, and waste management, and underlines the need to stimulate the development of lead markets for sustainable industrial materials and products;

16. Encourages companies to prepare transition plans as part of their annual reporting describing how and when they intend to achieve climate neutrality, circular economy and sustainability;

17. Calls on Member States to prioritise options which have minimal administrative burdens and to strengthen the development of Research and Development public-private partnerships that deliver systemic and holistic solutions;

18. Calls on the Commission to establish a regulatory framework for certification of all nature-based and technological carbon removal solutions, including carbon capture and storage and utilization (CCSU);

19. Underlines the crucial role of biomimicry as an accelerator of circularity, in promoting biomimetic solutions which by design minimise the use of material, energy and toxic compounds and provide sustainable, regenerative and innovative solutions inspired by nature applicable to a multitude of sectors,

20. Calls for adequate staffing levels and budget for the Commission services tasked with ensuring the successful implementation of the Action Plan; stresses that the allocation of resources must respond to both current and long-term political priorities and thus, in the context of the European Green Deal, expects a significant reinforcement of human resources in the Commission Directorate-General for Environment in particular;

A sustainable product policy framework

21. Emphasises the need to turn the linear “take-make-dispose” economy to a truly circular economy, based on the following principles: reduction in energy and resource use; the retention of value in the economy; waste prevention; the designing out of waste and of harmful substances and pollution; keeping products and materials in use and in closed loops; protection of human health; promotion of consumer benefits; and regenerating natural systems; these objectives should guide the new sustainable product policy framework as well as the Circular Economy Strategy as a whole, and the Industrial Strategy; stresses the need to fully integrate sustainable circular system thinking in all activities including policies, products, production processes and business models;

22. Underlines that sustainable, circular, safe and non-toxic products and materials should become the norm in the EU market and not the exception and should be seen as the default choice, which is attractive, affordable and accessible for all consumers; welcomes therefore the Commission’s plan to propose a legislative initiative on sustainable products to set horizontal principles for product policy and binding requirements on products placed on the EU market;

23. Strongly endorses the broadening of the scope of the Ecodesign Directive to include non-energy-related products and set horizontal sustainability principles and product-specific standards for performance, durability, reusability, reparability, non-toxicity, upgradability, recyclability, recycled content, and resource and energy efficiency in products placed on the EU market, and invites the Commission to present a proposal for this in 2021; at the same time, reiterates its call on the Commission to be ambitious in the implementation of ecodesign for all energy-using products under the current scope the Ecodesign Directive, including with regard to circular economy aspects;

24. Stresses the importance of maintaining a coherent and clear EU legislative framework for sustainable products and highlights the need to strengthen synergies with other policies including the EU Ecolabel; underlines that, in parallel to legal minimum standards for product design, it is important to provide market incentives for the most sustainable companies and sustainable products and materials;

25. Calls on the Commission to propose binding material and environmental footprint targets for the whole product lifecycle for each product category placed on the EU market, including the most carbon-intensive semi-products; also calls on the Commission to propose product-specific and/or sector-specific binding targets for recycled content, while ensuring the performance and safety of the products concerned and that they are designed for recycling; urges the Commission to establish supporting technological, regulatory and market conditions to achieve these objectives and to take into account the required industrial changes and the investment cycles in each sector; at the same time, urges the Commission to consider mandatory requirements to increase the sustainability of services;

26. Supports the plan to introduce digital product passports in order to help companies, consumers and market surveillance authorities, to keep track of a product’s climate, environmental, social and other impacts throughout the value chain and provide reliable, transparent and easily accessible information about the durability of the product and its maintenance, reuse, repair and dismantling possibilities and end-of-life handling as well as its composition in terms of materials and chemicals used and their environmental and other impacts; calls on the Commission to assess the options for a label in this regard; considers that the product passports should be introduced in a way that avoids undue regulatory burden for companies in particular SMEs; believes that they should be compatible with other digital tools, such as the upcoming Building Renovation Passport and the SCIP database;

27. Underlines the key importance of achieving non-toxic and restorative material cycles for the success of the circular economy and for creating a sustainable single market, and ultimately for ensuring a toxic-free environment for Europe´s citizens; therefore reiterates the positions taken in its resolution on a Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability and its resolution on the interface between chemical, product and waste legislation, and insists on swift actions to implement the Chemical Strategy for Sustainability Towards a Toxic Free Environment;

28. Emphasises the right of consumers to more precise, harmonised and accurate information about the environmental and climate impacts of products and services throughout their lifecycle, including in terms of durability and reparability, and calls for measures against greenwashing and false environmental claims relating to products offered both online and offline; strongly supports the Commission´s intention to make proposals to regulate the use of green claims through the establishment of solid and harmonised calculation methods covering the full value chain, based on harmonised indicators and life-cycle assessments such as environmental footprints, including with respect to waste prevention, raw material use, avoidance of harmful substances, durability and longevity of the product as well as design to be repairable and recyclable; furthermore, stresses the need to enforce the recently amended Directive 2005/29/EC through proactive measures tackling green claims;

29. Calls on the Commission to support the development of digital tools for consumer information to empower the consumer in the digital age; stresses the importance of online platforms and marketplaces for promoting sustainable products and services and notes that they could provide consumers with more clear and easily understandable information on the durability and reparability of the products they offer;

30. Highlights the need to reinforce the EU Ecolabel as a benchmark for environmental sustainability, by increasing market and consumer awareness and recognition, setting of comprehensive standards and further extending the scheme to relevant products and facilitating its use in procurement;

31. Supports the planned initiatives to improve the durability and reparability of products in accordance with the principle of waste prevention in the waste hierarchy, while strengthening consumer rights in both business-to-consumer and business-to-business markets; therefore strongly welcomes the planned initiatives to establish a new ‘right to repair’, which should cover at least the extended life cycle of products, access to spare parts and to comprehensive information and to affordable repair services for consumers;

32. Calls, in this context, for measures to provide free-of-charge access to necessary repair and maintenance information, including information on spare parts and software updates, to all market participants, while keeping in mind the imperatives of consumer safety and without prejudice to Directive (EU) 2016/943, as well as to ensure access to spare parts without unfair hindrances for all actors of the repair sector, including independent repairers, and consumers, to define mandatory minimum periods of time for the availability of spare parts and/or updates and maximum delivery time limits for an extended range of product categories that would take into account their specificities, and to assess how repair can be encouraged under the legal guarantee regime; stresses that sellers should inform all market participants about the reparability of its products;

33. Calls, in order to facilitate consumer decision-making, for clear and easily understandable harmonised labelling, which could take the form of an index, on product durability (i.e. on the estimated lifetime of a product) and reparability and for the development of a uniform repair score and the introduction of usage meters for certain product categories; calls for minimum information requirements pursuant to Directives 2005/29/EU and 2011/83/EU; asks the Commission, when preparing its review of Directive 2019/771/EU, to consider extending both the legal guarantee rights and the reversed burden of proof rules for some product categories that have a higher estimated lifetime, and introducing direct producer liability;

34. Calls for legislative measures to stop practices resulting in planned obsolescence, also by considering adding such practices to the list in Annex I of Directive 2005/29/EU;

35. Welcomes the Commission’s intentions to introduce legislation banning destruction of unsold durable goods unless they pose a safety or health threat; underlines that recycling, reuse and redistribution of non-food items should be the norm and enforced by legislation

36. Underlines the need to boost the internal market for sustainable products and believes that the public sector should lead the way; notes that public authorities still often only apply the lowest price criterion as the award criterion when selecting the best offers for goods, services or works; supports the establishment of minimum mandatory criteria and targets for green public procurement in sectorial legislation;

37. Stresses the role of Green Public Procurement (GPP) in accelerating the shift towards a sustainable and circular economy and the importance of implementing GPP during the EU’s economic recovery;

38. Urges the Commission to come forward with a legislative proposal to green public procurement procedures; considers that reused, repaired, remanufactured, refurbished products and other energy and resource efficient products and solutions that minimise the life-cycle environmental impacts are the default choice in all public procurement, in line with the objectives of the European Green Deal, and if they are not preferred, the ‘comply or explain’ principle should apply; also asks the Commission to provide guidelines to support sustainable corporate procurement; calls for reporting obligations for the Commission and the Member States with regard to the sustainability of their procurement decisions, while respecting the subsidiarity principle.

39. Underlines the need to promote a high quality of material collection flows, reuse and recycling, to maintain materials at their highest value and to achieve clean, non-toxic and sustainable closed material loops; stresses the need to increase the availability and quality of recyclates, focusing on the ability of a material to retain its inherent properties after recycling, and its ability to replace primary raw materials in future applications; in this context underlines the need to stimulate both increased recyclability in product design and measures such as effective separate collection and deposit return systems; calls for support for the creation of recycling facilities and capacities, according to the principle of proximity, where these do not already exist;

40. Urges the Commission and the Member States to support the development of high-quality collection, sorting and material reuse and recycling infrastructures, and to support research into the development of new innovative technologies that minimise resource use and residual waste generation, enhance the yield and quality of recyclable and reusable secondary materials, decontaminate recyclates, and reduce the overall environmental footprint – including energy and climate footprints – in relation to other technologies; believes that chemical recycling, where it fulfils these criteria, has the potential to contribute to closing the material loop in certain waste streams;

41. Calls on the Commission to ensure that the health, environmental and climate impacts of processes and outputs of new recycling and recovery technologies are thoroughly evaluated at the industrial level prior to their incentivisation, and to guarantee transparency throughout the evaluation;

42. Considers that chemical recycling needs to fulfil the definition of recycling pursuant to the Waste Framework Directive to ensure that the reprocessing into materials and substances that are to be used as fuels is not considered to be chemical recycling; urges the Commission to provide legal confirmation in this regard;

43. Urges the Commission and the Member States to enable digital technologies, such as blockchain and digital watermarking, and make them interoperable so that they can support the development of the circular economy through the tracking, tracing and mapping of resource use and product flows through all stages of the life cycle;

44. Emphasises the importance of improving access to funds for research and innovation projects on the circular economy; therefore calls on the Commission to steer the activities of the Horizon Europe programme towards supporting research and innovation for:

 recycling processes and technologies;

 the resource efficiency of industrial processes;

 innovative and sustainable materials, products, processes, technologies and services, as well as their industrial scale-up;

 the bioeconomy, through bio-based innovation encompassing the development of bio-based materials and products;

 earth observation satellites, as they can play an important role in monitoring the development of a circular economy by evaluating the pressure on virgin raw materials and emissions levels;

45.  Underlines the important role that sustainable renewable inputs can have in circular processes towards decarbonisation and how the use of renewable energy can enhance the circularity of product lifecycles while driving forward the energy transition;

46.  Stresses that “a sustainable product policy framework” legislation should be underpinned by a robust and transparent carbon and environmental accounting system that acts as a catalyst for investment in circular economy products and processes;

47. Stresses the need to take into account the full life cycle of a product, from-cradle-to-grave, and the impact of sourcing, semi-finished products, spare parts and by-products throughout the value chain when setting product standards for climate and environmental impacts; considers that these must be set through an open, transparent, and science-based process, with the involvement of relevant stakeholders; encourages in this context the establishment of common life cycle assessment methodologies and improved data collection;

48. Stresses that standardisation is key to implementing a sustainable product policy by providing reliable definitions, metrics and tests for characteristics such as durability and reparability;

49. Insists that EU standards be developed in a timely manner and in line with real-use conditions, while avoiding administrative bottlenecks for the stakeholders involved resulting in delayed publication of standards;

50. Recalls the Commission communication of 1 June 2016 entitled ‘European Standards for the 21st century’ and the work carried out on the Joint Initiative on Standardisation (JIS); calls on the Commission to further strengthen the JIS and to adopt new actions and projects aiming to improve the functioning of the European Standardisation Organisations;

51. Stresses that effective implementation and enforcement of EU legislation relating to product safety and sustainability requirements is crucial to making sure that products placed on the market comply with such rules in accordance with Regulation (EU) 2019/1020; adds that a very large number of products purchased online and imported into the EU fail to meet the EU’s minimum safety requirements; calls on the Commission and the Member States to step up their efforts to ensure products are compliant, including products sold online, and address the risks counterfeit products pose to the safety of consumers through enhanced market surveillance and equivalent custom controls standards, as well as through strengthened cooperation in this field and increased budgets and human resources; calls, therefore, for more effective EU oversight, through setting harmonised rules on the minimum number of checks and their frequency, and by empowering the Commission to monitor and audit the activities of national market surveillance authorities;

52. Underlines that voluntary agreements have proven ineffective in achieving a sustainable and common charging solution for mobile radio equipment; reiterates its call on the Commission to implement as a matter of urgency the provisions of Directive 2014/53/EU on radio equipment, and in particular, to introduce a common charger for smartphones and all small and medium-sized electronic devices to best ensure standardisation, compatibility and interoperability of charging capabilities, including wireless charging, as part of global strategy to reduce electronic waste; asks the Commission to prepare, in a timely manner, a decoupling strategy that ensures consumers are not obliged to buy new chargers with new devices to allow for greater environmental benefits, cost savings and convenience for consumers; reiterates the importance for consumers of receiving, through harmonised labelling in an easy-to-read format, trustworthy and relevant information about relevant features of chargers such as interoperability and charging performance, including compliance with USB 3.1 or higher, to enable them to make the most convenient, cost-efficient and sustainable choices;

53. Stresses the need for policy coherence across existing and future measures at EU and Member State level in order to ensure that the objectives of the Action Plan are met and to provide economic and investment certainty for circular technologies, products and services, which will also foster EU competitiveness and innovation; calls on the Commission to address any possible existing regulatory inconsistencies or barriers or legal uncertainties that hamper the full deployment of a circular economy; calls for economic incentives such as CO2 pricing, extended producer responsibility with eco-modulation of fees and tax incentives, as well as other financial incentives promoting sustainable consumer choices; believes that these measures should, where relevant, be in line with the technical screening criteria for circular economy defined in the Taxonomy Regulation; calls on Member States to consider Circular Economy objectives in all relevant national legislation and make sure that it is fully aligned with objectives and measures of the EU Circular Economy Strategy; furthermore, calls on the Commission to focus on the implementation of the legislation related to the circular economy to ensure a level playing field for circular production processes and business models;

Key product value chains: electronics and ICT

54. Supports the Circular Electronics Initiative, which should address the shortcomings in durability, circular design, presence of hazardous and harmful substances, recycled content, reparability, access to spare parts, upgradability, e-waste prevention, collection, reuse and recycling; also calls for the integration of issues linked to early [] obsolescence including product obsolescence caused by software changes; calls for the harmonisation and improvement of recycling infrastructure for waste electrical and electronic equipment in the EU;

55. Believes that the collection of electronic waste must be made much easier for consumers; welcomes the Commission’s commitment to explore options for an EU-wide take back scheme for ICT products and believes that such a scheme should cover the widest possible range of products; stresses the importance of designing such a take back scheme, and any other collection model, in a way that safeguards the re-usability of ICT products and provides re-use operators with access to re-useable goods;

56. Underlines the potential of eco-design measures and recalls that the Ecodesign Directive and the Energy Labelling Directive together provided nearly half of the energy efficiency savings target set by the EU for 2020; underlines the need to ensure the swift finalisation of existing eco-design work on electronics and ICT, notably for smartphones, tablets, computers, printers (including cartridges), mobile network stations and subsystems and networking equipment, in order to propose measures no later than 2021;

57. Stresses the importance of promoting more sustainable consumption and production patterns for electronic equipment and ICT, and calls on the Commission to investigate the possibility of providing consumer information on the distinction between corrective and user-driven updates and the carbon impact of data consumption;

58. Calls for establishing a mandatory certification scheme for recyclers of electronics waste to guarantee efficient material recovery and environmental protection;

59. Besides circular electronics initiative, asks the commission to come up with an initiative of circular and sustainable digitalisation, ICT and AI plan;

Key product value chains: batteries and vehicles

60. Underlines the importance of a strategic, environmentally sustainable and ethical approach in the new legislative frameworks for batteries and vehicles in the context of the transition to zero-emission mobility and renewable-based electricity grids and the need to ensure sustainable and ethical sourcing of raw materials, including critical raw materials; calls for the creation of competitive and resilient value chains for batteries production, reuse and recycling in the EU;

61. Welcomes the Commission proposal for a new regulation on batteries and waste batteries, and considers that the new EU regulatory framework for batteries should include at least the following: sustainable, ethical and safe sourcing, eco-design including measures to address recycled content, substitution of hazardous and harmful substances where possible, improved separate collection, reuse, refurbishment, remanufacturing, repurposing and recycling – including higher recycling targets, the recovery of valuable materials, extended producer responsibility, and consumer information; the framework should tackle the full life cycle environmental impacts, with dedicated provisions on batteries related to mobility and energy storage;

62. Is concerned about the EU’s heavy dependence on imports of raw materials for battery production; is convinced that enhanced recycling schemes for batteries could deliver a significant share of the raw materials required for battery production within the EU;

63. Expresses its concern about the socio-economic impact of the mineral industry, in particular within the cobalt industry; requests the Commission to assess options for a viable legislative framework to ensure the ethical sourcing of materials and the introduction of a mandatory due-diligence legislation to address adverse environmental and human rights effects within an international context;

64. Welcomes the Commissions plans to review the End of Life Vehicles directive; Calls on the Commission to update the ELV directive to fully reflect and respect the principles of circular economy, including designing out waste, upgradability, modularity, reparability, reusability, and recyclability of the materials in the highest level of the value, giving the first priority on reuse: calls on the Commission to work to ensure effective reuse chains, with car manufacturers and extended producer liability schemes; Calls on the Commission to improve the reporting of end-of-life vehicles, through a European database; calls on the Commission to clarify, fortify and supervise the principle that dismantling of the car and reuse of the parts must always precede the scrapping and shredding of cars;

65. Underlines the need to further promote research and innovation for recycling processes and technologies under Horizon Europe in order to increase the circular economy potential of batteries; acknowledges the role of SMEs in the collection and recycling sectors;

Key product value chains: packaging

66. Reiterates the objective to make all packaging reusable or recyclable in an economically viable way by 2030 and calls for the Commission to present a legislative proposal without delay, including waste reduction measures and targets and ambitious essential requirements in the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive to reduce excessive packaging, including in e-commerce, improve recyclability and minimise the complexity of packaging, increase recycled content, phase out hazardous and harmful substances, and promote reuse; stresses that food safety or hygiene standards must not be compromised; calls for these measures to aim at the best overall environmental outcomes in line with the waste hierarchy and for a low carbon footprint;

67. While underlining the essential role of packaging for product safety, in particular food safety, and hygiene, as well as for reducing food waste, calls on the industry to complement regulatory measures with additional voluntary actions to further avoid unnecessary packaging and substantially reduce the amount of packaging it places on the market, to develop more resource efficient, circular and climate friendly packaging solutions such as harmonised packaging formats and reusable and refillable packaging, and to facilitate the use of reusable transport packaging; encourages initiatives such as the Circular Plastics Alliance and the European Plastics Pact;

68. Reiterates that high-quality recycling creates real market demand for recycled material and is among the key factors in the drive to increase the total amount of packaging being collected, sorted and recycled, calls for a use of modern and efficient sorting equipment and separation technologies combined with a better eco-design of packaging, including the need to re-design packaging solutions based on improved LCA-criteria;

69. Calls on the Commission to analyse various types of packaging used in e-commerce to determine best practices in optimising packaging to reduce over-packaging; calls on the Commission to endorse re-use of the packaging materials to deliver several items as an alternative to single-use packaging materials;

70. Stresses the major role that bulk sales can play in reducing the use of packaging, and calls on the Commission and Member States to encourage this type of measure while ensuring food safety and hygiene;

71. Underlines the essential role of innovation funds and programmes for material reduction and recycling innovations;

72. Acknowledges the growth of online sales, with an increase of parcel deliveries; urges the Commission to take measures to ascertain that all online sellers, regardless of their location, comply with the essential requirements and report and contribute financially to the EPR systems in the EU Member States where the products are placed on the market;

73. Calls on the Commission to support the separate collection and sorting of packaging waste as enshrined in Directive (EU)2018/852 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 May 2018 amending Directive 94/62/EC on packaging and packaging waste and ensure its timely transposition by Member States; calls on the Commission to assess the possibility to revise the identification system for packaging materials (Decision 97/129/EC) to facilitate separate collection for citizens according to the recyclability of packaging;

74. Calls on the Commission to support and explore the potentials for compatible national deposit return schemes to reach the needed collection rate of 90 % of plastic beverage containers and as a step towards establishing a single market for packaging, especially for neighbouring Member States. Compatible schemes could be reached by serialisation and codified and unified labelling. If a Member State does not have a scheme in place or plans to redesign their scheme, they should be encouraged to choose, by means of best practises and relevant scientific evidence, a scheme that is similar to or compatible with those of other Member States;

Key product value chains: plastics

75. Urges the Commission to continue its implementation of the European Strategy for Plastics in a Circular Economy, notably in driving better design, circular business models and innovative products and product-as-a-service approaches that offer more sustainable consumption patterns;

76. Calls on the Commission to tackle plastics, including microplastics, in a comprehensive way; urges the Commission to adopt a general phase-out of intentionally added microplastics and to reduce, through new mandatory regulatory measures, the unintentional release of all microplastics at source, including for example from tyres, textiles, artificial turf and production of plastic pellets; stresses the need to close the gaps in scientific knowledge on microplastics and nanoplastics and foster the development of safer alternatives and competitive markets with microplastics-free products; insists at the same time on the urgency to take short term actions; underlines that the biggest share of the microplastic pollution originates in the degradation of macro-plastics in the environment and supports that plastic products should be targeted with specific measures such as ecodesign requirements during production phase to prevent the release of secondary microplastics in the environment; calls on the Commission to look into the sources, distribution, fate and effects of both macro- and micro-plastics in the context of wastewater treatment and storm water management; recalls that 80% of marine litter originates from land and urges Member States to act on marine litter hotspots in rivers and estuaries;

77. Highlights that where single use products are a significant burden on the environment and on resources, single use should be replaced with reusable products where reusable and/or durable alternatives exist, in an environmentally sound manner, without compromising food hygiene or safety; in this regard, calls on the Commission to consider legislative measures, including an extension of the Single Use Plastics Directive in the context of the review of that Directive; calls on the Commission to work on developing standards for reusable packaging and substitutes for single-use packaging, tableware and cutlery;

78. Recognises the potential role of biobased and biodegradable and compostable plastics in the circular economy, but raises caution that bio-based and/or biodegradable plastics alone will not provide a solution to the environmental concerns related to plastics, highlights the importance of raising awareness on the proper use of bio-based and bio-degradable plastics;

79. Encourages the proposition of clear global standards of materials, products, design, recycling;

80. Urges the Commission and Member States to create a consistent transparency framework and reporting obligations for all value chain players on the production, trade, use and end-of-life management of plastics;

81. Urges the Commission to develop EPR schemes that hold producers accountable for the end-of-life of plastic products;

Key product value chains: textiles

82. Underlines the importance of a new comprehensive EU strategy for textiles to promote sustainability and circularity as well as traceability and transparency in the EU textile and clothing sector, taking into account the global nature of the value chains and the dimension of `fast fashion´; calls for the strategy to present a coherent set of policy instruments and support new business models to address the full range of environmental and social impacts throughout the value chain and to improve the design of textiles to increase durability, reusability and mechanical recyclability and the use of high-quality fibres, notably through a combination of ecodesign type requirements, producer responsibility schemes, and labelling schemes;

83. Welcomes the application of the new product policy framework to textiles, and stresses that it must prioritise waste prevention and durability, reusability and reparability as well as tackling hazardous and harmful chemicals in line with the waste hierarchy; calls for measures at the design and production stage against synthetic microfibre loss, and for other measures such as the development of preventive controlled and non-polluting industrial pre-washing and standards for equipping new washing machines with microfiber filters; calls for specific EU wide end of waste criteria for textiles;

84. Calls for the application of the new product policy framework on textiles to be coherent with other policy instruments, namely the forthcoming proposal for EU Human Rights and Environmental Due Diligence legislation, to ensure workers’ rights, human rights and gender equality issues are addressed at all stages of the textile value chain.

Key product value chains: construction and buildings

85. Calls on the Commission to implement the ‘Renovation Wave’ initiative fully in line with the circular economy principles, while taking into account the diversity of the sector; calls on the Commission to set horizontal and product specific requirements; stresses the potential for greenhouse gas savings and environmental gains by prolonging the lifetime of buildings as opposed to demolition; asks the Commission to consider setting reduction targets for the carbon footprint and material footprint of EU buildings and applying the Levels(s) framework on sustainable buildings as a binding framework for construction performance; believes it to be necessary to include minimum legal requirements on the environmental performance of buildings in order to improve the resource efficiency and energy performance of buildings;

86. Recalls the Commission’s obligation under the Waste Framework Directive to consider a revision of material recovery targets set in EU legislation for construction and demolition waste and its material-specific fractions and believes that this should include a material recovery target for excavated soils; suggests to include reuse and recycling targets and the use of secondary raw materials in construction applications while making them more easily traceable; calls the Commission to revise the Construction Products Regulation and welcomes the announcement of a Strategy for a Sustainable Built Environment in 2021;believes that the adoption of digital solutions in the built environment, such as waste tracing, would allow better energy performance of buildings and greater circularity in the construction sector;

87. Stresses the importance of putting in place policies for high-calibre building planning that focus on renovation, conversion and continuing use of buildings, where that is possible, rather than on new builds;

88. Highlights that, as 90 % of the 2050 built environment already exists, special requirements should be set for the renovation sector in order to have fully modular, adaptable to different uses and energy-positive buildings by 2050; including deep renovations, on site production, and reusability;

Key product value chains: food, water and nutrients

89. Urges the Commission to make a legislative proposal to implement the goal of halving food waste by 2030 in line with the commitments under the Farm to Fork Strategy, and based on data reported by Member States in accordance the Waste Framework Directive; calls on the Commission to integrate the prevention of food loss and food waste along the entire food value chain in relevant EU policies, as set out in the Farm to Fork Strategy, and recalls that these measures should be in line with the waste hierarchy; calls on Member States to take comprehensive measures to significantly limit food waste and encourage food donations;

90. Calls on the Commission to take measures to close the agricultural nutrient loop, reduce Europe’s dependency on imports of vegetable proteins for animal feed and to increase the use of recycled animal manure and other organic nutrients, such as compost and digestate, instead of synthetic fertiliser while ensuring a high level of protection of health and of the environment and ecosystems;

91. Calls for a circular economy based on an environmentally sound regulatory framework to avoid possible negative toxic effects on aquatic ecosystems; welcomes the newly adopted Regulation on minimum requirements for water reuse and the revision of the drinking water directive and calls for their full implementation; calls on the Commission to fully integrate the water-energy nexus in European policies and recalls that the quality of and access to water resources rely on a good implementation of control at source and the polluter pays principle; supports a circular approach in waste water treatments and management in view of fostering urban wastewater recovery; highlights that resources can be recovered from wastewater, ranging from cellulose via bioplastics to nutrients, energy and water, and by continuing an analysis of potential reuse options while reducing energy and water consumption; supports the planned review of the Urban Wastewater Treatment Directive; calls to the Commission to assess the possibility to take legislative measures to address the water efficiency in buildings;

92. Stresses that increasing access to water to all within the European Union can significantly improve circularity with less reliance on packaged water; calls for full implementation of access to water provisions in the drinking water directive;

93. Highlights the important role of sustainable bio-based products, in particular a better recovery of biowaste and use of residues and by-products, in the transition to a circular and climate-neutral economy;

94. Calls on the Commission and Member States to ensure that the separate collection of bio-waste, as introduced by the Waste Framework Directive, aims at producing high-quality compost to support soil enhancement non-hazardous chemicals and other products and renewable energy, where feasible and environmentally beneficial;

95. Emphasises the potential of a sustainable bio-economy and a sustainable forest-based sector; stresses the importance of the implementation of the EU Bioeconomy and Biodiversity Strategies to improve circularity by the replacement, where environmentally beneficial and sustainable – including for biodiversity, taking into account the increasing demand of bio-materials – of fossil materials with renewable, bio-based materials;

Less waste, more value

96. Underlines the importance of prioritising waste prevention first, in line with the EU waste hierarchy, both in product policy and waste policy; calls on the Commission to propose binding targets for overall waste reduction and for the reduction of waste in specific waste streams and product groups, as well as targets to cap the generation of residual waste, in the review of the Waste Framework Directive and Landfill Directive foreseen for 2024; considers that preparing for re-use and recycling targets should be separate in order to give preparing for re-use the priority it has in the waste hierarchy;

97. Expresses concern about the unequal implementation of the EU waste targets in the Member States; calls on the Commission to ensure effective and full implementation by all Member States of both the current waste targets and of the 2018 Waste package, and urges all Member States to fully transpose the 2018 legislation without further delay;

98. Believes that non-competitive prices and a lack of high quality secondary raw materials and markets for them are among the barriers to a circular economy; asks the Commission to assess measures to make secondary raw materials more competitive while contributing to a toxic-free environment;

99. Considers the private sector as a strong partner in increasing the demand and customer interest in circular solutions and products, and urges Member States to support companies that have business models, services or products that reduce waste and resource use, and make use of their services;

100. Strongly endorses the ambition to establish a well-functioning EU market for high-quality, non-toxic secondary raw materials – without prejudice to the provisions of the Waste Framework Directive and the Waste Shipment Regulation – and underlines that this will require common quality standards; recalls that the Member States have the possibility to define national by-products and end-of-waste criteria and calls on the Commission to propose harmonised European end-of-waste criteria for key waste streams in line with the Waste Framework Directive, in order to remove market barriers and ensure high-quality material recovery; deplores the fact that the Commission has not defined EU specific criteria for paper, tyres and textiles, as had been required by the Waste Framework Directive;

101. Calls on the Commission to pay attention to the rules on transboundary movements of waste for recovery between EU Member States and to consider adapting them in order to increase their clarity and comprehensibility, remove administrative barriers while maintaining the effectiveness of legislation in protecting human health and the environment, and harmonise their implementation across EU Member States, including through the establishment of a single EU electronic system for recording waste shipments;

102. Supports the Commission’s ongoing work to ensure waste oils’ appropriate treatment; invites the Commission, as defined in the Directive 2008/98 EC, to present a legislative proposal by 2022 with additional measures to promote waste oils regeneration, including the introduction of quantitative targets;

103. Recalls that all Member States have the obligation to ensure that, by 31 December 2023, bio-waste is either separated and recycled at source, or is collected separately and is not mixed with other types of waste; urges the Commission and the Member States to direct investments in order to scale up organic waste collection and composting;

104. Recalls the EU waste targets and underlines that the EU and Member States must strengthen prevention and preparation for reuse, increase high-quality recycling and move away from landfilling waste, while minimising incineration, in line with the waste hierarchy; calls on the Commission to define a common EU-wide approach for the management of residual municipal waste that is non-recyclable to ensure its optimal treatment and to avoid building overcapacity of waste incineration at the EU level that could cause lock-in effects and hamper the development of the circular economy; considers that where incineration is used this should take place in the most advanced waste-to-energy facilities with a high energy efficiency and low emissions within the EU;

105. Underlines that separate collection of waste is a prerequisite for high-quality recycling and for keeping valuable materials and products in the recycling loop; supports the Commission´s plans to propose measures to improve and harmonise existing separate collection systems, which should consider best practices in the Member States and take into account different regional and local conditions, and should not adversely impact well-functioning existing systems; calls on the Commission to ensure the proper implementation of the provisions laid down in the Waste Framework Directive;

106. Stresses the need to build waste strategies and policies on robust scientific data and methodologies, improving the reliability and comparability of EU statistics; calls therefore on the Commission to further harmonise waste statistics, and to collect the data on recycled materials and waste in three points: collection, entry point to recycling facility, and share of effective reuse of recycled materials;

107. Regrets the lack of focus of The Landfill Directive on the prevention, therefore call for its alignment with the overarching principles of the CEAP and for the 10% landfill target to be set on a baseline year and kg of waste per person per year in order to prevent diversion from landfilling to waste incineration.

108. Recalls that industrial symbiosis is a key element to achieve circular economy by promoting interconnected networks where the waste of an industry becomes the raw material of another and energy and material can cycle continuously, keeping resources in productive use as long as possible; calls therefore for increased efforts to scale up industrial symbiosis at the EU level and make the industrial value chain more efficient and more competitive;

109. Highlights that developing industrial symbiosis would require territories to better understand and manage their local flow of resources and lead them to implement new strategies of spatial planning in collaboration with industries, stakeholders, local administration and citizens, urges Member States to require local and regional governments to identify industrial symbiosis opportunities through a thorough mapping of economic activities and compulsory flow analysis of resources,

110. Underlines the importance of the implementation of article 8a(1) in the Waste Framework Directive wherein it is clearly stated that Member States are obliged to precisely define the responsibilities and roles for Producer Responsibility Organisations (PROs);

111. Recommends that the development of local value chains based on the recycling of bio-waste for the generation of renewable energy, such as biomethane, is supported to create closer links between rural and urban communities while fully implementing the waste hierarchy;

112. Highlights the need to include product circularity and resource-intensity into cross-border adjustment mechanisms;

Making circularity work for people, regions and cities

113. Acknowledges the important role that regional governments, local authorities and communities and SMEs play in the circular economy, in waste management and in the implementation of the measures included in the Circular Economy Action Plan; calls on the Commission and Member States to support the establishment and cooperation of circularity hubs in all European regions, industrials clusters and local communities in the spirit of the proposed “New European Bauhaus”, providing support to the development of circular models in design, procurement and waste management;

114. Supports the idea of updating the Skills Agenda for the circular economy and calls on the Commission to tailor this Agenda to specific employment needs, including education and training requirements as well as new jobs needed in the transition to a circular economy ; calls on the Commission to ensure that the Circular Economy Action plan is linked to implementation of the European Pillar of social right and gender equality strategy and to ensure a just transition; stresses also the crucial role of social partners in work-related and social aspects of the shift to a circular economy;

115. Stresses the key role of consumers in waste prevention and waste management and the need to facilitate the involvement of citizens in separate waste collection; reiterates the importance for Member States and regional and local authorities to raise public awareness about sustainable consumption, including consumption models based on reuse, renting or sharing, and about waste prevention and the efficient sorting and disposal of waste;

116. Calls on the Commission to ensure that circular economy principles are embedded in all practices, and calls on the Commission to support the Member States in sharing knowledge and best practices in relation to different circular economy efforts at regional and local level in the EU;

117. Highlights the importance of cooperation between governments, local authorities academia and businesses, including both producers and buyers, in order to stimulate and scale up circular economy actions; underlines the importance of extending this cooperation to other stakeholders, such as social enterprises, start-ups and NGO’s;

118. Notes that the repair and maintenance services sector has a considerable potential to generate job opportunities, and its development must be supported and promoted, in particular local, grassroots and community repair initiatives, co-operatives and social enterprises;

119. Underlines the importance of Carbon Capture Storage and Utilisation (CCS/U) for reaching the European Green Deal objectives, supporting the circular economy, the evolution of CO2-capture systems, and efforts for tackling climate change; supports an integrated policy context and incentive system to stimulate the uptake of environmentally safe CCS/U applications that deliver a net reduction in greenhouse gas emissions;

Leading efforts at global level

120. Supports the Commission’s ambition to revise the Waste Shipment Regulation in order to ensure transparency and traceability of intra-EU trade in waste, halt the export to third countries of waste that causes environmental or human health damage and tackle unlawful behaviour more effectively with the aim of ensuring that all waste is treated in accordance with circular economy principles; furthermore, supports the Commission in implementing the recent amendments to the Basel Convention on plastic waste and to act in full respect of EU obligations under this Convention; asks the Commission to also focus on:

 financial incentives to establish a real single market and a level playing field for high-quality secondary raw materials;

 facilitating procedures to promote recycling capacities and infrastructures to treat waste within the EU;

 implementing the Electronic Data Interexchange (EDI) system to better monitor waste flows

 implementing the revision of the Waste Shipment Directive and the Waste Framework Directive;

121. Welcomes the Global Alliance for Circular Economy and Resource Efficiency to accelerate the global transition to a climate-neutral, resource-efficient and circular economy, and invites the Commission to lead the efforts on an international agreement on the management of natural resources to stay within a ‘planetary boundaries’ for natural resource use;

122. Supports the Commission’s efforts at international level to reach a global agreement on plastics, and to promote the global uptake of the EU’s circular economy approach on plastics; underlines the need to ensure that the various commitments made at both the EU and global levels can be tracked in an integrated and transparent manner; calls on the Commission and the Member States to show active leadership to continue working on international responses for combating plastic marine litter and micro-plastics;

123. Underlines the importance of requiring that primary and secondary raw materials imported to the EU comply with human rights, human health and environmental protection standards that are equivalent to EU standards, including through the upcoming legislative proposal of the Commission on sustainable corporate governance and due diligence, and to ensure a level playing field in the key supply chains of the EU; stresses the importance of ensuring coherence between the Union’s internal and external policies with regards to the objectives of the European Green Deal and the Circular Economy Action Plan, including in the Union’s external relations and in foreign trade agreements

124. Calls on European producers to take responsibility when selling products in third countries and proposes that industrial stakeholders commit to extending their producer responsibility to organising or financing the separate collection of their products when becoming waste in third countries; also calls on producers to address inconsistencies in relation to the quality of exported products and products sold in the EU market;

125. Supports the Commission to promote multilateral discussions on sustainable levels of resource use and planetary boundaries, including the exploration of science-based targets for resource use;

126. Emphasises the urgent need to implement the 2030 Agenda on matters relating to strengthening the international management and protection against the health and environmental harms caused by chemicals; particularly stresses the importance of the ongoing process under the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM) to decide upon a strong framework for the sound management of chemicals and waste beyond 2020 at ICCM 5 in Bonn July 2021;

127. Urges the Commission to promote the use of resource-efficiency indicators through international conventions in order to allow comparability between industries and economies and to ensure a level playing field, and to support dialogue and cooperation with third countries;

128. Taking into account the premise of the earth’s finite resources, an International Convention on Resource Sufficiency should be established to host discussions on access and implications of resource use with sustainability and equity at its core;

129. Recalls that in addition to adopting measures to reach the EU objective of climate neutrality by 2050, it is necessary to address the carbon footprint in the EU’s demand for imported products; calls on the Commission to identify and abolish barriers to green growth, eco-innovation and those that prevent or restrict market access for circular products and services from outside the EU; calls on the Commission to investigate the possibilities and benefits of reducing tariffs and non-tariff barriers on certain products and services in order to encourage the development of the circular economy, including in the context of the ongoing review of the EU Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP); encourages the Commission, in this regard, to add the circular economy dimension to the scope of the negotiations on the Environmental Goods Agreement, which should be stepped up; calls on the Commission to take into account the special needs of the EU’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), to assist SMEs in integrating the circular economy in their business model, including through incentives, and to support them in the implementation of business strategies to export circular products, in particular through the launch of a risk assessment tool for rules of origin, as currently being considered by the Commission; calls on the Commission to lead the way in the WTO to address products based on their carbon content as a way to level the regulatory playing field;

130. Considers that legally sound provisions are needed in trade agreements in order to safeguard relevant EU legislation on the circular economy from the notion of a trade barrier;

131. Stresses that a strategic trade policy is an essential tool for advancing the transition to the circular economy and the EU’s and UN’s Sustainable Development Agenda globally by 2030, and underlines therefore the importance of ensuring that trade and investment agreements are aligned with circular economy policies;

132. Encourages the Commission to engage in open and transparent dialogues and cooperation with the EU’s trading partners to further support the objectives of the circular economy; calls on the Commission and Member States to further deploy efforts in international fora (UNCTAD, WTO, G20, G7) to pursue the EU’s agenda on the circular economy and ensure a global level playing field with international partners through the possibility of exploring the concept of digital passports to foster the availability of data related to product’s content and carbon footprint and recyclability, to enable better circularity, promote extended producer responsibility (EPR), as well as sustainable consumer choices; suggests also in this regard that the Commission engages with the relevant multilateral organisations to reach agreement on an international label that is easy to understand for consumers, and indicates whether a product can be recycled; stresses, furthermore, that particular attention must be given to how less developed partner countries participate in and can benefit from the circular economy; calls on the Commission to integrate the circular economy principles in its strategy ‘Towards a comprehensive Strategy with Africa’ in particular; calls on the Commission to use Aid for Trade and GSP+ to help developing countries adopt circular economy practices, including product standards;

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133. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council and the Commission.

 

EXPLANATORY STATEMENT

By 2050, we will be consuming as if there were three planets Earth. As our natural resources are finite and our climate is changing, it is necessary to steer away from our current take-make-waste society and aim for a circular economy. Now, Europe finds itself in the midst of recovery from an unprecedented health and economic crisis, revealing the fragility of our resources and value chains. We should build on the momentum, and address hurdles that are hampering circular solutions from succeeding.

The New Circular Economy Action Plan (CEAP 2.0) is embedded in the climate goals agreed upon in the Green Deal and the Paris Agreement. While the first Circular Economy Action Plan of 2015 focused on the recyclability of products, this second one emphasises the preventive actions to undertake, specifically in waste prevention and management. The benchmark set by the Dutch government to reduce the use of resources with 50% by 2030, could be an inspiration for the EU.[26]

Not only will a circular economy decrease EU’s CO2-emissions drastically, it will also stimulate economic growth and create job opportunities which Europe needs in order to recover. Estimated figures display that the CEAP 2.0 could create 700.000 jobs within the entire EU by 2030, and the EU GDP Growth would rise with 0.5%[27]. The circular economy could underpin the further digitalisation of our – society and the upscaling of a full-fledged lease economy, with the Product as a Service (PaaS) model as one of the key business models in the action plan.

Currently, the production of materials we use every day are responsible for 45% of the CO2 emissions. To transform our economy in a profound way into a circular one, we need a holistic approach, based on appropriate assessments in order to create science-based policymaking. Circularity and sustainability principles need to be ensured in all stages of the value chain to make the CEAP 2.0 a success. At the same time, innovation is key, as the circular model builds on new, often digital, technologies.

Sustainable product policy framework

The CEAP 2.0 should strive to reverse the curve of a race-to-the-bottom (down-cycling) to a race-to-the-top (upcycling). We need to look for new technologies to invest in to ensure that the quality of a recycled product has the same quality as a product made out of virgin material.

The report fully supports the target of the Commission to focus on the environmental footprint of the products, as 80% of the products’ environmental impact are determined at the design phase. Therefore, this report focuses not only on resource efficiency targets per product category, but also to introduce product specific targets on recycled content, while ensuring their performance and safety, based on reliable calculation methods.

In a digitalised society, consumers and producers demand up-to-date and accurate information on the sustainability of their products and its sources. The report supports the Commission’s initiatives to provide digital product passports. The environmental impact assessment should also take into account the spare parts, semi-finished products, recyclability and the life cycle impact of a product.

Empowering consumers and public buyers

Currently, only 14% of EU GDP is representing public authorities’ purchasing power. The Commission should set the standard by having mandatory criteria and targets for green public procurement. In that sense, the Commission and Member States could play the role of the ‘launching customer’. Another key element is the strengthening of consumers’ rights with the initiative ‘right to repair’.

Circularity in the production process

A circular production process should be at the heart of the EU´s industrial strategy and is a key enabler in the transition to a competitive, climate-neutral industrial base. Sustainably sourced materials have a tremendous potential and support the further development of the Bio-Economy Action Plan.

Making the production processes circular, will be heavily dependent on the development of new technologies. The Commission and the Member States must invest in innovative developments, specifically focusing on enhanced recycling and digital technologies in order to support the circular economy and enable the monitoring of resources.

The final product should not be the only focal point of investment, but investments should also be steered in the direction of semi-finished products, as they are important enablers as well.

Key product value chains

This report supports the Commission’s proposal regarding the selection of seven sectors as the key value chains in the CEAP 2.0, namely electronics and ICT; batteries and vehicles; packaging; plastics; textiles; construction and buildings; food, water and nutrients. These sectors have a huge potential and will have a tremendous effect on establishing a full-fledged circular economy.

We see a strong push from SMEs and industry players to transform to a circular economy, although many of them face administrative or legislative hurdles. Furthermore, the ongoing pandemic affected the selected sectors in a profound way. The CEAP 2.0 will be a path towards a resilient recovery and a new period of economic prosperity.

Electronics and ICT

The CEAP 2.0 proposes to set up a Circular Electronics Initiative that will promote longer product lifetime through reusability, reparability and upgradability. A correct implementation of recycling infrastructure will play a key role in the development of a circular ICT industry.

Batteries and Vehicles

This report looks forward to the proposals from the Commission on the Battery Directive and the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Directive, particularly related to aspects regarding ecodesign, improved collection, reuse and recycling, recovery of valuable materials, consumer information, life-cycle environmental impacts, and sustainable sourcing. There is a need to implement clean mobility and policies on critical raw materials.

Textiles

A new comprehensive EU Strategy for textiles will be key to address both the environmental and social impacts of the sector. The Commission should come up with targeted measures in the sustainable products policy framework on textiles to address the presence of microplastics in textiles, as numbers vary between 1-35% in marine litter, as well as harmonised measurement and preventive systems to control the intentionally or unintentionally release of microfiber loss.

Plastics

Together with textile, tyres and pellets, plastics are the biggest contributors towards the presence of primary microplastics in the environment, whereas an even bigger share of this pollution comes from the degradation of macro-plastics released in the marine environment.

Packaging

Packaging is an essential requirement for product safety and hygiene, especially for the food and drink sector. However, considering the waste hierarchy, the policy focus should shift towards the reuse of packaging. Simultaneously, the packaging should be minimal, while guaranteeing the quality and safety of the product. This report calls also on the industry to commit to a 50% reduction of all packaging, bearing the perspective in mind to replace plastics with sustainable and renewable or recyclable material by 2030.

Construction and Buildings

The building sector is facing two challenges, happening simultaneously: rapid urbanisation and population growth will lead to an increasing amount of buildings, while the current buildings are in dire need of renovation and improvements in their energy efficiency and usage.[28] The Commission must prioritise its legislative proposals in the renovation wave and expresses its hopes that it revisits the largest waste streams, while keeping in mind the affordability and feasibility of the proposal.

Food, Water and Nutrients

This report supports the legislative initiatives to promote the reuse of wastewater in agriculture processes. The reuse of treated urban wastewater, can address the water scarcity by ensuring this reclaimed water for agricultural irrigation purposes. Besides that, the Commission should also look into the closure of the agricultural nutrient loop, and achievement the goal of halving the food waste by 2030.

Less Waste, More Value

In 2035, Europe is facing hard deadlines for the recycling target of 65% for municipal waste and a maximum of 10% landfill. The EU should set prevention targets on waste and must move away from landfilling waste where sustainable alternative waste management technologies are present.

Making Circularity Work for People, Regions and Cities

The circular economy will not thrive on a top-down approach and is in need of the local communities, regional authorities as forerunners in the implementation of CEAP 2.0. However, the Commission should promote the sharing of best practices in waste collection and new sorting infrastructure.

Leading Efforts at Global Level

At the time of writing, there are other legislative proposals that will play a key role in the rollout of the CEAP 2.0. Firstly, there is the need to implement the Basel Convention recent amendments for plastic waste trade. Secondly, the report supports the Commission’s ambition to revise the Waste Shipment regulation wherein a limitation on waste shipment is considered. The Commission should consider financial incentives to halt the export. This report proposes also a new idea towards the industry to commit to waste compensation programmes in order to ensure the flow of secondary materials.

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on Industry, Research and Energy calls on the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions into its motion for a resolution:

A. whereas the principles of the circular economy should be the core element of any European and national industrial policy, as well as of Member States’ national Recovery and Resilience Plans in the framework of the Recovery and Resilience Facility;

B. whereas the Commission communication entitled ‘A new Circular Economy Action Plan’ (COM(2020)0098) acknowledges the pioneering role of social economy enterprises in the creation of jobs linked to the circular economy;

C. whereas a circular economy has proven to be essential during the COVID-19 pandemic, in particular in sectors such as food and pharmaceutical packaging, and waste collection and treatment;

1. Welcomes the Commission’s new Circular Economy Action Plan which will contribute to achieving climate neutrality by 2050 at the latest and which decouples economic growth from resource use; underlines that a truly circular economy is built on the zero pollution agenda and on the waste hierarchy; stresses that prioritising waste prevention, the ‘design out of waste’, the reduction of resource and energy use, as well as consumer benefits, should guide the new sustainable product policy framework and must help the Union further decouple economic growth from environmental impact; underlines that nearly half of the energy efficiency savings that will be achieved by 2020 are due to the application of Directive 2009/125/EC (‘Ecodesign Directive’); stresses that a number of products, which are highly relevant from the point of view of their energy use, have not yet been subject to ecodesign rules; notes further that a number of other products covered by ecodesign rules are outdated and should be updated; welcomes, therefore, the Commission’s intention to review the Ecodesign Directive; believes that a wider ecodesign policy can be one of the core elements of European action in the field of the circular economy and can play an important role in the green recovery; stresses, nevertheless, that broadening its scope should be coupled with measures aimed at achieving further energy efficiency gains through energy-related products and services; insists that the expansion of the scope to cover not only products, but also structures, such as data centres and services, such as those used to provide cloud services, gaming or streaming; asks the Commission to explore the introduction of reusability targets;

2. Underlines that research into safe and circular materials, chemicals, processes, technologies and products, and innovative business models, as well as into their industrial scale-up and societal take-up, can provide European companies with a worldwide competitive advantage, reducing their dependence on scarce natural resources and generating new revenue streams, while benefiting people and the environment; believes that strengthening, diversifying and making more sustainable as many value chains as possible would make European industrial ecosystems more resilient, competitive and profitable, and enhance the EU’s strategic autonomy; stresses the great potential for complementarity between a truly ambitious European industrial strategy, in particular regarding the modernisation and strengthening of a strong European industrial base, and the establishment of a genuine circular economy; stresses that significant greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions could be achieved in the industrial sector by increasing material efficiency, developing recycling and the use of recycled products, and producing durable goods with high added value; in this context, stresses the importance of significantly increasing the prioritising and funding of research into waste prevention, the reuse, reparability, upgradability and remanufacturing of products and value chains, as well as circular business models and product infrastructures;

Research

3. Emphasises the importance of improving access to funds for research and innovation projects on the circular economy; therefore calls on the Commission to steer the activities of the Horizon Europe programme towards supporting research and innovation for:

 recycling processes and technologies;

 the resource efficiency of industrial processes;

 innovative and sustainable materials, products, processes, technologies and services, as well as their industrial scale-up;

 the bioeconomy, through bio-based innovation encompassing the development of bio-based materials and products;

 earth observation satellites, as they can play an important role in monitoring the development of a circular economy by evaluating the pressure on virgin raw materials and emissions levels;

4. Emphasises the role played by the Knowledge and Innovation Communities within the framework of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) through bringing together universities, research organisations and businesses, in particular SMEs, in developing innovative solutions and initiatives on the circular economy, which should be one of the key tools to reach the European Green Deal’s goals;

5. Supports the Commission’s initiative to ensure that the EIT’s Knowledge and Innovation Communities are more open to SMEs and to enhance their opportunities to participate in local innovation ecosystems to benefit the digital and green transitions;

6. Stresses the importance of further research efforts in the field of climate- and environmentally friendly and energy-efficient chemical recycling which, paired with organic and mechanical recycling, will complete a technology-neutral framework; stresses that such efforts should focus on upcycling and aim at improving energy efficiency, reducing GHG emissions and removing hazardous substances, and on ensuring non-contaminated recyclate and the proper treatment of residues from chemical recycling technologies; considers that waste-to-energy processes must not be regarded as chemical recycling;

7. Notes that almost a quarter of SMEs in Europe are already enabling the transition towards more sustainable business models, but, on the other hand, a third of them have reported that they face complex administrative and legal procedures when trying to make their business more resource-efficient; calls on the Commission to step up its efforts to make more SMEs and micro-enterprises fit for the circular economy, by supporting them through adequate incentive schemes and financing tools, capacity building, also in terms of managerial skills, exchange of best practices and technical assistance, as well as by reducing their administrative and legal burdens; points out that, among other things, new circular business models, as well as the ‘right to repair’, as envisaged by the Commission communication entitled ‘A new Circular Economy Action Plan’, will be beneficial to consumers, prevent the production of new material products and spur SMEs on to enter the repairs market;

8. Calls on the Commission to develop and promote an SME toolbox for sustainable company policies, including corporate social and environmental responsibility, sustainable accounting and reporting, and tools for implementing low-waste and circular production and consumption models, sustainable supply chains and energy audits;

9. Believes that the positive role played by social economy enterprises, which are paving the way to circular economy models, should serve as an inspiration to other companies, and that such best practices should be both made more visible and adequately supported through targeted incentives;

Digital transition

10. Recognises that digitalisation has an important role to play in enhancing the application of circular economy principles; urges the Commission and the Member States to maximise and fully exploit the synergies between digitalisation and the circular economy in sectors where a digital economy can offer solutions to reduce their environmental footprint, while also boosting the green transition and, in this context, calls on the Commission to establish a methodology for monitoring and quantifying the increasing environmental impact of digital technologies and data centres, and to propose measures to ensure the environmental sustainability of digital solutions, putting energy efficiency and the circular economy at their centre, as well as to deal with the short- and medium-term costs of the twin digital and ecological transitions, and to make them just and more inclusive; highlights the importance of the internet of things (IoT), predictive maintenance, servicification and product-service systems for accelerating new circular business models; considers that the early development of digital tools in the context of the circular economy will help the EU to become the global leader in using digitally enabled solutions; stresses that artificial intelligence can be a facilitator and accelerator of the transition to a circular economy, helping to unlock circular economy opportunities by improving design, operating business models and products, and optimising infrastructure;

11. Asks the Commission to support an environmentally sustainable digital transition that builds on maximising the value of data, while ensuring personal data protection, and deploying digitally enabled solutions to permit the sustainable use of resources and to maintain the value, durability, reusability and reparability of products and materials for as long as possible;

12. Welcomes the Commission’s goal of achieving highly energy-efficient, sustainable and climate-neutral data centres by 2030 and of establishing a common European data space for smart circular applications; urges the Commission, therefore, to put forward the corresponding regulatory and other necessary measures without delay, and to implement governance and market instruments to support the creation of standardised documentation and transparency about the circularity, environmental and climate footprint of data centres and communication networks; insists that these new measures and instruments should promote energy and resource efficiency, and the use of renewable energies; advises that these measures and instruments should also aim to mitigate the impact of data centres on the electricity network and the GHG footprint caused by network congestion;

13. Asks for the introduction of digital product passports, accompanied by appropriate platforms for the collection and maintenance of data in the context of the European data space; stresses that such passports and platforms should contain data in interoperable and re-usable formats, and that the information should be clear, trustworthy and easily available to all market players; asks the Commission to introduce digital product passports indicating the material and chemical contents, the circularity performance, such as the product lifespan, the reparability and availability of spare parts and the carbon, environmental and social impact of products and materials, including secondary raw materials, placed on the EU market;

Secondary and critical raw materials

14. Highlights that the availability of critical and secondary raw materials is a strategic issue for European industries and a tool to ensure the Union’s strategic autonomy and competitiveness, and to keep jobs in the manufacturing sector; strongly endorses, therefore, the Commission’s ambition to create a properly functioning EU market for secondary raw materials; stresses that the achievement of clean and safe material cycles is a prerequisite for the creation of a credible secondary raw materials market in the EU; believes that the database on substances of concern in articles as such or in complex objects (‘SCIP Database’) established by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) will stimulate innovation in the industry;

Wood and the bioeconomy

15. Recalls that the forest-based sector can significantly contribute to the development of circular bio-based economies; encourages the Commission to explore different mechanisms, including market-based mechanisms, in order to incentivise the use of renewable raw materials, including wood and wood products, thereby offering climate benefits while promoting the most efficient use of wood and respecting the cascading use principle; highlights the need to stimulate investments in the development of a sustainable and local circular bioeconomy; stresses, therefore, the importance of aligning the EU’s industrial and bioeconomy strategies with the circular economy action plan;

Buildings

16. Recalls that mineral waste, including excavated soil, from the construction and demolition sector represents the largest category of total waste generated in Europe by all economic activities and households; stresses the need for the adequate management and reduction of construction and demolition waste; notes that improving the transparency and traceability of construction and demolition waste is necessary to improve waste identification, build trust in the quality and safety of the reused or recycled materials, ensure the appropriate and safe handling of all construction waste and the substitution of hazardous substances in waste streams in order to protect the health of occupants and workers, as well as the environment; recalls, in this regard, the importance of the EU Construction and Demolition Waste Management Protocol;

17. Also underlines that construction is a key area of complementarity between the circular economy and emissions reductions; highlights the overall need for a transition to a sustainable and more circular economy in the sourcing and manufacturing of construction products and materials, and in their use in construction works;

18. Stresses that construction is among the least automated and digitalised sectors, and that the use of innovative and future-oriented technologies on construction sites would increase the degree of digitalisation of the sector while also increasing resource efficiency; calls on the Commission to explore the incorporation of efficiency and reusability criteria in its revision of Regulation (EU) No 305/2011[29];

Green public procurement (GPP)

19. Underlines the importance of acting to boost the EU internal market via the establishment of criteria for GPP, which will not result in excessive administrative burdens being put on businesses and public administrations, to enable users to choose sustainable and climate friendly materials; calls on the Member States to maximise and promote the reuse, recycling, and recuperation of materials, including in their procurement strategies and publicly financed renovation and construction projects, by reviewing GPP targets and through streamlining the energy efficiency, environmental and social criteria for building renovations;

Batteries

20. Is convinced that enhanced recycling schemes for batteries could deliver a significant share of the raw materials required for circular battery production within the EU; endorses the Commission’s plans for legislative proposals to ensure a safe, circular and sustainable battery value chain for all batteries, although the rules should differentiate between the type and/or usage of batteries, and incorporate ecodesign for batteries in order to enhance their replaceability and recyclability by design, and should include socially and environmentally responsible sourcing; underlines the need to create a strong and sustainable battery and storage cluster in Europe;

21. Is concerned that the classification of used batteries as waste in the Batteries Directive, independently of reuse, can act as a barrier to such reuse; recognises that reused batteries are not returned for recycling and that safety standards are not monitored when a battery is repurposed for uses with different characteristics than they were originally designed for; calls on the Commission to apply extended producer responsibility, with performance and safety guarantees, to the remanufacturer reintroducing the battery onto the market; calls on the Commission to propose ambitious collection, reuse and recycling targets for batteries and, after careful evaluation, a phase-out on primary batteries where alternatives exist, when revising the Batteries Directive and to establish a European-wide deposit system or sell-back for old batteries in order to enhance the circularity and sustainability of the battery value chain;

22. Underlines the need to further promote research and innovation for recycling processes and technologies under Horizon Europe in order to increase the circular economy potential of batteries; acknowledges the role of SMEs in the collection and recycling sectors;

Industry

23. Indicates that a circular economy approach that would eliminate waste and keep assets, products and components in use, while making productive and efficient use of resources, could reduce global CO2 emissions from key industry materials such as plastics, steel and cement by 40 %; insists, therefore, on the introduction of long-term roadmaps for the reduction of waste and for the reuse of raw materials with clear targets for improving the circularity of carbon-intensive industries and materials such as plastic, steel and cement; asks the Commission to explore the introduction of waste reduction targets for industrial and commercial waste streams, and to assess how industrial and commercial waste going to landfills could be reduced, in particular by means of material circularity;

24. Considers that the implementation of a circular economy has great potential for the future of the European steel industry; stresses the great potential for an increase in the material efficiency of steel; insists on the need to significantly extend the lifetime of steel-based products in the fields of household appliances, automotive industry products and mechanical and electrical equipment; stresses that an extension of the lifetime of these products could lead to a reduction in steel production and therefore in GHG emissions; points out that the EU has a substantial scrap metal reserve which can be used in a circular economy; stresses that its better use would allow for a reduction in the quantities of iron ore and coke imports needed for production in the primary sector;

25. Stresses that the implementation of a truly circular economy and better ecodesign could contribute to the decarbonisation of the cement industry by increasing the material efficiency of cement, in particular by optimising the use of concrete and its composition;

26. Recalls that the resource gains from circularity are particularly large for aluminium, as re-melting aluminium requires only 5 % of the energy needed for new production, thereby sharply reducing CO2 emissions; stresses that, while aluminium collection from buildings and cars is already very high, the rates are much lower for consumer products; calls on the Commission to explore regulatory options to ensure better separation of aluminium components on dismantling;

Health and safety of workers, and consumer awareness

27. Underlines that the transition to a truly circular economy must be negotiated with the trade unions to guarantee that the health and safety of workers are protected; stresses that insufficiently safe working conditions for workers can expose our whole society to health and safety risks, and believes, therefore, that circular economy policies and practices must be developed with risk assessments which take workers’ health into account;

28. Underlines the crucial role that consumers play in the transition towards the circular economy and highlights the importance of awareness-raising and consumer education; stresses that the product information about recycling and repairing provided to consumers must be easily understandable.

 

 

 

INFORMATION ON ADOPTION IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

 

Date adopted

1.12.2020

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

69

0

4

Members present for the final vote

François Alfonsi, Nicola Beer, François-Xavier Bellamy, Hildegard Bentele, Tom Berendsen, Vasile Blaga, Michael Bloss, Manuel Bompard, Paolo Borchia, Marc Botenga, Markus Buchheit, Cristian-Silviu Buşoi, Jerzy Buzek, Carlo Calenda, Andrea Caroppo, Ignazio Corrao, Ciarán Cuffe, Josianne Cutajar, Nicola Danti, Pilar del Castillo Vera, Martina Dlabajová, Christian Ehler, Niels Fuglsang, Lina Gálvez Muñoz, Claudia Gamon, Jens Geier, Bart Groothuis, Christophe Grudler, András Gyürk, Henrike Hahn, Robert Hajšel, Ivo Hristov, Ivars Ijabs, Romana Jerković, Eva Kaili, Seán Kelly, Izabela-Helena Kloc, Łukasz Kohut, Andrius Kubilius, Miapetra Kumpula-Natri, Thierry Mariani, Eva Maydell, Joëlle Mélin, Dan Nica, Angelika Niebler, Ville Niinistö, Aldo Patriciello, Mauri Pekkarinen, Mikuláš Peksa, Tsvetelina Penkova, Morten Petersen, Markus Pieper, Clara Ponsatí Obiols, Manuela Ripa, Jérôme Rivière, Robert Roos, Sara Skyttedal, Maria Spyraki, Jessica Stegrud, Beata Szydło, Riho Terras, Grzegorz Tobiszowski, Patrizia Toia, Evžen Tošenovský, Marie Toussaint, Isabella Tovaglieri, Henna Virkkunen, Pernille Weiss

Substitutes present for the final vote

Cornelia Ernst, Gianna Gancia, Klemen Grošelj, Dace Melbārde, Csaba Molnár

 

 

FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

69

+

EPP

François‑Xavier Bellamy, Hildegard Bentele, Tom Berendsen, Vasile Blaga, Jerzy Buzek, Cristian‑Silviu Buşoi, Pilar del Castillo Vera, Christian Ehler, András Gyürk, Seán Kelly, Andrius Kubilius, Eva Maydell, Angelika Niebler, Aldo Patriciello, Markus Pieper, Sara Skyttedal, Maria Spyraki, Riho Terras, Henna Virkkunen, Pernille Weiss

S&D

Carlo Calenda, Josianne Cutajar, Niels Fuglsang, Jens Geier, Lina Gálvez Muñoz, Robert Hajšel, Ivo Hristov, Romana Jerković, Eva Kaili, Łukasz Kohut, Miapetra Kumpula‑Natri, Csaba Molnár, Dan Nica, Tsvetelina Penkova, Patrizia Toia

RENEW

Nicola Beer, Nicola Danti, Claudia Gamon, Bart Groothuis, Klemen Grošelj, Christophe Grudler, Ivars Ijabs, Mauri Pekkarinen, Morten Petersen

ID

Paolo Borchia, Markus Buchheit, Gianna Gancia, Thierry Mariani, Joëlle Mélin, Jérôme Rivière, Isabella Tovaglieri

Greens

François Alfonsi, Michael Bloss, Ciarán Cuffe, Henrike Hahn, Ville Niinistö, Mikuláš Peksa, Manuela Ripa, Marie Toussaint

ECR

Izabela‑Helena Kloc, Dace Melbārde, Beata Szydło, Grzegorz Tobiszowski

GUE

Manuel Bompard, Marc Botenga, Cornelia Ernst

NI

Andrea Caroppo, Ignazio Corrao, Clara Ponsatí Obiols

 

 

4

0

RENEW

Martina Dlabajová

ECR

Robert Roos, Jessica Stegrud, Evžen Tošenovský

 

Key to symbols:

+ : in favour

 : against

0 : abstention

 

 

 

 

OPINION OF THE COMMITTEE ON THE INTERNAL MARKET AND CONSUMER PROTECTION (10.11.2020)

for the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety

on the new Circular Economy Action Plan

(2020/2077(INI))

Rapporteur for opinion: Anna Cavazzini

 

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection calls on the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions into its motion for a resolution:

A. whereas the transition to a resource-efficient and climate-neutral economy based on the principles of a circular economy respects the planetary boundaries by shifting away from dependency on resources and raw materials, mass consumption and waste production;

B. whereas a circular economy aims at closing and slowing material, product and resource loops by reusing, sharing, repairing, upgrading, recycling, fostering interoperability and extending the life of products;

C. whereas closed material loops and shorter supply chains will eventually create added value within the EU’s internal market and boost innovation, employment and competitiveness while ensuring a high level of consumer protection and sustainability;

D. whereas the single market is a powerful tool that must be used to develop sustainable and circular products and technologies and should reflect environmental, economic, social and ethical considerations;

E. whereas investment in circular production patterns and in the reuse and repair sector generates economic and social opportunities, creates jobs and drives industrial competitiveness;

F. whereas the COVID-19 crisis has demonstrated the need for a resilient economy based on sustainable and shorter supply chains;

G. whereas the ambitious legislation outlined in the Circular Economy Action Plan of March 2020 within the framework of the European Green Deal should aim to reduce the total environmental and resource footprint of EU production and consumption, with resource efficiency, zero pollution, non-exposure to harmful and toxic substances, and waste prevention as key priorities;

1. Welcomes the Circular Economy Action Plan and the intention of the Commission to propose specific measures to address the need to improve product durability, recyclability, reusability, upgradability and reparability, as well as the intention to tackle planned obsolescence; stresses that improving the functioning of the internal market is a precondition for the success of the EU’s transition to a sustainable and toxic-free circular economy by providing reliable and clear information to consumers on the estimated lifespan, reparability and environmental performance of products, based on harmonised and research-based standards, to help them to make sustainable choices; recalls that the circular economy strategy must be consistent with the EU’s climate targets and environmental objectives and must ensure overall consistency with other EU policies, with a view to contributing to a sustainable economic recovery and strengthening the competitiveness of companies in the EU; asks the Commission to consider possible synergies by reviewing the overall consistency of the different policy tools;

2. Calls on the Commission and the Member States to create framework conditions that would advance the development of sustainable products, breakthrough technologies maximising resource efficiency and circular economy business models to foster the transition to a circular economy and to improve sustainability and the long-term resilience of supply chains; stresses that the EU’s recovery plan represents an opportunity to initiate an ambitious economic transition towards sustainable production methods;

3. Considers that producing and placing sustainable products on the internal market should progressively become the norm and welcomes the Commission’s intention to propose a comprehensive sustainable product policy framework; calls on the Commission to consider setting mandatory minimum requirements, while differentiating between different categories of products and taking into account market and technological developments, for strengthened energy efficiency, durability, interoperability, reparability, upgradability, reusability, and recyclability; calls on the Commission to work closely with the Member States and stakeholders and calls for measures to be delivered in a timely manner; stresses, furthermore, the importance of proper implementation and effective enforcement of existing rules for a well-functioning sustainable single market;

4. Stresses that standardisation is key to implementing a sustainable product policy by providing reliable definitions, metrics and tests for characteristics such as durability and reparability and that it is instrumental for setting product design market requirements according to product categories; insists that EU standards be developed in a timely manner and in line with real-use conditions, while avoiding administrative bottlenecks for the stakeholders involved resulting in delayed publication of standards; highlights the need to develop quick and viable solutions to improve the current standardisation process in order to ensure the participation of all relevant stakeholders is more inclusive and transparent, while safeguarding the ability of companies to innovate and develop technologies in a sustainable way, and highlights the need to consistently mainstream, where applicable, sustainability and reparability in standard‑setting;

5. Recalls the Commission communication of 1 June 2016 entitled ‘European Standards for the 21st century’ and the work carried out on the Joint Initiative on Standardisation (JIS); calls on the Commission to further strengthen the JIS and to adopt new actions and projects aiming to improve the functioning of the European Standardisation Organisations;

6. Underlines that voluntary agreements have proven ineffective in achieving a sustainable and common charging solution for mobile radio equipment; reiterates its call on the Commission to implement as a matter of urgency the provisions of Directive 2014/53/EU on radio equipment, and in particular, to introduce a common charger for smartphones and all small and medium-sized electronic devices to best ensure standardisation, compatibility and interoperability of charging capabilities, including wireless charging, as part of global strategy to reduce electronic waste; asks the Commission to prepare, in a timely manner, a decoupling strategy that ensures consumers are not obliged to buy new chargers with new devices to allow for greater environmental benefits, cost savings and convenience for consumers; reiterates the importance for consumers of receiving, through harmonised labelling in an easy-to-read format, trustworthy and relevant information about relevant features of chargers such as interoperability and charging performance, including compliance with USB 3.1 or higher, to enable them to make the most convenient, cost-efficient and sustainable choices;

7. Welcomes the Commission’s intention to empower consumers to further engage in sustainable consumption practices and with circular business models to avoid over-consumption; calls, in order to facilitate consumer decision-making, for clear and easily understandable harmonised voluntary labelling, which could take the form of an environmental performance index, on product durability (i.e. on the estimated lifetime of a product) and reparability and for the development of a uniform repair score based on an impact assessment demonstrating its relevance and effectiveness; calls for minimum information requirements pursuant to Directives 2005/29/EU and 2011/83/EU; calls for an enhanced dialogue with relevant stakeholders to develop such information schemes; asks the Commission, when preparing its review of Directive 2019/771/EU, to consider extending both the legal guarantee rights and the reversed burden of proof rules for some product categories that have a higher estimated lifetime, and introducing direct producer liability following a Commission impact assessment; calls for legislative measures to stop practices resulting in planned obsolescence, also by considering adding such practices to the list in Annex I of Directive 2005/29/EU;

8. Warns against false environmental claims, including those relating to eco-labelling and products offered both online and offline; proposes that clear guidelines and standards be developed for green claims that translate into eco-labels; stresses the need to enforce the recently amended Directive 2005/29/EC through proactive measures tackling green claims and looks forward to the planned legislative proposal on substantiating green claims to tackle misleading information before a product is placed on the market;

9. Stresses the importance of online platforms and marketplaces for promoting sustainable products and services and notes that they could provide consumers with more clear and easily understandable information on the durability and reparability of the products they offer; calls for proactive measures to tackle misleading practices regarding products and services offered online, including false environmental claims;

10. Highlights the role of the service sector in increasing the accessibility of repairs, leasing and product-as-a-service for consumers and the need to ease its cross-border activities by fully implementing and enforcing single market rules in these areas; asks the Commission to assess the existing barriers to the repair, resale, donation and reuse of products and to propose measures to address those barriers, such as binding measures to prevent the destruction of unsold goods in working order, quantified targets for reuse and the introduction of usage meters for certain product categories based on cost-efficiency analyses; calls for the development of consumer awareness campaigns and relevant mechanisms that encourage new sustainable models based on evolving behaviours such as renting and sharing goods and services, and shopping at packaging-free shops, and calls for support for the development of repair and maintenance services and the use of reconditioned or second-hand products;

11. Calls on the Commission to assess the need to strengthen the internal market and harmonise rules for secondary raw materials, without prejudice to the provisions of Regulation (EC) 1013/2006, through targeted efforts to identify and remove barriers to trade; encourages increased standardisation of the processing of secondary raw materials to facilitate the implementation of circular business models;

12. Supports the establishment of a new ‘right to repair’ that ensures cost-efficient and attractive repairs for consumers; calls, in this context, for measures to provide free-of-charge access to necessary repair and maintenance information, including information on spare parts and software updates, to all market participants, while keeping in mind the imperatives of consumer safety and without prejudice to Directive (EU) 2016/943, as well as to ensure access to spare parts without unfair hindrances for all actors of the repair sector, including independent repairers and consumers, to define mandatory minimum periods of time for the availability of spare parts and/or updates and maximum delivery time limits for an extended range of product categories that would take into account their specificities, following an impact assessment, and to assess how repair can be encouraged under the legal guarantee regime through adequate incentives; stresses that sellers should always inform consumers about the option to have a product repaired and the associated right of guarantee;

13. Stresses that effective implementation and enforcement of EU legislation relating to product safety and sustainability requirements is crucial to making sure that products placed on the market comply with such rules in accordance with Regulation (EU) 2019/1020; adds that a very large number of products purchased online and imported into the EU fail to meet the EU’s minimum safety requirements; calls on the Commission and the Member States to step up their efforts to ensure products are compliant, including products sold online, and address the risks counterfeit products pose to the safety of consumers through enhanced market surveillance and equivalent custom controls standards, as well as through strengthened cooperation in this field and increased budgets and human resources; calls, therefore, for more effective EU oversight, through setting harmonised rules on the minimum number of checks and their frequency, and by empowering the Commission to monitor and audit the activities of national market surveillance authorities;

14. Underlines the importance of clear, transparent and reliable information on product characteristics for consumers, businesses and market surveillance authorities; welcomes the Commission’s intention to develop a digital product passport; calls, in this regard, to improve traceability along the value chain and access to information on conditions of production and on aspects such as durability, reparability and, where relevant, energy efficiency; calls for these requirements to be developed in close collaboration with industry and other relevant stakeholders and for them to be based on an impact assessment that takes into account proportionality and costs for businesses, especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), micro‑enterprises and the self‑employed;

15. Notes that public authorities still often only apply the lowest price criterion as the award criterion when selecting the best offers for goods, services or works; stresses the need to ensure the uptake of green, social and innovation public procurement in order to foster the transition to a circular economy by supporting demand for sustainable and circular products; welcomes, in this respect, the Commission’s commitment to propose further sector-specific measures and guidance introducing sustainability criteria and minimum targets for public tenders with a view to boosting the sustainability of public purchasing choices; calls, furthermore, for effective reciprocity in public procurement with third countries and for measures to improve the access of SMEs, micro-enterprises and the self-employed to public procurement;

16. Calls for priority in public tenders to be given, where relevant, to second-hand, re-used and recycled goods, low-energy consumption software programmes and equipment; also asks public authorities to lead by example by not purchasing single-use products;

17. Calls for reporting obligations for the Commission and the Member States with regard to the sustainability of their procurement decisions, while respecting the subsidiarity principle.

 

INFORMATION ON ADOPTION IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

Date adopted

9.11.2020

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

37

4

4

Members present for the final vote

Alex Agius Saliba, Andrus Ansip, Pablo Arias Echeverría, Alessandra Basso, Brando Benifei, Adam Bielan, Biljana Borzan, Vlad-Marius Botoş, Markus Buchheit, Anna Cavazzini, Dita Charanzová, Deirdre Clune, David Cormand, Carlo Fidanza, Evelyne Gebhardt, Alexandra Geese, Sandro Gozi, Maria Grapini, Svenja Hahn, Virginie Joron, Eugen Jurzyca, Arba Kokalari, Marcel Kolaja, Kateřina Konečná, Andrey Kovatchev, Jean-Lin Lacapelle, Maria-Manuel Leitão-Marques, Morten Løkkegaard, Adriana Maldonado López, Antonius Manders, Beata Mazurek, Leszek Miller, Dan-Ştefan Motreanu, Kris Peeters, Anne-Sophie Pelletier, Miroslav Radačovský, Christel Schaldemose, Andreas Schwab, Tomislav Sokol, Ivan Štefanec, Róża Thun und Hohenstein, Kim Van Sparrentak, Marion Walsmann, Marco Zullo

Substitutes present for the final vote

Marco Campomenosi

 

 

FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

 

 

37

+

GUE/NGL

Kateřina Konečná, Anne-Sophie Pelletier

ID

Alessandra Basso, Markus Buchheit, Marco Campomenosi, Virginie Joron, Jean-Lin Lacapelle

NI

Miroslav Radačovský, Marco Zullo

PPE

Pablo Arias Echeverría, Deirdre Clune, Arba Kokalari, Andrey Kovatchev, Antonius Manders, Dan-Ştefan Motreanu, Kris Peeters, Andreas Schwab, Tomislav Sokol, Ivan Štefanec, Róża Thun Und Hohenstein, Marion Walsmann

RENEW

Andrus Ansip, Sandro Gozi

S&D

Alex Agius Saliba, Brando Benifei, Biljana Borzan, Evelyne Gebhardt, Maria Grapini, Maria-Manuel Leitão-Marques, Adriana Maldonado López, Leszek Miller, Christel Schaldemose

VERTS/ALE

Anna Cavazzini, David Cormand, Alexandra Geese, Marcel Kolaja, Kim Van Sparrentak

 

4

ECR

Eugen Jurzyca

RENEW

Vlad-Marius Botoş, Dita Charanzová, Morten Løkkegaard

 

4

0

ECR

Adam Bielan, Carlo Fidanza, Beata Mazurek

RENEW

Svenja Hahn

 

 

Key to symbols:

+ : in favour

 : against

0 : abstention

 

 

 

 

OPINION OF THE COMMITTEE ON INTERNATIONAL TRADE (12.11.2020)

for the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety

on the New Circular Economy Action Plan

(2020/2077(INI))

Rapporteur for opinion: Svenja Hahn 

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on International Trade calls on the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions into its motion for a resolution:

1. Stresses that a strategic trade policy is an essential tool for advancing the transition to the circular economy and the EU’s and UN’s Sustainable Development Agenda globally by 2030, and underlines therefore the importance of ensuring that trade and investment agreements are aligned with circular economy policies; considers that legally sound provisions are needed in trade agreements in order to safeguard relevant EU legislation on the circular economy from the notion of a trade barrier; underlines that increased re-use, repair, remanufacturing and recycling can reduce the EU’s reliance on imports of raw materials; points to the need to decouple economic growth from resource use in order to ensure the long-term sustainability and resilience of global value chains while maintaining fair competition, and recalls the need for waste reduction; calls on the Commission to adapt the EU’s Raw Materials Strategy accordingly; underlines that the transition from a linear to a circular economy needs to be inclusive and collaborative in all its aspects;

2. Acknowledges the need for a comprehensive legal framework on the circular economy which will give the EU an advantage in developing relevant standards, including at the international level; calls on the Commission to strengthen the control of transboundary movements of hazardous wastes and their disposal according to the Basel Convention, including its 2019 amendments with regard to transboundary movements of plastic waste; regrets the lack of international and European standards on waste quality, secondary raw materials, and on recycled, remanufactured and repaired goods, as well as the lack of end-of-waste criteria, as this hinders a viable trade policy that is conducive to the circular economy; believes that the harmonisation and standardisation of international and European norms on these would greatly contribute to integrating circular economy objectives into trade policy; calls on the Commission, therefore, to present harmonised standards on waste quality, recycled materials, recyclability, reparability, end-of-waste criteria, and standards on recyclable waste, to include these in future FTAs, and introduce them on an international level along with new initiatives on proper infrastructures that ensure high quality separate collection; recalls the Commission’s commitment within the EU Green Deal for the EU to stop exporting its waste outside the EU; believes therefore that a revision of the Waste Shipment Regulation would provide an opportunity to put an end to the export of the EU’s waste problems, and therefore welcomes the Commission’s announced revision of this Regulation;

3. Notes that in the transition to a circular economy particular attention must be given to key supply chains where the EU’s dependence on uncertain sources of raw materials is particularly high, and value chains where the EU’s environmental footprint is significant and should be reduced; believes that the circular economy could be a tool to maximise EU competitiveness; recalls that undue regulatory burdens should be avoided, and that the level playing field should be guaranteed for EU companies; stresses that improving Europe’s recycling rates for metals and minerals required in green and digital technologies could help Europe to improve its resilience in line with the drive for strategic open autonomy;

4. Underlines the need for transparency and increased traceability in these key supply chains, and calls on the Commission to tackle in particular the efficient use of resources and sustainable production and consumption patterns in the garment sector under its future ‘EU Strategy for Textiles’;

5. Stresses in this regard the need to integrate the aspect of resilience into the Circular Economy Action Plan, and to address increasing resilience in production chains with our trading partners, as well as a resilient labour market, and ways to increase resilience in our environment; calls for an approach to public procurement in our trade policy which provides for preference for durable, repairable and recycled or recyclable materials in public tenders, and that accommodates decentralisation strategies because of their contribution to resilience;

6. Welcomes the planned ‘Circular Electronics Initiative’, and underlines the need to in this context define how e-waste can be exported for re-use and recycling; deplores the fact that electronic waste from the European Union is often sorted in developing countries where health and safety standards are not always respected; stresses that the European circular economy should better contribute to improving working conditions in other parts of the world; recalls that if there is uncertainty as to whether exported waste is recycled in third countries respecting high social, health and environmental standards, improving waste recycling within EU borders should be prioritised;

7. Recalls that in addition to adopting measures to reach the EU objective of climate neutrality by 2050, it is necessary to address the carbon footprint in the EU’s demand for imported products; calls on the Commission to identify and abolish barriers to green growth, eco-innovation and those that prevent or restrict market access for circular products and services from outside the EU; calls on the Commission to investigate the possibilities and benefits of reducing tariffs and non-tariff barriers on certain products and services in order to encourage the development of the circular economy, including in the context of the ongoing review of the EU Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP); encourages the Commission, in this regard, to add the circular economy dimension to the scope of the negotiations on the Environmental Goods Agreement, which should be stepped up; calls on the Commission to take into account the special needs of the EU’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), to assist SMEs in integrating the circular economy in their business model, including through incentives, and to support them in the implementation of business strategies to export circular products, in particular through the launch of a risk assessment tool for rules of origin, as currently being considered by the Commission; calls on the Commission to lead the way in the WTO to address products based on their carbon content as a way to level the regulatory playing field;

8. Welcomes the inclusion of various aspects of the circular economy in existing trade agreements through sustainable development chapters, as well as the inclusion of an explicit mention of the circular economy in future agreements currently under negotiation; urges the Commission to ensure that all available trade instruments, including FTAs, reflect the objectives of the circular economy by including robust, binding and enforceable sustainable development chapters – keeping in mind impact assessment mechanisms on sustainability being compatible with WTO standards – and competitive business models that encourage trade in recycled rather than in primary materials; calls on the Commission to evaluate how to balance enhancing trade in recycled goods with upholding high quality standards and consumer protection; suggests that the circular economy should be addressed in a cross-cutting manner in all relevant FTA chapters; underlines the need for the effective enforcement of trade agreements as a priority task for the Chief Trade Enforcement Officer; calls on the Commission to engage in a dialogue with our partners in current FTAs on whether these agreements support the transition to a circular economy; stresses the opportunity to use the cooperative mechanisms of trade and sustainable development (TSD) chapters to work together with third countries on promoting the circular economy; calls on the Commission to make progress at the WTO on the recognition of processes and production methods (PPMs) as an element to distinguish between products, with a special focus on circular production methods;

9. Encourages the Commission to engage in open and transparent dialogues and cooperation with the EU’s trading partners to further support the objectives of the circular economy; calls on the Commission and Member States to further deploy efforts in international fora (UNCTAD, WTO, G20, G7) to pursue the EU’s agenda on the circular economy and ensure a global level playing field with international partners through the possibility of exploring the concept of digital passports to foster the availability of data related to product’s content and carbon footprint and recyclability, to enable better circularity, promote extended producer responsibility (EPR), as well as sustainable consumer choices; suggests also in this regard that the Commission engages with the relevant multilateral organisations to reach agreement on an international label that is easy to understand for consumers, and indicates whether a product can be recycled; stresses, furthermore, that particular attention must be given to how less developed partner countries participate in and can benefit from the circular economy; calls for an assessment of the impact of increased intra-EU recycling rates on countries heavily reliant on waste imports; calls on the Commission to integrate the circular economy principles in its strategy ‘Towards a comprehensive Strategy with Africa’ in particular; calls on the Commission to use Aid for Trade and GSP+ to help developing countries adopt circular economy practices, including product standards;

10. Highlights that when waste streams are exported from the EU in a socially just, clean and manageable way, opportunities can be created for third countries, and economic efficiency gains can arise when manufacturing hubs are in close proximity to recycling plants, leading to recycling ‘champions’ with first rate quality sorting and processing infrastructure, boosting global recycling volumes and quality;

11. Emphasises the risk of environmental dumping when secondary raw materials or second-hand goods are traded because environmental standards in Europe are higher than in a third country, which would undermine global climate and environmental actions and hinder sustainable transition in third countries;

12. Stresses the importance of promoting and facilitating the consumption of agricultural products and foodstuffs from local farms.

INFORMATION ON ADOPTION IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

Date adopted

10.11.2020

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

42

0

0

Members present for the final vote

Barry Andrews, Anna-Michelle Asimakopoulou, Tiziana Beghin, Geert Bourgeois, Saskia Bricmont, Udo Bullmann, Jordi Cañas, Daniel Caspary, Miroslav Číž, Arnaud Danjean, Paolo De Castro, Emmanouil Fragkos, Raphaël Glucksmann, Markéta Gregorová, Enikő Győri, Roman Haider, Christophe Hansen, Heidi Hautala, Danuta Maria Hübner, Herve Juvin, Karin Karlsbro, Maximilian Krah, Bernd Lange, Gabriel Mato, Sara Matthieu, Emmanuel Maurel, Carles Puigdemont i Casamajó, Samira Rafaela, Inma Rodríguez-Piñero, Massimiliano Salini, Helmut Scholz, Liesje Schreinemacher, Sven Simon, Dominik Tarczyński, Mihai Tudose, Kathleen Van Brempt, Marie-Pierre Vedrenne, Jörgen Warborn, Iuliu Winkler, Jan Zahradil

Substitutes present for the final vote

Marek Belka, Jean-Lin Lacapelle

 

FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

 

 

42

+

ECR

Geert Bourgeois, Emmanouil Fragkos, Dominik Tarczynski, Jan Zahradil

GUE/NGL

Emmanuel Maurel, Helmut Scholz

ID

Roman Haider, Herve Juvin, Maximilian Krah, Jean-Lin Lacapelle

NI

Tiziana Beghin, Carles Puigdemont i Casamajó

PPE

Anna Michelle Asimakopoulou, Daniel Caspary, Arnaud Danjean, Enikő Győri, Christophe Hansen, Danuta Maria Hübner, Gabriel Mato, Massimiliano Salini, Sven Simon, Jörgen Warborn, Iuliu Winkler

RENEW

Barry Andrews, Jordi Cañas, Karin Karlsbro, Samira Rafaela, Liesje Schreinemacher, Marie-Pierre Vedrenne

S&D

Marek Belka, Udo Bullmann, Miroslav Číž, Paolo De Castro, Raphaël Glucksmann, Bernd Lange, Inma Rodríguez Piñero, Mihai Tudose, Kathleen Van Brempt

VERTS/ALE

Saskia Bricmont, Markéta Gregorova, Heidi Hautala, Sara Matthieu

 

 

 

Key to symbols:

+ : in favour

 : against

0 : abstention

 

 

 

 

OPINION OF THE COMMITTEE ON TRANSPORT AND TOURISM (10.11.2020)

for the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety

on New Circular Economy Action Plan

(2020/2077(INI))

Rapporteur for opinion: Jutta Paulus

 

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on Transport and Tourism calls on the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions into its motion for a resolution:

A. whereas the transport, tourism and logistics sectors and their supply chains have a high potential for improved resource efficiency through optimisation of the logistical and value chains, including by developing digital and AI solutions; whereas an increasing volume of transported goods and goods used in the tourism sector are packaged in single-use materials;

B. whereas the circular economy has an important role to play in achieving climate targets, also extending to mobility; whereas a closed-circuit economy means retention of maximum value of raw materials and products is maintained throughout the chain; whereas a recent study[30] has nevertheless concluded that current mobility arrangements apply to the transport of materials rather than people, and are in fact continuing to operate on a linear basis in the absence of any real circular mobility policy at present;

C. whereas recovery and resilience plans should support the transition to the circular economy, including in transport;

D. whereas incorporating the principles of the circular economy and eco-design into tourism products and services will improve the quality of the tourism experience, reduce its environmental impact, and promote access to sustainable and eco-design products or services for consumers;

E. whereas the collection of qualitative data is of great importance for the proper monitoring and evaluation of policies pursued;

F. whereas in its 2011 White Paper on Transport the Commission set the ambition of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from transport by at least 60 % by 2050 compared with 1990 levels, and by 20 % by 2030 compared with 2008 levels; whereas emissions from transport (including international aviation but excluding international shipping) in 2017 were 28 % above 1990 levels; whereas the Commission, following the related impact assessments and consultations with all relevant stakeholders, should take the necessary initiatives for reducing GHGs in EU transport sector legislation as a whole, as the sector is crucial for achieving the EU’s decarbonisation ambitions; whereas more than half of GHG emissions are linked to the extraction and use of raw materials, and whereas a reduction in the use of primary raw materials and commodities and increased recycling offer an opportunity to safeguard our prosperity and sustain our economy;

1. Welcomes the Commission’s Circular Economy Action Plan; highlights that the carbon and resource footprint of goods due to mobility and transport could be reduced through a circular economy approach, promoting, in particular, optimisation and standardisation in order to increase vehicle occupancy rates, as well as the re-conception of efficiently and sustainably managed logistics processes; highlights that the circular economy offers great opportunities for the mobility sector, such as collaborative economy initiatives, zero or low emission vehicles, and the reuse of components; stresses that multimodal transport is important for the circular economy, with an emphasis being placed on those that use the least resources;

2. Calls on the Commission to focus more on the transport sector stronger in their circular economy initiatives, and to step up efforts to reduce GHG emissions from transport; stresses the need to decouple GDP growth from an increase in transport emissions and resource consumption, as envisaged by the Commission in its 2001 White Paper on European transport policy, by a shift from road to rail, water and public passenger transport, and accompanied by a combination of circular options such as car sharing, carpooling and reductions in travel distances; looks forward with particular interest to the announced comprehensive European strategy for sustainable and smart mobility;

3. Stresses the need to promote eco-design in transport products, and to improve the environmental performance of transport services; stresses that a European strategy should be developed to promote monitoring technologies embedded in goods and vehicles in order to improve the information available and apply it to design, life forecasting, cycle extension, recycling efficiency and planning of use cycles;

4. Calls on the Union to increase the share of renewable energies in the various modes of transport, which accounted for 7.2 % of energy in 2017, well below the 10 % target set for 2020 in Directive 2009/28/EC, aiming to achieve at least the 14 % target set for 2030 in Directive (EU) 2018/2001; emphasises the importance of EU-wide CO2 target levels for passenger and freight transport in order to further promote the use of renewable energy; calls on the Commission to adopt additional measures to move towards a lower carbon electricity mix in the EU, given that life-cycle emissions of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) charged in a hypothetical scenario with electricity generated purely from wind power and other renewable sources could be significantly lower than those of an equivalent internal combustion engine vehicle (ICEV); calls on the Union to take action to improve the design of vehicles, leading to lower demand for raw materials, fuel consumption and CO2 emissions; calls on the Commission to support the creation of potential new job opportunities;

5. Calls on the Commission to look into the effects of bio-based alternative fuels, with particular attention on land use, to prevent alternative fuels from being produced at the expense of food crops;

6. Urges the Commission and Member States to internalise the external costs of transport, raise awareness of transport users, promote cleaner transport solutions by establishing GHG certification schemes, and to enable consumers to choose climate-friendly transport options; urges the Union to take measures to make production chains less transport-intensive; stresses the importance of innovation and fiscal policies, and points to European labelling as a critical tool for helping consumers distinguish and choose the most sustainable services; actively encourages producers to use their brand identity and market influence to promote sustainable and circular consumption and transport; calls on the Commission to develop indicators to make it possible to analyse and ensure the development of the circular economy in transport;

7. Calls on the Commission to present possible ways for transport contractors and operators of computerised reservation systems to best provide information about CO2 equivalent emissions, compared with data on the best alternative train, ship or bus connection; calls on the Union to lower GHG emissions from shipping by promoting clean and sustainable technologies, such as the uptake of sail technology, and measures such as slow steaming and speed optimisation; urges the Commission and the Member States to support the most resource-efficient modes of transport, and to define adequate incentives and pricing models, including via tax incentives, and VAT on tickets;

8. Recalls that the transport sector in the EU still depends heavily on oil, and thus on imports, for its energy needs; insists therefore that, apart from including alternative fuels in the forthcoming Comprehensive European Strategy on Sustainable and Smart Mobility, the Union should improve the relevant legislation on sustainable and renewable alternative transport fuels based on life-cycle assessment and optimising synergies at European, national and regional level; encourages the Commission to incentivise the harmonisation of fiscal stimulus policies for the consumption of these types of fuel and the purchase of vehicles that use them; calls on the Commission to ensure that, for each mode of transport, all alternative fuels –  including hydrogen, sustainable biofuels and used cooking oil –  have been considered with a view to their development possibilities and their impact on the environment;

9. Encourages the Commission to follow up on Directive 2014/94/EU and of the Council of 22 October 2014 on the deployment of alternative fuels infrastructure by setting more ambitious objectives and revising the relevant legislation to guarantee the availability of charging and maintenance infrastructure for electric vehicles throughout Europe, and by extending this Directive to all modes of transport, as well as guaranteeing sufficient EU financing and human resources for an efficient provision and implementation of the latter; notes that this legislation should take into account the particular needs of islands, outermost regions, peripheral regions, and mountainous and depopulated areas;

10. Calls on the Member States and the Commission to prioritise, in the recovery and resilience plans and the various EU financing instruments, initiatives relating to the circular economy and the use of renewables in transport, in particular by the swift provision and use of appropriate infrastructure;

11. Calls for the creation of a coherent European network of combined transport terminals and intermodal logistics hubs to further promote the circular economy;

12. Notes the need to increase occupancy rates and load factors; highlights that shared mobility services can benefit the circular economy, and reduce the environmental impacts from transport; highlights that there could be fewer, but more intensively used vehicles, thus saving resources in production, provided that they form part of a broader circular and multi-modal transport strategy; calls, therefore, for the promotion of smart transport systems that help to promote intermodality, including for the ‘last mile’, and to provide users integrated information for purchasing and procurement decisions, paying particular attention to data on the origin of products and services, and on operating costs and their relationship to GHG emissions detailed by option;

13. Believes that shared mobility can lead to the use of smaller electric vehicles with a shorter range and less energy demand, allowing for lighter batteries produced with lower GHG emissions; calls on the Commission and the Member States to promote the most sustainable shared-mobility services and initiatives via a long-term strategy, for example by reducing vehicle registration tax; highlights the potential benefits of using shared vehicles, while meeting the current needs of users; calls for the creation of online platforms for the digitalisation and pooling of transport requests; underlines the need to distinguish between non-professional shared mobility and commercial transport services in EU terminology, so as to lower barriers for shared mobility;

14. Stresses that shared mobility services decrease congestion and contribute to solving urban transport density problems; urges cities to take the initiative of rethinking their transport systems and transport flows; calls for local and regional authorities to take into account the participation of civil society and main stakeholders (such as transport operators, distributors, employees, research and investigation centres, universities) in achieving this aim; stresses the need for innovation and the development of new technologies in the transport sector; emphasises the importance of keeping knowledge, value and jobs created through innovation within the Union; urges further research on vehicle use, using data from national travel surveys and periodic roadworthiness tests, as robust evidence on annual mileage, trip purpose and lifetime mileage is currently limited, hindering full efficiency and carbon saving potential;

15. Believes that the European Union should support circular initiatives, innovative technologies and circular business models that offer sustainable services – often on a local level and implemented by micro, small or medium-sized mobility enterprises or cooperatives – which have great potential for innovation and resource-saving sustainable services; calls on the Commission and the Member States to promote compliance with circular economy requirements in the regulation and supply of public transport and public transport concessions and in their vehicle fleets, as well as in public procurement procedures for transport infrastructure; stresses the importance of circular procurement in general and its potentially exemplary nature at national, regional and local level; stresses the effect this policy could have on user awareness and on mobility choices;

16. Notes that environmental impacts caused by the extraction and processing of raw materials for vehicles can be reduced through short supply chains and material efficiency, as well as through enhanced eco-design, increasing the service life of vehicles, repairs, preparation for re-use, a shift to less critical materials, the phasing out of harmful substances in vehicle equipment, and improved recycling; highlights that the design phase is crucial for the subsequent reuse and recycling potential; calls on the Commission and the Member States to strictly monitor the entire life cycle of vehicles, and to limit the export of end-of-life and second-hand vehicles to third countries in order to prevent critical raw materials leaving the European economy; draws attention to laudable projects to bring scrap vehicles from third countries back to the EU for recycling;

17. Calls on the Commission, when reviewing Directive 2000/53/EC on end-of life vehicles, to assess the possibility of including appropriate measures to improve waste collection systems and creating a system to guarantee the quality and reliability of products from the circular economy, and to ensure that information on the materials and potentially problematic compounds used is maintained throughout the value chain by technological means;

18. Urges the Commission to introduce producer liability, product passports, longer guarantee times and a right to repair for vehicles, particularly those using new technologies; emphasises that a considerable proportion (15-50 %) of a car’s GHG emissions are produced during its manufacture; encourages exploration of the potential benefits for repair processes of an efficient combination of scanning and 3D printing; calls on the Commission to look into the impact of the growth of digital technologies and applications on the service life of vehicles, and to update digital equipment and obsolete software at a reasonable price;

19. Welcomes the Commission’s ambition expressed in the CEAP to progress swiftly on the sustainability and circular potential of batteries for electro-mobility, and to propose a regulatory framework for batteries in 2020 ensuring circular management of material flows and maximum reuse; calls on the Commission to phase out non-rechargeable batteries used in transport systems, where an alternative exists, and to define an increasing share of recycled content in batteries, as well as longer life-cycles, which can save up to 50 % of GHG emissions in production; underlines that standardisation of battery design can be key for enabling future battery reuse and recycling, including market based systems; highlights the potential of a cascaded reuse of batteries in alternative applications, such as for the storage and supply of energy; emphasises the need for more research on these applications: asks the Commission to take into account the carbon footprint of battery production; highlights that a key factor affecting energy consumption of BEVs and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) is the extent to which regenerative braking can be used to recover energy, making it another crucial area for research; calls on the Commission to step up the development of European standards for recharging;

20. Stresses the relevance of BEV charging patterns for sector integration and greenhouse gas performance, as charging during times when the supply of renewable electricity exceeds demand can help stabilise the grid, thus decreasing the GHG emissions of the grid mix as a whole, while on the contrary charging during peaks in other energy use in the evenings can exacerbate peak electricity demand; calls on the Commission to promote smart charging technologies, which should include EU standards, that are able to control the timing of charging, thus contributing to grid stability, low energy costs and the use of renewable energy; notes the potential for users to become energy prosumers by feeding energy from their vehicle batteries into the grid in return for a financial reward or by using self-generated electricity from solar panels for charging their vehicle;

21. Calls on the Commission to restrict exports of waste to third countries, and to review Regulation (EC) 1013/2006 on shipments of waste, as announced in the new CEAP; points out that waste exports result in negative environmental and health impacts in destination countries, lead to the loss of valuable materials, particularly raw materials, and compounds, have negative effects on job creation in the EU, and increase the life cycle emissions of products due to this additional transport; calls for recycling sites to be relocated in order for there to be full control over the cycles of the circular economy, while emphasising recycling and reuse; calls, therefore, for the development of capacities to combat illegal exports and fraud, in particular the disguising of waste exports as second-hand vehicles; calls on the Commission to ensure the implementation of the Port Reception Facilities Directive;

22. Urges the Commission to make reusable packaging and containers for transport compulsory, though this solution should not be used for food when it is contrary to food safety rules; asks the Commission to perform an impact assessment on the harmonisation of deposit return schemes for standard industrial packaging; urges Member States to make it compulsory to take back standard industrial packaging for reuse and recycling purposes as well; calls for these measures to come into force within a reasonable timeframe;

23. Calls on the Commission to include the tourism sector in their ambitions for a circular economy, in order to make progress in promoting innovation in the sector, as well as its sustainability and resilience; recalls the Commission’s 2010 Communication on a new political framework for tourism in Europe, where a sustainable tourism was envisaged and tourism businesses were called on to reduce their use of drinking water, GHG emissions and environmental footprint, to use clean energy, and in general to use natural resources responsibly; urges the Commission to support Member States with the implementation of European environmental legislation and the goals of the new CEAP in their national tourism strategies and individual projects; emphasises that tourism businesses should be encouraged, stimulated and incentivised to participate in the EU Eco-label and the EU Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS); highlights the importance of further incentivising and encouraging the application of eco-design principles through new tourism services, both from the perspective of the goods used to provide them and the processes and environmental impact of their supply;

24. Underlines the importance of developing a comprehensive circular infrastructure, which encourages tourism businesses such as hotels to produce and procure renewable energy; calls on the Commission to develop a strategy to enhance the use of recycled water; highlights the significance of a robust infrastructure, especially for SMEs, which do not have the financial and organisational means to develop such infrastructure themselves; encourages initiatives such as the European cycle route network that support the tourism experience on the basis of promoting healthy activities and contact with the environment: calls on the Commission to encourage the establishment of biodiversity-friendly and small-scale tourism networks, which are inclusive, beneficial to the local communities, and linked to territorial tourism development centres, that make it possible to forge links between tourism professionals, local producers, public authorities, local businesses and craftspeople;

25. Notes that various studies indicate a disproportionally high level of food waste from the hospitality sector, and the role that the tourism sector must play in public policies against food waste; encourages the integration of its professionals in improving data collection on this issue and in raising awareness, disseminating and implementing measures to prevent it; highlights the sector’s potential to lead the creation of solidarity networks that transform the risk of food waste into an opportunity for solidarity and the promotion of the circular economy; advocates training schemes for chefs in order to reduce food waste; calls for more reuse of food waste as animal feed or for the production of biogas; believes that SMEs in the hospitality food sector have high potential for innovation and development of new circular solutions; calls on the Commission to work with the Member States to remove institutional barriers which prevent circular food applications, such as regulations against food surplus distribution from the tourism sector;

26. Highlights the importance of defining and designing innovative training and upskilling projects on the circular economy for workers in all sectors, including transport, taking into account the needs of the sector and the skills required; stresses the importance of coordination between the Commission, Member States and regional and local authorities to advance in the achievement of the new CEAP goals, and to further invest in education and awareness-raising campaigns about the benefits and advantages of circular economy actions in transport; calls for the exchange of good practices and projects at all levels;

INFORMATION ON ADOPTION IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

Date adopted

10.11.2020

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

37

4

2

Members present for the final vote

Magdalena Adamowicz, Andris Ameriks, José Ramón Bauzá Díaz, Izaskun Bilbao Barandica, Marco Campomenosi, Ciarán Cuffe, Jakop G. Dalunde, Johan Danielsson, Andor Deli, Karima Delli, Gheorghe Falcă, Mario Furore, Søren Gade, Isabel García Muñoz, Jens Gieseke, Elsi Katainen, Kateřina Konečná, Elena Kountoura, Julie Lechanteux, Peter Lundgren, Benoît Lutgen, Elżbieta Katarzyna Łukacijewska, Marian-Jean Marinescu, Tilly Metz, Giuseppe Milazzo, Cláudia Monteiro de Aguiar, Caroline Nagtegaal, Jan-Christoph Oetjen, Philippe Olivier, Rovana Plumb, Dominique Riquet, Massimiliano Salini, Sven Schulze, Barbara Thaler, Elissavet Vozemberg-Vrionidi, Lucia Vuolo, Roberts Zīle, Kosma Złotowski

Substitutes present for the final vote

Angel Dzhambazki, Roman Haider, Jutta Paulus, Anne-Sophie Pelletier, Kathleen Van Brempt

 

 

FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

37

+

ECR

Angel Dzhambazki, Roberts Zīle, Kosma Złotowski

GUE/NGL

Kateřina Konečná , Elena Kountoura, Anne‑Sophie Pelletier

NI

Mario Furore

PPE

Magdalena Adamowicz, Andor Deli, Gheorghe Falcă, Jens Gieseke, Elżbieta Katarzyna Łukacijewska, Benoît Lutgen, Marian‑Jean Marinescu, Giuseppe Milazzo, Cláudia Monteiro de Aguiar, Massimiliano Salini, Sven Schulze, Barbara Thaler, Elissavet Vozemberg‑Vrionidi

Renew

José Ramón Bauzá Díaz, Izaskun Bilbao Barandica, Søren Gade, Elsi Katainen, Caroline Nagtegaal, Jan‑Christoph Oetjen, Dominique Riquet

S&D

Andris Ameriks, Johan Danielsson, Isabel García Muñoz, Rovana Plumb, Kathleen Van Brempt,

Verts/ALE

Ciarán Cuffe, Jakop G. Dalunde, Karima Delli, Tilly Metz, Jutta Paulus

 

4

ECR

Peter Lundgren

ID

Marco Campomenosi , Roman Haider, Lucia Vuolo

 

2

0

ID

Julie Lechanteux, Philippe Olivier

 

Key to symbols:

+ : in favour

 : against

0 : abstention

 

 

 

 

OPINION OF THE COMMITTEE ON AGRICULTURE AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT (7.12.2020)

for the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety

on the new Circular Economy Action Plan

(2020/2077(INI))

Rapporteur for opinion: Claude Gruffat

PA_NonLeg

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development calls on the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions into its motion for a resolution:

1. Considers that the agricultural, food and forestry sectors and rural areas are important components of the circular economy and bioeconomy; believes that since it is closely based on natural cycles and processes, sustainable agriculture is fully compatible with the properly functioning circular economy model, helping to produce healthy and affordable food;

2. Considers that in order to reap its full potential, the bioeconomy must continue to be a priority for the EU and the measures available and funding must therefore be coherent; underlines that the circular economy and bioeconomy can provide solutions to the challenges facing the agricultural sector, including those brought to light by the COVID-19 crisis;

3. Considers that the circular economy approach has the potential to enhance not only the sustainability of our farming sector, but also its long-term competitiveness; stresses the important role that young farmers and generational renewal in agriculture, as well as small and medium-sized agri-food enterprises (SMEs), can play and are already playing in the transition to a circular economy;

4. Underlines that the circular economy and the move towards a more inclusive, sustainable, environmentally- and climate-friendly food supply chain can foster business creation and entrepreneurship among SMEs;

5. Welcomes the Commission communication on the new Circular Economy Action Plan, as it fully reflects the changes required of an economy as it evolves to meet the needs of sustainable development, making it possible to create jobs while protecting the climate, the environment and biodiversity;

6. Stresses that the circular economy approach could offer more opportunities to make the entire agri-food value chain more resource efficient, by reducing the amount of external inputs and the leakage of excess nutrients, thereby helping to close nutrient cycle loops, reduce negative discharges to the environment, diminish price volatility, lower production costs and achieve sustainability;

7. Notes that in 2015 the bioeconomy represented a market estimated to be worth over EUR 2.3 trillion, providing 20 million jobs and accounting for 8.2 % of total employment in the EU;

8. Takes the view that the announcement of the action plan is a clarion call for qualitative change to reorient and optimise farm production models towards more sustainable production practices, new concepts and systems, such as agroecology, organic farming, integrated production, low-till and topsoil conservation, using inter alia precise and smart techniques to address the degradation and scarcity of natural resources and the subsequent need to improve production;

9. Notes that the action plan points the way towards a more sustainable, resource-efficient, self-sufficient and resilient type of farming; stresses that the circular economy model and the changes involved will also have an impact on the food processing and retail sectors and the whole agricultural bioeconomy;

10. Considers that the principles of the circular economy entail, inter alia:

 better use of energy resources, such as fuel use and the thermal efficiency of buildings;

 retaining and saving water, such as via water-saving irrigation systems, by recovering and recycling water from closed systems, and water storage and retention, especially in the soil, soil biota and vegetation;

 more efficient use of resources used for feed, such as relocalising and rationalising animal feed and nutrition, and shortening transport distances;

 greater use of organic bio-sourced products derived from natural processes (biofertilisers, biostimulants and biocontrols), replacing non-renewable chemical inputs (e.g. synthetic fertilisers and pesticides) where possible;

 allowing farmers and groups of farmers to develop collaboration and synergies, enabling equipment and facilities to be used more effectively and preventing the excessive accumulation of equipment, which is often associated with investment management based on tax planning;

 greater cooperation between stakeholders, including promoting cooperative models and pursuing more synergies on the ground, underpinned by collective and shared commitments;

11. Underlines that the circular economy can provide solutions to the challenges brought to light by the COVID-19 crisis, notably by reducing the vulnerability of agri-food value chains;

12. Considers that the EU’s economic recovery plan – Next Generation EU – should provide support to create and strengthen local and regional agri-food value chains and increase their resilience, establishing new sustainable farming practices and circular economy initiatives;

13. Calls for a strategic EU plan for the supply of plant proteins to be implemented as soon as possible through Member States’ strategic plans, preferably no later than the entry into force of the next common agricultural policy (CAP);

14. Considers that such a plan should advocate the production and consumption of legumes, including grain proteins as nitrogen-fixing crops, and of own-grown forage crops, which offer a number of agronomical and environmental advantages and can cut import dependencies from distant countries, including those with no regard for the environment, biodiversity or human rights;

15. Underlines that this plan should prohibit the import of products that breach EU health, environment and climate standards or contribute to deforestation; considers, moreover, that growing more protein crops in Europe could provide opportunities for farmers; underlines the essential role of research and innovation in reducing the EU’s dependency on protein imports and calls on the Commission to ensure adequate support through Horizon Europe and the European Innovation Partnership (EIP) under the CAP for agricultural productivity and sustainability;

16. Considers that the circular economy and bioeconomy offer potential for farmers and their cooperatives in the transition towards climate neutrality; recalls the opportunity of enabling farmers to use agricultural waste and residues on farms and the production of recycled organic fertilisers as alternatives for imported phosphorous, whose global resources are dwindling, or synthetic nitrogen;

17. Takes the view that the production of these organic fertilisers must adhere to strict health and environmental standards and to traceability rules set at EU level;

18. Notes the general need for farmers, especially those producing for certification schemes such as organic schemes, to ensure that such fertilisers are free from soil-polluting contaminants[31];

19. Highlights the need to explore with further research the value-added use of agricultural residues and the potential of bio-based innovation to deliver new value chains, technologies and processes, economic activities and employment, with the potential for revitalising regional economies and local and rural areas;

20. Notes the opportunities of manure management for promoting organic fertilisers, improving soil carbon content and thus contributing to carbon sequestration;

21. Stresses that European biofuel production can only be consistent with the principles underpinning the circular economy if it is generated from by-products and the recovery and use of waste or residues, if it takes up a small share of agricultural land and if it is not responsible for an increase in the price of foodstuffs;

22. Notes, in this context, the potential for regional development and employment of locally-sourced agricultural waste, food waste and green municipal waste used in biogas production plants; highlights the role of sustainable, renewable and climate-friendly energy production as an effective substitute for fossil fuels;

23. Underlines that it is essential that forestry is sustainably managed so that wood-based materials can function as carbon stores and substitute fossil-fuel derived or non-renewable materials in industrial applications such as construction, fibre products, textiles, composites, bioplastics and chemicals;

24. Calls for the promotion of sustainable wood products storing carbon in the long term in order to substitute greenhouse gas-intensive substances and production; notes, furthermore, that increasing forest areas under the appropriate conditions may increase carbon sinking, while also providing jobs and boosting incomes in rural and urban areas; believes that achieving a sustainable forestry sector and compensating for public goods and services rendered through nature conservation can help to strengthen the EU-wide bioeconomy;

25. Highlights that developing circular bioeconomies would require business incentives to be aligned with policy goals and require new skills and the acquisition, sharing and application of knowledge gained by training and education in order to meet the needs of the sector and ensure that skills and jobs are better matched;

26. Stresses that the uptake of the circular bioeconomy must be promoted through strong research and innovation policies; notes that every euro invested in bioeconomy research and innovation under Horizon 2020 would generate about EUR 10 in added value;

27. Notes the potential of the circular economy to contribute to a more efficient use of resources, to promote regional and local food systems which ensure a fair price for producers, to strengthen short supply chains and the link between food products and their origin, to develop rural areas, rural economies and thus social and territorial cohesion, and to encourage diversification and crop complementarity on and between farms;

28. Notes, in addition, the potential of the circular economy to strengthen the position of farmers in the food system and society; emphasises the role of national, regional and local administrations in building these short supply chains;

29. Calls for biodiversity and the environment to be fully respected within the wider circular economy incentives regarding carbon sinking; calls for the Commission to look into devising a regulatory framework including robust and transparent carbon accounting to monitor and verify the authenticity of carbon removals;

30. Supports the Commission in its efforts to better inform consumers on nutritional and ecological claims and by improving origin labelling; calls for voluntary labelling highlighting the sustainability credentials of products;

31. Emphasises the rights of EU citizens to precise and accurate information about the environmental impacts of food, feed, forestry and other bio-based products; calls for solid, accurate and harmonised calculation methods to evaluate those impacts based on reliable peer-reviewed science; underlines that those calculation methods/weightings should incentivise sustainable production methods and should take account of the efforts made by first movers;

32. Calls on the Commission and the Member States to invest in new circular economy initiatives in order to develop better infrastructure for the circular economy;

33. Calls for a hierarchy of measures in the fight against food waste which first prioritises prevention, then explores the possibilities for donating or processing food waste, and lastly examines the possibility for converting food waste into animal feed or fuel;

34. Calls for prevention measures to be stepped up in all parts of the food chain, both through intensified awareness-raising among EU citizens and through suitable measures and initiatives for food producers, processors and traders;

35. Calls for further measures to help shorten the food chain and thus reduce the number of stages at which food waste is produced; stresses that food wastage has huge environmental consequences, contributes to climate change and represents a waste of limited resources such as land, energy, water and biodiversity; urges the Commission, therefore, to use the Farm to Fork Strategy to swiftly introduce proposals to implement the goal of halving food waste by 2030;

36. Highlights the need to strike the right balance between food packaging that is tailored to individual needs but that also prevents food from spoiling and thus food production resources from being lost;

37. Calls on the Commission to consider the distinction between avoidable waste and unavoidable losses due to unforeseen circumstances;

38. Calls for recognition for agricultural sectors that already work within the principles of the circular economy, such as those using agricultural waste streams and food waste;

39. Points out that food packaging performs important functions, as it improves hygiene, quality and shelf life and provides useful product information;

40. Calls on the Commission to propose new legislation to tackle over-packaging and waste generation and to provide support for the creation of an integrated single market for secondary raw materials and by-products;

41. Calls on the Commission to take account of the functions of food packaging when taking steps to realise the objectives of the new Circular Economy Action Plan;

42. Notes the potential within the circular economy for optimising the use of food that is unavoidably lost or discarded and of by-products from the food chain; stresses the opportunities to reduce wastage at the production stage by using innovative techniques and technologies to convert products that do not meet market standards into processed goods;

43. Notes the benefits of cooperation between producers and innovations in digitalisation that facilitate access to data, demand forecasts and advance production programmes for farmers, thereby enabling them to adapt their production to demand, better coordinate with other sectors in the food supply chain and minimise wastage;

44. Calls for a multi-stakeholder approach for the purposes of collecting unsold, unconsumed and inedible food and redirecting it to feed manufacture; calls on the Commission, in consequence, to analyse legal barriers to the use of old foodstuffs in feed production and to promote research in this area, while also stressing the need for greater traceability and compliance with biosecurity standards and for separation and treatment processes that completely nullify food safety risks;

45. Highlights the importance of research and development for sustainable agricultural technologies, which should be adapted to the needs of farmers and broader society; notes, in particular, the specific needs of small- and medium-scale farmers and the need to focus research and development on access to scale- and cost-appropriate technologies;

46. Considers that all innovations in the circular economy should be covered by EU legislation, should be consistent with the principles of the European Green Deal, and should do no harm to the environment, biodiversity or health, in accordance with the precautionary principle;

47. Calls on the Commission to carry out impact assessments of all the measures proposed under the new Circular Economy Action Plan in order to protect companies’ existing and future economic interests and to ensure a do-no-harm approach, in the interest of all EU citizens;

48. Highlights the role of Cluster 6 of Horizon Europe for advancing knowledge, building capacities and developing and demonstrating innovative solutions that will accelerate the transition to a circular economy and, in so doing, create attractive jobs in rural communities and enhance value creation, sustainability and competitiveness;

49. Considers that agricultural land is primarily destined for food and feed production and that bio-sourced materials for plastics should be primarily produced from waste material other than food;

50. Calls for farm waste collection, sorting and recycling facilities to be set up throughout Europe, drawing on the collective responsibility of all actors, farmers, distributors and industrialists;

51. Considers, moreover, that the Commission’s draft plastic waste strategy is particularly relevant to agriculture, since the challenges and costs involved in recycling agricultural plastics entails huge challenges for the sector;

52. Calls for oxo-fragmentable plastic films to be phased out and advocates the use of bio-sourced and biodegradable materials which degrade within a short period of time into CO2 and water under natural environmental conditions and meet EU requirements on curbing waste, soil pollution and bioaccumulation in particular; underlines the need for clear labelling of plastics that are fully biodegradable under normal conditions and plastics that are merely bio-sourced and non-biodegradable;

53. Welcomes the intention to develop a policy framework for sourcing, labelling and using bio-based plastics; highlights that waste products and side streams of agricultural production and the agro-food industry which cannot be used for food, feed or compost should be the main source for bio-plastics;

54. Calls on the Commission and the Member States to invest in new recycling technologies in order to optimise and promote the technological development of sorting and recycling plants and their infrastructure, as well as re-use procedures and techniques; calls on the Commission, in this context, to develop a uniform labelling scheme for recycling systems;

55. Welcomes all initiatives which seek to incorporate waste management and prevention principles into the specifications of products with EU and national quality marks;

56. Highlights the presence of old, disused agricultural buildings which pose serious problems in terms of their removal costs (asbestos, etc.), even before new uses can be made of them or the space they occupy; underlines, moreover, the overall need for a transition to a sustainable and more circular economy in the sourcing and manufacturing of construction products and materials used in the agricultural sector; stresses that any efforts undertaken in this regard must be made in line with ISO standard TC 323 on the circular economy;

57. Calls for the blue bioeconomy to be integrated into Member States’ strategies on the Circular Economy Action Plan.

INFORMATION ON ADOPTION IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

Date adopted

1.12.2020

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

43

0

2

Members present for the final vote

Mazaly Aguilar, Clara Aguilera, Atidzhe Alieva-Veli, Álvaro Amaro, Attila Ara-Kovács, Carmen Avram, Adrian-Dragoş Benea, Benoît Biteau, Mara Bizzotto, Daniel Buda, Isabel Carvalhais, Asger Christensen, Angelo Ciocca, Ivan David, Paolo De Castro, Jérémy Decerle, Salvatore De Meo, Herbert Dorfmann, Luke Ming Flanagan, Cristian Ghinea, Dino Giarrusso, Francisco Guerreiro, Martin Häusling, Martin Hlaváček, Krzysztof Jurgiel, Jarosław Kalinowski, Elsi Katainen, Gilles Lebreton, Norbert Lins, Chris MacManus, Marlene Mortler, Ulrike Müller, Juozas Olekas, Pina Picierno, Maxette Pirbakas, Bronis Ropė, Anne Sander, Petri Sarvamaa, Simone Schmiedtbauer, Annie Schreijer-Pierik, Veronika Vrecionová, Sarah Wiener, Juan Ignacio Zoido Álvarez

Substitutes present for the final vote

Petros Kokkalis, Ruža Tomašić

 

FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

43

+

ECR

Mazaly AGUILAR, Krzysztof JURGIEL, Ruža TOMAŠIĆ, Veronika VRECIONOVÁ

GUE/NGL

Luke Ming FLANAGAN, Petros KOKKALIS, Chris MACMANUS

ID

Ivan DAVID, Gilles LEBRETON, Maxette PIRBAKAS

NI

Dino GIARRUSSO

PPE

Álvaro AMARO, Daniel BUDA, Salvatore DE MEO, Herbert DORFMANN, Jarosław KALINOWSKI, Norbert LINS, Marlene MORTLER, Anne SANDER, Petri SARVAMAA, Simone SCHMIEDTBAUER, Annie SCHREIJER-PIERIK, Juan Ignacio ZOIDO ÁLVAREZ

Renew

Atidzhe ALIEVA-VELI, Asger CHRISTENSEN, Jérémy DECERLE, Cristian GHINEA, Martin HLAVÁČEK, Elsi KATAINEN, Ulrike MÜLLER

S&D

Clara AGUILERA, Attila ARA-KOVÁCS, Carmen AVRAM, Adrian-Dragoş BENEA, Isabel CARVALHAIS, Paolo DE CASTRO, Juozas OLEKAS, Pina PICIERNO

Verts/ALE

Benoît BITEAU, Francisco GUERREIRO, Martin HÄUSLING, Bronis ROPĖ, Sarah WIENER

 

 

2

0

ID

Mara BIZZOTTO, Angelo CIOCCA

 

Key to symbols:

+ : in favour

 : against

0 : abstention

 

 

INFORMATION ON ADOPTION IN COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE

Date adopted

27.1.2021

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

66

6

7

Members present for the final vote

Nikos Androulakis, Bartosz Arłukowicz, Margrete Auken, Simona Baldassarre, Marek Paweł Balt, Traian Băsescu, Aurelia Beigneux, Monika Beňová, Sergio Berlato, Malin Björk, Simona Bonafè, Delara Burkhardt, Pascal Canfin, Sara Cerdas, Mohammed Chahim, Tudor Ciuhodaru, Nathalie Colin-Oesterlé, Esther de Lange, Christian Doleschal, Marco Dreosto, Bas Eickhout, Cyrus Engerer, Eleonora Evi, Agnès Evren, Pietro Fiocchi, Andreas Glück, Catherine Griset, Jytte Guteland, Teuvo Hakkarainen, Martin Hojsík, Pär Holmgren, Jan Huitema, Yannick Jadot, Adam Jarubas, Karin Karlsbro, Petros Kokkalis, Athanasios Konstantinou, Ewa Kopacz, Joanna Kopcińska, Peter Liese, Sylvia Limmer, Javi López, César Luena, Fulvio Martusciello, Liudas Mažylis, Joëlle Mélin, Tilly Metz, Silvia Modig, Dolors Montserrat, Alessandra Moretti, Dan-Ştefan Motreanu, Ville Niinistö, Ljudmila Novak, Grace O’Sullivan, Jutta Paulus, Stanislav Polčák, Jessica Polfjärd, Luisa Regimenti, Frédérique Ries, María Soraya Rodríguez Ramos, Sándor Rónai, Rob Rooken, Silvia Sardone, Christine Schneider, Günther Sidl, Linea Søgaard-Lidell, Nicolae Ştefănuță, Nils Torvalds, Edina Tóth, Véronique Trillet-Lenoir, Petar Vitanov, Alexandr Vondra, Mick Wallace, Pernille Weiss, Michal Wiezik, Tiemo Wölken, Anna Zalewska

Substitutes present for the final vote

Hildegard Bentele, Manuel Bompard

 

FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE

66

+

PPE

Bartosz Arłukowicz, Hildegard Bentele, Traian Băsescu, Nathalie Colin‑Oesterlé, Christian Doleschal, Agnès Evren, Adam Jarubas, Ewa Kopacz, Peter Liese, Fulvio Martusciello, Liudas Mažylis, Dolors Montserrat, Dan‑Ştefan Motreanu, Ljudmila Novak, Jessica Polfjärd, Stanislav Polčák, Christine Schneider, Edina Tóth, Pernille Weiss, Michal Wiezik, Esther de Lange

S&D

Nikos Androulakis, Marek Paweł Balt, Monika Beňová, Simona Bonafè, Delara Burkhardt, Sara Cerdas, Mohammed Chahim, Tudor Ciuhodaru, Cyrus Engerer, Jytte Guteland, César Luena, Javi López, Alessandra Moretti, Sándor Rónai, Günther Sidl, Petar Vitanov, Tiemo Wölken

Renew

Pascal Canfin, Andreas Glück, Martin Hojsík, Jan Huitema, Karin Karlsbro, Frédérique Ries, María Soraya Rodríguez Ramos, Linea Søgaard‑Lidell, Nils Torvalds, Véronique Trillet‑Lenoir, Nicolae Ştefănuță

ID

Aurelia Beigneux, Catherine Griset, Joëlle Mélin

Verts/ALE

Margrete Auken, Bas Eickhout, Eleonora Evi, Pär Holmgren, Yannick Jadot, Tilly Metz, Ville Niinistö, Grace O’Sullivan, Jutta Paulus

The Left

Malin Björk, Manuel Bompard, Petros Kokkalis, Silvia Modig, Mick Wallace

 

6

ID

Simona Baldassarre, Marco Dreosto, Teuvo Hakkarainen, Sylvia Limmer, Luisa Regimenti, Silvia Sardone

 

7

0

ECR

Sergio Berlato, Pietro Fiocchi, Joanna Kopcińska, Rob Rooken, Alexandr Vondra, Veronika Vrecionová, Anna Zalewska

 

Key to symbols:

+ : in favour

 : against

0 : abstention

 

 

[1] https://ec.europa.eu/environment/pdf/chemicals/2020/10/Strategy.pdf

[5] OJ C 334, 19.9.2018, p. 60.

[6] OJ C 265, 11.8.2017, p. 65.

[7] OJ C 433, 23.12.2019, p. 146.

[11] OJ C 433, 23.12.2019, p. 136.

[12] OJ C 433, 23.12.2019, p. 146.

[13] OJ C 76, 9.3.2020, p. 192.

[14] OJ L 155, 12.6.2019, p. 1.

[15] OJ L 150, 14.6.2018, p. 109.

[16] OJ L 150, 14.6.2018, p. 141.

[17] OJ L 150, 14.6.2018, p. 100.

[18] OJ L 150, 14.6.2018, p. 93.

[19] OJ L 353, 31.12.2008, p. 1.

[22] https://science.sciencemag.org/content/369/6510/1455

[24] https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/tgm/table.do?tab=table&init=1&language=en&pcode=cei_srm030&plugin=1(as quoted from the European Green Deal)

[25] Environmental Indicator Report 2014: Environmental Impacts of Production-Consumption Systems in Europe. European Environmental Agency 2014.

[29] Regulation (EU) No 305/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 9 March 2011 laying down harmonised conditions for the marketing of construction products and repealing Council Directive 89/106/EEC, OJ L 88, 4.4.2011, p. 5.

[31] Heavy metals, pharmaceutical residues, hormones, microbial pathogens, microplastics, glass, etc.

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on the implementation of the EU water legislation – B9-0401/2020

Source: European Parliament

B9‑0401/2020

European Parliament resolution on the implementation of the EU water legislation

(2020/2613(RSP))

The European Parliament,

 having regard to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, and in particular Article 191 thereof,

 having regard to Directive 2000/60/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing a framework for Community action in the field of water policy (Water Framework Directive – WFD)[1],

 having regard to Council Directive 91/271/EEC of 21 May 1991 concerning urban waste-water treatment (Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive – UWWTD)[2],

 having regard to Directive 2006/118/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 December 2006 on the protection of groundwater against pollution and deterioration (Groundwater Directive)[3],

 having regard to Directive 2007/60/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2007 on the assessment and management of flood risks (Floods Directive)[4],

 having regard to Council Directive 91/676/EEC of 12 December 1991 concerning the protection of waters against pollution caused by nitrates from agricultural sources[5],

 having regard to Directive 2008/105/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 2008 on environmental quality standards in the field of water policy, amending and subsequently repealing Council Directives 82/176/EEC, 83/513/EEC, 84/156/EEC, 84/491/EEC, 86/280/EEC and amending Directive 2000/60/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council (Environmental Quality Standards Directive) [6],

 having regard to Regulation (EU) 2020/741 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 May 2020 on minimum requirements for water reuse[7],

 having regard to Directive 2008/56/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 June 2008 establishing a framework for community action in the field of marine environmental policy (Marine Strategy Framework Directive)[8],

 having regard to Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 December 2006 concerning the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH), establishing a European Chemicals Agency, amending Directive 1999/45/EC and repealing Council Regulation (EEC) No 793/93 and Commission Regulation (EC) No 1488/94 as well as Council Directive 76/769/EEC and Commission Directives 91/155/EEC, 93/67/EEC, 93/105/EC and 2000/21/EC (the REACH Regulation)[9],

 having regard to Directive 2010/75/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 November 2010 on industrial emissions (integrated pollution prevention and control)[10],

 having regard to the Commission report of 10 December 2019 on the Fitness Check of the Water Framework Directive and the Floods Directive and its executive summary of the same date thereon,

 having regard to the Commission evaluation of 13 December 2019 of the Council Directive 91/271/EEC of 21 May 1991, concerning urban waste-water treatment and the executive summary of the same date thereon,

 having regard to the Commission proposal of 1 February 2018 for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the quality of water intended for human consumption (recast) (COM(2017)0753),

 having regard to the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the establishment of a Programme for the Union’s action in the field of health –  for the period 2021-2027 and repealing Regulation (EU) No 282/2014 (EU4Health Programme, COM(2020)0405),

 having regard to its resolution of 28 November 2019 on the climate and environment emergency[11],

 having regard to the European Environment Agency (EEA) report of 4 December 2019 entitled ‘The European environment – state and outlook 2020: Knowledge for transition to a sustainable Europe,

 having regard to the Commission communication of 11 December 2019 on the European Green Deal (COM(2019)0640),

 having regard to the Commission communication of 10 March 2020 entitled ‘A New Industrial Strategy for Europe’, and in particular section 2.2 thereof entitled ‘An industry that paves the way to climate-neutrality’ (COM(2020)0102),

 having regard to the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030[12],

 having regard to the Farm to Fork Strategy[13],

 having regard to the 7th Environment Action Programme[14],

 having regard to the Commission communication of 14 January 2020 on the Sustainable Europe Investment Plan and the European Green Deal Investment Plan (COM(2020)0021)[15],

 having regard to the Commission communication of 11 March 2020 entitled ‘A new Circular Economy Action Plan for a cleaner and more competitive Europe’ (COM(2020)0098),

 having regard to the Commission communication of 27 May 2020 entitled ‘Europe’s moment: Repair and Prepare for the Next Generation’ (COM(2020)0456),

 having regard to the Commission communication of 11 March 2019 entitled ‘European Union Strategic Approach to Pharmaceuticals in the Environment’ (COM(2019)0128),

 having regard to the Paris Agreement,

 having regard to the study by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) of May 2020 entitled ‘Financing Water Supply, Sanitation and Flood Protection – Challenges in EU Member States and Policy Options’,

 having regard to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly SDG 6 on clean water and sanitation[16] and SDG 14 on the conservation and sustainable use of the oceans, seas and marine resources,

 having regard to the global assessment report of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) of May 2019 on biodiversity and ecosystem services,

 having regard to Commission report of November 2019 entitled ‘Evaluation of the Impact of the CAP on Water’,

 having regard to the UN Resolution 64/292 of 28 July 2010, which recognises the human right to water and sanitation,

 having regard to the Court of Justice judgment of 28 May 2020 in Case C-535/18, IL and others v Land Nordrhein-Westfalen,

 having regard to the Court of Justice judgment of 1 July 2015 in Case C-461/13, Bund für Umwelt und Naturschutz Deutschland e.V. v Bundesrepublik Deutschland (the Weser Case),

 having regard to the European Citizens’ Initiative ‘Right2Water’ and the Parliament report on the follow-up to the European Citizens’ Initiative Right2Water,

 having regard to the opinion of the Committee of the Regions of 2 July 2020 on the Fitness Check of the Water Framework Directive, Groundwater Directive, Environmental Quality Standards Directive and Floods Directive[17],

 having regard to opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee of 12 December 2018 on ‘Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on minimum requirements for water reuse (rolling programme)’[18],

 having regard to the questions to the Council and to the Commission on implementation of the EU water legislation (O-000077/2020B9‑0077/2020 and O-000078/2020B9‑0078/2020),

 having regard to Rules 136(5) and 132(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

 having regard to the motion for a resolution of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety,

A. whereas water is essential for life and water management plays a vital role in the preservation of the EU’s ecosystem services, as well as in resource use and economic production; whereas the EU has to produce effective responses to the current water challenges and manage existing water resources efficiently, as they directly affect human health, the environment, its quality and ecosystems, energy production, agriculture and food security;

B. whereas water is an essential element in the food cycle; whereas it is necessary that ground and surface water is of good quality and available in sufficient quantities in order to achieve a fair, healthy, environmentally friendly and sustainable food system as described in the Farm to Fork Strategy; whereas clean and sufficient water is an essential element in implementing and achieving a real circular economy in the EU;

C. whereas water represents great value for the EU economy and whereas the EU’s water-dependent sectors generate 26 % of the EU’s annual gross added value, making it crucial to ensure continued availability of good-quality water, in sufficient quantities to serve all uses;

D. whereas the WFD established a framework to protect 110 000 bodies of surface water in the EU, aiming to achieve ‘good ecological and chemical status’ by 2015, to protect 13 400 bodies of groundwater in the EU, aiming to achieve ‘good quantitative and chemical status’ by the same deadline, and to protect drinking water resources pursuant to Article 7(2); whereas the Fitness Check found significant shortcomings in the implementation of EU water legislation, the objectives of which are unlikely to be achieved by the final 2027 deadline unless all required implementation efforts are immediately initiated in the Member States and unless water-related sectoral policies are aligned with WFD requirements; whereas water management planning and programmes of measures (PoMs) should continue beyond the 2027 deadline, leading to further improvement of water quality and quantity;

E. whereas 74 % of the area of bodies of groundwater is in good chemical status and whereas 89 % is in good quantitative status; whereas the gross nitrogen balance in the EU was reduced by 10 % between 2004 and 2015[19];

F. whereas good chemical status has been achieved for only 38 % of surface water and just 40 % is in good ecological status or potential, and whereas the status of 16 % of surface water is still unknown because of a lack of data; whereas 81 % of surface water would achieve good chemical status if it were not polluted by ubiquitous, persistent bioaccumulative and toxic substances (uPBTs), such as mercury; whereas only one of the four WFD freshwater indicators analysed by the EEA has shown progress in the last 10-15 years[20];

G. whereas according to the ‘one out, all out’ principle, water status is considered good only if all elements of the assessment are considered good, which does not reflect improvements in individual parameters of water quality; whereas good status depends not only on mitigation measures to address current pressures, but also on restoration measures to address pressures from the past and on timely preventive measures against emerging threats[21];

H. whereas the effectiveness of the WFD and the achievement of its objectives depends upon its implementation and enforcement by the competent authorities in the Member States, on ensuring adequate funding, including through EU financial instruments, on the implementation of other pieces of EU legislation, and on better integration of water objectives in other policies; whereas stakeholder involvement is key to effective implementation;

I. whereas Article 7(3) of the WFD stipulates that the Member States must ensure that the bodies of water used for producing drinking water are protected with the aim of avoiding deterioration in their quality; whereas the Fitness Check clearly states that little progress has been made on protected areas for drinking water;

J. whereas it is of crucial importance to tackle chemical and other causes of pollution in surface water and groundwater at source as a priority as it is the most sustainable, effective and cost-effective measure, alongside implementing the polluter-pays principle;

K. whereas the WFD spells out the need to protect waters used for the abstraction of drinking water; whereas drinking water operators should be able to rely on high-quality water resources so that citizens do not have to pay for expensive treatments; whereas it is therefore necessary to reduce pollution at the source;

L. whereas the 2019 IPBES global assessment report on biodiversity and ecosystem services names water pollution as an important threat to global biodiversity; whereas freshwater biodiversity is among the most threatened in Europe and whereas water pollution has a negative impact on flora and fauna; whereas European wetlands, which serve as natural carbon sinks, have decreased by 50 % since 1970 and whereas freshwater species have declined by 83 % since then;

M. whereas climate change is a major threat for water resources around the world, both in terms of high and low quantities of water; whereas healthy and resilient freshwater ecosystems are better able to mitigate the effects of and adapt to climate change;

N. whereas the WFD does not include specific provisions to address climate change impacts; whereas in its communication on the European Green Deal, the Commission nevertheless acknowledges that natural functions of ground and surface water must be restored; whereas the Fitness Check found that the WFD ‘is sufficiently prescriptive with regard to the pressures to be addressed, and yet flexible enough to reinforce its implementation as necessary with regard to emerging challenges not mentioned in the Directive such as climate change, water scarcity and pollutants of emerging concern’;

O. whereas urban areas are constantly growing and increasing pressure on waste water treatment plants; whereas the main and partly unregulated point source of water pollution in the EU is the discharge of untreated or inadequately treated urban and/or industrial waste water; whereas the UWWTD was not initially designed to treat the release of chemical substances, pharmaceutical residue or microplastics into bodies of water; whereas the UWWTD was effective in reducing targeted pollutants to bodies of water by reducing the loads of biochemical oxygen demand, nitrogen and phosphorus in treated waste water across the EU; whereas nevertheless, more attention should be paid to both existing and emerging sources of pollution; whereas another main diffuse source of water pollution is agriculture, due to releases of nutrients, pesticides, antibiotics and other pollutants into drainage basins and rivers; whereas water-related provisions of the current CAP have been insufficient to help achieve the objectives of the WFD; whereas diffuse pollution is an obstacle to the implementation of the polluter pays principle;

P. whereas one third of European countries suffer from water scarcity i.e. they have less than 5 000 m3 of water per head annually[22]; whereas, in the event of conflicts over the allocation of water resources, the safeguarding of the human right to water must take priority; whereas 13 Member States declared that they are at risk of desertification at the UN Convention to Combat Desertification[23];

Q. whereas water abstraction puts significant pressure on EU water sources; whereas about a quarter of water diverted from the natural environment in the EU is used for agriculture; whereas an agreement on the new regulation on minimum requirements for water reuse was reached, which will facilitate the use of treated urban waste water for agricultural irrigation;

R. whereas there are situations in which entities managing bodies of water are financed from activities that deteriorate the chemical and ecological status of bodies of water, impeding the achievement of the objectives of the WFD; whereas in such situations, conflicts of interest are hard to avoid and they keep the entities managing bodies of water going in vicious circles, making them dependant on activities that deteriorate bodies of water;

S. whereas 60 % of river basins are in transnational regions, which makes effective transboundary cooperation crucial; whereas 20 European countries depend on other countries for more than 10 % of their water resources, with five countries relying on over 75 % of their resources coming from abroad via rivers; whereas non-compliance with the UWWTD in border regions causes deterioration of cross-border WFD bodies of water, which makes it impossible to reach WFD goals in the receiving Member State;

T. whereas river connectivity, from small streams through to estuaries and deltas, is crucial for migratory species of fish, the life stages of which are a cornerstone of the respective ecosystems and the food chain, and which are gaining increasing socio-cultural value in fishing communities;

U. whereas the overall energy consumption of the water sector in the EU is significant and needs to be more efficient in order to contribute to the goals of the Paris Agreement, the EU’s 2030 climate goals and its goal to achieve carbon neutrality in 2050;

V. whereas hydropower has huge potential to decarbonise electricity generation and is therefore contributing to reaching the EU’s climate and energy targets under the Paris Agreement; whereas, compared to wind power and solar-generated electricity, hydropower is less volatile and therefore helps to keep the power supply constant and the grid stable; whereas pumped hydro storage accounts for more than 90 %[24] of the EU’s energy storage capacity; whereas the European Union should engage in environmentally friendly hydraulic projects, that at the same time do not pose threats to the health of local communities;

W. whereas structural changes to bodies of water are the main pressures on their status[25]; whereas hydromorphology affects 40 % of bodies of surface water consisting of physical alterations (26 %), dams, barriers and locks (24 %), hydrological alterations (7 %) or other hydromorphological alterations (7 %); whereas there are currently over 21 000 hydropower plants in Europe; whereas no comprehensive EU action has been taken to remove obsolete dams and weirs, despite evidence that EU coordination in this matter would provide added value;

X. whereas the human right to water and sanitation was recognised as a human right by the UN General Assembly on 28 July 2010;

Y. whereas the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, among other international conventions and agreements, explicitly recognise the right to water and sanitation and oblige state parties to take appropriate measures in this regard;

Z. whereas one million people in Europe have no access to water and eight million have no sanitation[26], whereas globally 844 million people do not have safe access to safe drinking water[27], and whereas a third of the world’s population lacks basic sanitation; whereas the European Citizen’s Initiative (ECI) Right2Water collected over 1.8 million signatures in March 2014; whereas Right2Water asked for the liberalisation of water services to be brought to an end, guaranteeing water and sanitation for all in the EU and globally, better access to drinking water for the public and more transparency on the quality of water, as well as enshrining the right to water in EU legislation; whereas the Commission has adopted its communication in response to the ‘Right2Water initiative’[28]; whereas in its resolution of 8 September 2015 on the follow-up to the European Citizens’ Initiative Right2Water, Parliament criticised the Commission for failing to meet the initiative’s demands and called on the Commission to recognise universal access and human right to water[29];

AA. whereas studies show that the testing of waste water can act as an early warning system to predict or locate outbreaks of COVID-19, thus playing an important role in the fight against the pandemic;

1. Welcomes the success of the WFD in setting up an adequate governance framework for integrated water management, as well as its success in improving water quality, or in some cases at least in slowing down the deterioration of water quality;

2. Welcomes the assessment of the Commission that the WFD is fit for purpose, but notes that its implementation needs to be improved and speeded up by involving relevant competent authorities from the Member States and by further integrating WFD objectives in sectoral policies, particularly in agriculture, transport and energy, to ensure that all bodies of surface and ground water are in good status by 2027 at the latest;

Stresses that no revision of the WFD is necessary; calls on the Commission to declare that the WFD will not be revised, in order to end legal uncertainty; calls on the Commission to continue to propose updates to the annexes as necessary;

4. Strongly regrets that half of the bodies of water in the EU have still not attained good status and that the objectives of the WFD have not yet been reached, mainly due to inadequate funding, particularly slow implementation, insufficient enforcement, lack of implementation of the precautionary and polluter-pays principles, and broad use of the exemptions of the directive in many Member States, and also regrets that integration of environmental objectives in sectoral policies has been insufficient;

5. Stresses the need to restore and improve water quality; notes that, to improve the status of bodies of water, it is vital that all levels of government and authorities in the Member States be involved and cooperate in mainstreaming the WFD goals in policy, legislation and WFD measures; recalls the non-deterioration principle, whereby Member States are required to implement the measures necessary to prevent deterioration of the status of water bodies; calls on the Member States to urgently take the necessary measures to ensure implementation, enforcement and compliance with the WFD, through, inter alia, the third River Basin Management Plans (RBMPs), which are to be adopted by the Member States in 2021; urges the EU, its Member States and regional authorities to ensure that the next RBMPs are adopted on time, respecting the requirements concerning public consultation; calls on the Commission to increase the availability of funding and provide the necessary support to the Member States in the implementation of the WFD;

6. Draws attention to the OECD study that estimates that an additional EUR 253 billion needs to be spent in the EU water sector before 2030 to maintain or achieve full compliance with relevant water legislation[30]; calls on the Commission, the Council, the Member States and, where applicable, regional authorities to identify and secure the necessary funds and financial instruments for infrastructure that does not harm the environment or negatively affect public health, but also to identify infrastructures that perform poorly and are not up to standard and to tackle the issue of contaminants of emerging concern and other societal challenges; stresses the need to provide financial support for sustainable innovative methods and particularly nature-based solutions, such as carbon-neutral or lagoon-based treatment infrastructure, restoration of wetlands and flood-plains, rewetting drained peat-lands, while having due regard to public-private partnerships; highlights the importance of adjusting existing funding and financing streams related to water management and other related land uses such as agriculture, including subsidies, shifting from traditional engineering measures to nature-based solutions;

7. Calls on the Member States to take all necessary action, including the securing of the necessary funds and human resources and of the necessary expertise, to achieve full compliance with the WFD as soon as possible, and in any case no later than 2027; calls on the Commission to issue recommendations to the Member States to ensure the 2027 deadline is met; calls on the Commission to support the Member States in the implementation of the water directives with technical assistance and appropriate training, by sharing good practices and expertise to ensure the WFD goals are reached, and by promoting professional exchange programmes between Member States; calls on the Commission to provide guidance on the consequences of Court of Justice judgment in case C-461/13 for the implementation of the WFD; calls on the Commission to offer clear guidance on the application of exemptions pursuant to Article 4(4)(c) after 2027;

8. Calls on the Member States to identify the implementation measures that are needed to ensure bodies of water are in good status and design the PoMs on the basis of the best available evidence; calls on the Member States and the Commission to make publicly available the PoMs of Member States and the respective evaluations to improve the share of good practices and strategies and to improve public access to information;

9. Considers that the ‘one-out, all-out’ principle should remain intact; calls on the Commission to elaborate complementary reporting methodologies (such as distance to target, implemented measures and progress made on individual quality parameters) that provide an opportunity to better assess progress towards good water status; highlights the importance of transparency and provision of comprehensive information to the public on the quality and quantity of water in the EU;

10. Deplores the use of exemptions for over half of the EU’s bodies of water, with limited justification; calls on the Commission and the Member States to update the guidance documents for the use of exemptions in order to limit this practice to only fully justified cases, so that it no longer hinders the achievement of the WFD’s environmental objectives; calls on the Commission to swiftly and systematically pursue infringement proceedings when exemptions are not justified;

11. Regrets that the application of the cost recovery principle, which provides that all water users effectively and proportionately participate financially in the recovery of the costs of water services, remains low to non-existent in several Member States, especially with regard to households, industry and agriculture; stresses that water use in some parts of the EU threatens the quantitative status of bodies of water beyond the level of maintained ecological flow; calls on Member States and their regional authorities to implement adequate water pricing policies and fully apply the cost recovery principle for both environmental and resource costs, in line with the WFD, and also apply the polluter pays principle; recalls that the cost-recovery principle may be applied with regard to its social, environmental and economic effects, as well as the geographic and climatic conditions of the regions affected; calls on the Commission to enforce this principle; emphasises, however, that the right to water and sanitation must be ensured, with everyone having access to affordable and good-quality water services;

12. Calls on the Commission to take strict and swift action against infringements by Member States to ensure that all Member States fully comply with water legislation, and in particular with the WFD, as soon as possible and no later than 2027; urges the Commission to also take strict and swift actions on open infringement cases related to systemic violations of EU water legislation; calls on the Commission to strengthen its resources in relation to infringement procedures in general, and EU environmental legislation in particular;

13. Notes that climate change has and will continue to have a significant negative impact on freshwater sources with droughts leading to depleted river flows and higher concentrations of pollutants, notably in ‘closed’ water zones, and intense rainfall leading to increased urban and agricultural run-off; recalls that the more frequent incidence of extreme climatic phenomena, such as cyclones and storms, leads to an increase in the salinity of freshwater and coastal waters; emphasises that rising temperatures lead to increased water stress, impacting the environment, several economic sectors that depend on high water abstraction and use, as well as quality of life; underlines that the resilience of water ecosystems, flooding and water scarcity and their impact on food production should be duly taken into account in the upcoming EU climate adaptation strategy according to Article 2(1) (b) of the Paris Agreement, and also in the WFD implementation process (RBMPs);

14. Suggests that the Commission support the Member States in sharing and facilitating knowledge and best practices of the different climate adaptation efforts at regional and local level in the EU;

15. Underlines that rivers and wetlands are most at risk even though they are considered to be the largest providers of ecosystem services; recalls that wetlands, like marine and coastal ecosystems, play a fundamental role in regulating water and the climate, and provide services through their natural ecosystems and resources, and the development of economic or cultural activities, which all depend on water resources being in good ecological shape; stresses that wetlands are carbon sinks and climate stabilisers at a global level, play an important role in mitigating floods and droughts, provide clean water, protect coastlines, recharge groundwater aquifers, maintain great geodiversity, play an essential role in the countryside and provide recreational and cultural services for society; urges, therefore, the Commission and the Member States to adopt measures to reduce the use of aquifers, plan urban development away from floodplains and respect biodiversity linked to rivers and wetlands;

16. Stresses that the efficient use of water is an important contribution to the EU’s climate goals as it can save energy used for the pumping of water, reduce the amount of chemicals used to treat water and reduce water stress; notes that there are high leakage rates from pipes in some Member States which is not acceptable in terms of climate change goals and resource efficiency efforts; welcomes that under the new Drinking Water Directive, the Commission will evaluate leakage rates and set threshold values that will trigger action in the respective Member States; also welcomes the new obligation for large water suppliers to make leakage rates transparent;

17. Notes that all over the EU, bodies of water used for the production of drinking water face new and old pressures which cause an increased need for purification treatment efforts by water suppliers; calls on the Member States to fully implement Article 7(3) of the WFD and to take all necessary measures to halt the deterioration of bodies of water for the abstraction of water intended for human consumption;

18. Welcomes the evidence that the directives have led to reduced chemical pollution in EU waters; considers nevertheless that there is an urgent need for improvement in the area of chemicals; notes that the Commission has identified unexpected differences between Member States, mainly in how the list of priority substances is updated and how the combined effects of mixtures are taken into account; notes further that the Priority Substances Directive so far barely includes substances relevant to drinking water provision; points out that considerable differences in approaches to classification, assessment and reporting methods make EU-wide comparisons and analysis challenging;

19. Calls on the Commission to take all necessary measures in order to achieve good chemical status and to take decisive EU-wide action when Member States fail to meet the environmental quality standards for priority substances that fall within the scope of EU legislation; stresses that substances relevant to production of drinking water, such as Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and relevant pharmaceuticals, should be added to the list of priority substances; considers that pollutants of emerging concern and mixed toxicity can and should be addressed within the framework of the WFD and its specific ‘daughter’ directives; calls on the Commission to update and add relevant substances in the annexes of the Priority Substances Directive and the Groundwater Directive, in order to make it possible to reach the goals of the WFD and to better protect drinking water resources; calls on the Commission to align the implementation of water legislation with the Chemical Strategy for Sustainability and with the Biodiversity Strategy so that freshwater bodies and their ecosystems are adequately protected, to set a timeline for phasing out all non-essential uses of PFAS and to stimulate the development of safe and non-persistent alternatives for all uses of PFAS; urges the Commission to finance research on and the development of strategies to tackle uPBTs, with the aim of improving the quality of bodies of water and reducing the risks for animal and human health and the environment; recommends the development of new guidelines on improved monitoring methods and reporting for chemical mixtures as well as cocktail effects; calls for a more extensive use of the watch list to monitor potential water pollutants and determine the risk they pose to the aquatic environment; calls on the Commission to speed up its work on the development of methods for assessing and managing chemical mixtures and to complement its work by introducing a mixture assessment factor;

20. Notes that microplastics are estimated to have been persistent in freshwater for centuries and that current water treatment plants do not filter these particles completely; welcomes, therefore, the decision to develop a methodology for the monitoring of microplastics and the establishment of a watch-list in the revised Drinking Water Directive; urges the Commission and the Member States to increase source-control measures to achieve a non-toxic environment and circular economy; stresses that reducing emissions at source would alleviate the pressure on ecosystems and reduce the cost of water treatment; calls for decisive action at EU, Member State and regional level to tackle pollutants of emerging concern, such as PFAS, microplastics, endocrine-disrupting chemicals and pharmaceuticals through a holistic approach, starting with control at source measures and, as a last resort, complementary end-of-pipe solutions; calls on the Commission and the Member States to fully apply a life cycle approach to pollutants, while implementing the polluter pays principle, also through innovative instruments such as Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) schemes, in order to finance treatment solutions;

21. Highlights the importance of stepping up actions to address eutrophication of both fresh and salt waters caused by nitrogen and phosphorus from all sources, including from agriculture and untreated or inappropriately treated waste water; recalls that eutrophication weakens the environmental status of water bodies and makes them more vulnerable to invasive alien species; urges all farmers to use the Farm Sustainability Tool for Nutrients, which facilitates better management and reduces nutrient leakage in ground and surface water; calls on the Member States to properly identify areas vulnerable to nitrate pollution and to fully implement and enforce the measures adopted under the Nitrates Directive;

22. Highlights that the current biodiversity crisis should be fully addressed by Member States when it comes to the implementation of water policies, with stressors on water ecosystems minimised and degraded ecosystems restored; underlines the importance of the new 2030 Biodiversity Strategy; recalls that in the implementation of the WFD, full consistency should be ensured with the new Biodiversity Strategy, the Nature Directives and other environmental legislation;

23. Welcomes the Commission’s commitment in the context of its Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 to restore 25 000 km of free-flowing rivers in the EU through the removal of barriers and the restoration of flood-plains, and to establish an EU-wide methodology and provisions to map and assess the condition of ecosystems and ensure they are in a good condition; notes that there are currently 21 000 hydropower plants in the EU and that hydropower and small hydro stations provide the largest share of renewable energy in the EU; takes note of the developments in low-impact hydropower; points out, however, that the construction of dams can negatively affect habitats and create major pressure on surface water; recalls that the WFD imposes strict criteria for the protection of hydromorphological conditions; calls on the Commission and the Member States to ensure that strict assessments of the impacts of resulting alterations on water quality and quantity and ecosystems are carried out and that the objectives of the WFD are respected in all existing and potential new hydropower projects; therefore urgently calls on the Commission to consult all relevant directorate-generals, including the Directorate-General for Energy, when assessing the environmental impact of hydropower plants and to take their recommendations into account;

24. Calls on the Member States and the Commission to take all necessary action to minimise pressures on bodies of surface water in order to restore natural functions of rivers and protect ecosystems; calls on the Member States to refrain from building hydropower stations and avoid other building projects which would lead to significant hydromorphological pressures on water in protected areas; considers that EU subsidies and public finance in areas other than protected ones should only be granted to new hydropower plants for which the overall benefits clearly outweigh the overall negative impacts;

25. Commends the fact that, according to the 10th biennial report on the Member States’ implementation of the UWWTD[31], collection and treatment of urban waste water has improved over the last decade in the EU, and the fact that the UWWTD has delivered on the reduction of pollution loads, thereby contributing to the improvement of water quality; regrets nevertheless the fact that full compliance with the UWWTD has still not been achieved, as some Member States are still very far from their targets; supports the view of the Commission that more needs to be done to address remaining pollution, contaminants of emerging concern, energy use and sludge management as well as governance issues; regrets furthermore that the evaluation of the UWWTD does not analyse effectiveness regarding discharges of industrial waste water into collecting systems and urban waste water treatment plants (UWWTP);

26. Calls on the Commission to take the above into account when revising the UWWTD; urges the Commission to support the Member States with the implementation of the directive by enabling sustainable water financing and incentivising the development and deployment of innovative waste water technologies; calls on the Commission to carefully examine how the UWWTD requirements on the design, construction and expansion of UWWTP at all stages of technical development interact with the WFD obligation of non-deterioration, in order to ensure coherence between the two pieces of legislation and the treatment of urban waste water, while preserving all incentives to take proper technical treatment measures; encourages the Commission to take legislative action, if necessary; stresses that measures aiming above all at rectifying the problem at source are vital to tackling pollutants of emerging concern; emphasises that a future revision of the UWWTD should also take the new challenges that such pollutants pose into account;

27. Points out that the UWWTD and the WFD do not adequately address the problems stemming from climate change, such as storm water overflows, urban run-off and flooding in agglomerations, nor do they address the impacts of insufficiently treated waste water on the recipient body of water; believes that monitoring and controlling the effect of increasing storm water overflows and urban run-off should be better addressed by the EU, its Member States and regional authorities, since this significantly pollutes receiving bodies of surface and ground water;

28. Insists that, when assessing the environmental impact of hydropower installations, a holistic approach is needed, including the societal benefits of providing emission-free electricity and the contribution of hydropower and pumped hydro storage to securing the energy supply; underlines in this respect the striking contribution of electricity generated by hydropower plants to reaching the EU’s climate and energy targets and the EU’s commitments under the Paris Agreement; acknowledges that there are ways and technologies to lower the impact on the environment and aquatic wildlife; points out that there is great potential to increase the efficiency of existing river power plants;

29. Notes that the shift from road freight to inland waterways should be fully consistent with the non-deterioration principle of the WFD, as well as with other environmental legislation, including the Birds and Habitats Directives, and should go hand-in-hand with support for sustainable, alternative fuels and technology and inland navigation such as shore-to-ship power supply, in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants and avoid a deterioration in the ecological and chemical status of bodies of water and a degradation of air quality, as well as to avoid stress on water ecosystems, protect biodiversity and strive for a zero-pollution environment;

30. Notes the high energy consumption in the water sector; calls on the Commission to consider energy-efficient measures and the possibility to use treated waste water as an ‘onsite’ source of renewable energy; calls on the Commission to push for energy-efficient improvements in waste water treatment plants, so as to recognise and harness the energy-saving potential of the sector; points out that according to the Commission’s evaluation of the UWWTD, the potential energy savings amount to between 5 500 GWh and 13 000 GWh annually;

31. Recognises that total water abstraction in Europe has decreased by more than 20 % over the last 15 years; notes nevertheless that eight countries can be considered water-stressed[32], representing 46 % of Europe’s population, that the number of water-stressed countries is constantly increasing, and that about a quarter of the water diverted from the natural environment in the EU is used for agricultural purposes[33]; notes the potential of water reuse to create a circular economy for water resources and reduce direct extraction from bodies of water and groundwater; welcomes the agreement on the new Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on minimum requirements for water reuse, which will facilitate the use of treated urban waste water for agricultural irrigation; supports the continued modernisation of irrigation infrastructure through innovation and new technologies;

32. Underlines the importance of finding synergies between flood risk assessments and disaster prevention and preparedness planning under the Union Civil Protection Mechanism; calls on the Commission, the Member States and, where applicable, regional authorities to develop drought management strategies, particularly with a view to ensuring the provision of drinking water and ensuring food production, as part of the RBMPs and Flood Risk Management Plans, and integrating digitalised monitoring, control and early warning systems for the state of vegetation and its response to drought in order to support effective and data-based decisions on protection, response and communication measures; calls on the Commission and the Member States to put floodplain and wetland restoration, as well as protection of bodies of groundwater, at the heart of the aforementioned plans as bodies of water and ecosystems in good condition are essential to reducing the negative impact of both droughts and floods;

33. Notes that one area in which the WFD was viewed by stakeholders as ineffective is managing the effects of droughts[34]; calls on the Member States to devote more efforts to addressing climate change and the new (over-) abstraction problems that might arise in river basins, including those not historically facing abstraction challenges1a; notes that a holistic approach to water management and climate adaptation could make responses more efficient and reduce the impact of extreme events; calls for the full integration of climate change considerations into the implementation of the directive and also highlights the potential of nature-based solutions in this regard; reiterates that sufficient public spending should be ensured for the objectives of the WFD and the required adaptations;

34. Suggests that droughts and water scarcity be addressed by prioritising the abstraction of water for the production of drinking water over other uses, in order to ensure the fulfilment of the human right to water, and by implementing solutions to collect rainwater and flood waves for later use, including inter alia rainwater collection projects in the design of buildings and infrastructure, underground storage basins, dual water distribution systems in homes and projects for the reuse of disused quarries, where deemed suitable; encourages research on and investment in measures that help to combat droughts and water scarcity;

35. Stresses the need for alignment of the common agricultural policy (CAP), the Drinking Water Directive, the Nitrates Directive, the Plant Protection Products Regulation and REACH with the WFD regarding the need for increased water protection measures and the efficient use of water in agriculture; underlines the necessity for a considerable increase in funding for environmental and climate change measures in both pillars of the CAP, as well as for additional financing of targeted ecological measures in the framework of the CAP revision, in order to ensure sustainable water management and to improve soil quality; urges the Member States to integrate and implement in their CAP strategic plans a reduction in fertiliser use and the use and risks of pesticides, and to implement water-related elements in their systems of conditionality; calls on the Commission to make freshwater pollution and over-abstraction priority topics in CAP-related recommendations to Member States; finally, calls on the Commission to ensure the WFD is also implemented via the cohesion policy (the Common Provisions Regulation[35], the European Regional Development Fund/the Cohesion Fund[36]) and in line with policy objective 2 of the CPR;

36. Welcomes the targets for reducing the use and risks of pesticides by 50 % by 2030 and for reducing the loss of nutrients from fertilisers, as established in the Farm to Fork and Biodiversity Strategies, the decision to revise the Directive on the sustainable use of pesticides and the inclusion of improved nutrient management in the objectives of the new CAP strategic plans and of the two strategies; calls for the translation into legislation of the above-mentioned targets and objectives, as well as the upcoming zero-pollution action plan; highlights the urgent need to reduce the impact of pesticides on drinking water resources by fully addressing their protection in the (re-) approval of active substances and the (re-) authorisation of pesticides;

37. Calls on the Commission to revise the quality standards of the Groundwater Directive, improve the homogenisation of standards and reduce the wide range of thresholds within Members States;

38. Encourages the Commission and the Member States to better integrate the Flood Risk Management Directive in policies on prioritising nature-based solutions and adjust funding streams accordingly; highlights the importance of managing catchment areas in an integrated and holistic manner;

39. Asks the Commission and the Member States to put in place an integrated approach based on the WFD and the Marine Strategy Framework Directive, given that 97.3 % of water resources on earth come from the oceans, and that groundwater, continental, transitional, coastal and marine waters are linked by the water cycle and the link between land and sea;

40. Calls for increased action with sufficient funding to improve fish migration throughout the EU; calls, where applicable, for river connectivity to be included within the technical screening criteria developed in the context of the EU green taxonomy for sustainable activities and to consider energy and transport-related projects sustainable only when comprising nature-like fish-ways;

41. Notes that ‘sustainable use and protection of water and marine resources’ belongs to one of the six environmental goals of the EU taxonomy for sustainable finance; therefore encourages its use in navigating public and private investments to ensure the protection of water bodies;

42. Calls on the Commission and the Member States to take all necessary measures in the next water planning cycle to facilitate the conservation and restoration of aquatic ecosystems, promote nature-based solutions, involve the financial sector through the promotion of sustainable investments and promote capacity building and education on green growth;

43. Calls on the Commission to assist and support the Member States in the cross-border coordination of WFD bodies of water; calls on the Member States to prioritise WFD measures and UWWTD implementation in cross-border regions and improve cooperation in international water basins;

44. Urges the Commission to streamline and improve monitoring systems for water quality and environmental pollutants, collecting, inter alia, data on the main sources of emission of dangerous substances, including radioactive and pesticide residues and metabolites, biocides, pharmaceutical residues, chemicals of concern – such as PFAS – and microplastics, as well as other pollutants of emerging concern in EU bodies of water, and to apply the use of the latest, most effective available techniques; urges the Commission to adopt guidelines for harmonised standards for monitoring networks and data reporting; calls on the Commission to facilitate in its Zero Pollution Action Plan the use of non-invasive monitoring methods and bioindicators in order to minimise the exposure of humans and wildlife to contaminants in the air, soil and water; urges the Member States to make use of their complete monitoring networks when reporting data to the Commission;

45. Calls on the Commission, the Member States and water providers to mainstream digitalisation and enhance the use of management and metering data for evidence-based decision-making both at regulatory and consumption level; calls for digitally enabled water technologies to allow for distance monitoring and reporting on water quality, leakages, use and resources;

46. Notes the potential of digitalisation and artificial intelligence in improving the management and monitoring of bodies of water, creating better data and analysing evidence to support decision-makers, given that they could greatly contribute to the quick identification of small changes in water quality that could represent a threat to bodies of water, evaluation of best practices and identification of the most cost-effective measures;

47. Calls on the Member States to create legal frameworks that avoid situations in which the entities managing bodies of water are financed from activities that deteriorate their chemical and ecological status; calls on the Member States to clearly separate the entities in charge of management and those in charge of assessing the status of bodies of water;

48. Stresses the need to homogenise water data and create mandatory reporting standards for Member States to boost data transparency; calls on the Commission to continue improving WISE (the Water Information System for Europe) to make it a user-friendly information tool for everyone in the EU, providing information on the quantity, quality and availability of water resources, in addition to benchmarking the management of bodies of water;

49. Notes that, according to the fitness report, there is room for improvement in both the accessibility of information on water policies and quality, and in its level of detail; calls on the Member States and the Commission to remedy this and provide EU residents with clear, comprehensive and easily available information; calls furthermore for greater transparency and therefore for a significant improvement in public consultation, public awareness and education on water and on the links between water, ecosystems, sanitation, health, food safety, food security and disaster prevention, for inter-sectoral dialogue between economic operators, water providers, the general public, authorities and civil society organisations to be fostered, and for access to justice under both the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) Directive and the WFD to be ensured in line with the case law of the Court of Justice;

50. Welcomes the fact that the EU responded partially to Right2Water in the recast of Council Directive 98/83/EC[37] on the quality of water intended for human consumption by inserting a new article on access to water and more transparency on its quality to improve health and the environment; calls on the Member States to fully implement and enforce the WFD in order to ensure access to water for all and fully respond to Right2Water;

51. Calls on the Member States and water providers to systematically use testing for COVID-19 in waste water as an early warning system to support the fight against the pandemic;

52. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council and the Commission.

 

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on the EU strategy on adaptation to climate change – B9-0422/2020

Source: European Parliament

B9‑0422/2020

European Parliament resolution on the EU strategy on adaptation to climate change

(2020/2532(RSP))

The European Parliament,

 having regard to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Kyoto Protocol thereto,

 having regard to the Agreement adopted at the 21st Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC (COP21) in Paris on 12 December 2015 (the Paris Agreement),

 having regard to the EU strategy on adaptation to climate change of April 2013 and its accompanying staff working documents,

 having regard to the Commission report of 12 November 2018 on the implementation of the EU strategy on adaptation to climate change (COM(2018)0738),

 having regard to the UN Environment Programme’s Adaptation Gap Report 2018,

 having regard to the Commission communication of 11 December 2019 on the European Green Deal (COM(2019)0640),

 having regard to the Commission proposal of 4 March 2020 for a regulation establishing the framework for achieving climate neutrality and amending Regulation (EU) 2018/1999 (European Climate Law) (COM(2020)0080),

 having regard to the Commission communication of 20 May 2020 entitled ‘EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030: Bringing nature back into our lives’ (COM(2020)0380),

 having regard to the Commission communication of 20 May 2020 entitled ‘A Farm to Fork Strategy for a fair, healthy and environmentally-friendly food system’ (COM(2020)0381),

 having regard to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) special report on global warming of 1.5 °C, its fifth assessment report (AR5) and its synthesis report thereon, its special report on climate change and land, and its special report on the ocean and cryosphere in a changing climate,

 having regard to the Global Assessment on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services published by the Intergovernmental Science Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IBPES) on 31 May 2019,

 having regard to European Court of Auditors special report no. 33/2018 entitled ‘Combating desertification in the EU: a growing threat in need of more action’,

 having regard to the Global Commission on Adaptation’s flagship report of 2019 entitled ‘Adapt Now: A Global Call for Leadership on Climate Resilience’,

 having regard to the EU’s seventh Environment Action Programme to 2020 and its vision for 2050,

 having regard to the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),

 having regard to its resolution of 16 January 2020 on the 15th meeting of the Conference of Parties (COP15) to the Convention on Biological Diversity[1],

 having regard to its resolution of 15 January 2020 on the European Green Deal[2],

 having regard to its resolution of 28 November 2019 on the climate and environment emergency[3],

 having regard to the European Environment Agency (EEA) indicator-based report of 25 Jan 2017 entitled ‘Climate change, impacts and vulnerability in Europe 2016’,

 having regard to the EEA indicator assessment of 2 April 2019 entitled ‘Economic losses from climate-related extremes in Europe’,

 having regard to the EEA report of 4 September 2019 entitled ‘Climate change adaptation in the agriculture sector in Europe’,

 having regard to the EEA report of 4 December 2019 entitled ‘The European environment state and outlook 2020: knowledge for transition to a sustainable Europe’,

 having regard to the scientific opinion of the Commission’s independent Group of Chief Scientific Advisors of 29 June 2020 on adaptation to climate-change-related health effects,

 having regard to the EEA report of 8 September 2020 entitled ‘Healthy environment, healthy lives: how the environment influences health and well-being in Europe’,

 having regard to the UN Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030,

 having regard to Directive 2000/60/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2000 establishing a framework for Community action in the field of water policy[4],

 having regard to Regulation (EU) 2020/741 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 May 2020 on minimum requirements for water reuse[5],

 having regard to the Cancun Adaptation Framework,

 having regard to the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage associated with Climate Impacts,

 having regard to Directive 2007/60/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2007 on the assessment and management of flood risks[6],

 having regard to its resolution of 8 September 2015 on the follow-up to the European Citizens’ Initiative Right2Water[7],

 having regard to European Court of Auditors special report no 33/2018 entitled ‘Combating desertification in the EU: a growing threat in need of more action’,

 having regard to the European Court of Auditors special report no 25/2018 entitled ‘Floods Directive: progress in assessing risks, while planning and implementation need to improve’,

 having regard to the Commission’s Projections of economic impacts of climate change in sectors of the EU based on bottom-up analysis (PESETA) reports, in particular the 2018 and 2020 PESETA III and IV reports,

 having regard to the question to the Commission on EU strategy on adaptation to climate change (O-000075/2020B9‑0075/2020),

 having regard to Rules 136(5) and 132(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

 having regard to the motion for a resolution of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety,

A. whereas the observed climate changes are already having wide-ranging impacts on ecosystems (and biodiversity in particular), social and economic sectors (deepening inequality) and human health; whereas it is important to prevent the emergence of multiple and often interacting threats to ecosystems and wildlife, including habitat loss and degradation; whereas the effects of climate change are continuing to be registered globally and in the EU, and whereas there is further evidence that future climate change will increase the number of extreme climate-related events in many EU regions, as well as in third countries, and trigger invasions of infectious disease carriers that could lead to the re-emergence of infectious diseases previously eliminated in the EU; whereas adaptation to climate change is not only in the EU’s economic interest, but is also imperative for the public’s well-being;

B. whereas Member States, regions and sectors in the EU are, and are projected to be, affected differently by climate change; whereas coastal and island regions are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change; whereas adaptive capacity significantly differs between EU regions, and the adaptive capacity of the EU’s island and outermost regions is limited; whereas adaptation strategies should also encourage a shift to sustainable development in vulnerable areas, such as islands, building on environmentally friendly and nature-based solutions; whereas the Mediterranean area will suffer more from the effects of heat-related human mortality, water scarcity, desertification, habitat loss and forest fires;

C. whereas coral reefs and mangrove forests, which are essential natural carbon sinks, are at risk because of climate change;

D. whereas soil health is a key factor in mitigating the effects of desertification, as soil is the largest carbon reservoir and the backbone of all ecosystems and crops, having significant water retention capacity and playing an important role in improving societal resilience to environmental change;

E. whereas the water sector, agriculture, fisheries, forestry and terrestrial and marine biodiversity are strongly linked, and are also related to changing land-use patterns and population change; whereas climate change impacts in other parts of the world may affect the EU through trade, international financial flows, public health, migration and security;

F. whereas overall energy consumption in the water sector in the EU is significant and needs to be more efficient in order to contribute to the goals of the Paris Agreement and the climate goals of the EU for 2030 and to achieve carbon neutrality in 2050;

G. whereas the Water Framework Directive (WFD) does not include specific provisions to address the impacts of climate change; whereas in its communication on the European Green Deal, the Commission nevertheless acknowledges that the natural functions of ground and surface water must be restored;

H. whereas buildings are responsible for approximately 40 % of energy consumption and 36 % of CO2 emissions in the EU, and whereas their deep, including staged deep, renovation is therefore crucial to achieving the EU’s 2050 net-zero greenhouse gas emissions objective;

I. whereas the EEA has estimated that weather- and climate-related extremes accounted for EUR 426 billion in monetary terms between 1980 and 2017 in the EU-28 Member States, and has said that damage costs from climate change are expected to be high, even if the Paris Agreement is implemented; whereas these costs should be taken into account in the cost-benefit analysis of the measures to be implemented; whereas climate-resilient investments can limit the adverse effects of climate change and thus reduce the cost of adaptation; whereas the impacts of climate change outside of the EU are likely to have economic, social and political repercussions on the EU in numerous ways, including through trade, international financial flows, climate-induced displacement and security; whereas the necessary climate change adaptation investments have not yet been assessed or incorporated into the multiannual financial framework (MFF) climate figures;

J. whereas climate change and its impacts can be substantially reduced by an ambitious global mitigation policy compatible with the mitigation goal of the Paris Agreement; whereas current emission reduction commitments are not sufficient to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement and will result in global warming of more than 3 °C above pre-industrial levels;

K. whereas adaptation to climate change is necessary to anticipate and cope with current and future adverse effects of climate change and to prevent or reduce short-, medium- and long-term risks from climate change; whereas a robust EU adaptation strategy is fundamental to preparing vulnerable regions and sectors; whereas collective international efforts, inter alia on sustainable development, biodiversity and disaster risk reduction, should be better integrated in the new strategy;

L. whereas mechanisms for funding adaptation measures to address loss and damage or climate-induced displacement will be more effective if women, including women at grass roots level, are able to fully participate in design process, decision-making and implementation; whereas taking women’s knowledge, including local and indigenous knowledge, into account can lead to advances in disaster management, boost biodiversity, improve water management, enhance food security, prevent desertification, protect forests, ensure a swift transition to renewable energy technologies and support public health;

M. whereas health hazards related to climate change will affect people, particularly some vulnerable groups (elderly people, children, outdoor workers and homeless people); whereas these hazards are, inter alia, increasing morbidity and mortality due to extreme weather events (heatwaves, storms, floods, wildfires) and emerging infectious diseases (whose spread, timing and intensity are affected by changes in temperature, humidity and rainfall); whereas changes in ecosystems might also increase the risk of infectious diseases;

N. whereas according to the World Health Organization, projected climate change will cause approximately 250 000 additional deaths a year by 2030;

O. whereas the restoration of ecosystems, such as forests, grasslands, peat-lands and wetlands, leads to positive change in the carbon balance of the respective land use system and is both a mitigation and an adaptation measure;

P. whereas investing in the prevention of environmental disasters can effectively improve adaptation to climate change and reduce the frequency and intensity of climate-related extreme weather events;

Q. whereas, according to the 2019 IPCC special report on climate change and land, the conservation of high-carbon ecosystems has an immediate positive impact with respect to climate change; whereas the positive impact of restoration and other measures related to land use systems is not immediate;

R. whereas the objective of achieving a good ecological status for bodies of water is of crucial importance for adaptation, with the ecological status of bodies of water being under increasing pressure from the changing climate;

General observations

1. Emphasises that adaptation is necessary for the Union as a whole and for all countries and regions in order to minimise adverse and irreversible impacts of climate change, while implementing at the same time ambitious mitigation measures to pursue efforts to contain global warming below 1.5 °C compared to pre-industrial levels, make full use of the opportunities for climate-resilient growth and sustainable development and maximise the co-benefits with other environmental policies and legislation; in this context, stresses its unwavering commitment to the global goal for adaptation as defined in the Paris Agreement;

2. Recognises that EU cities and regions are already faced with wide-ranging adverse effects of climate change, such as extreme rainfall, floods and droughts, and that these phenomena represent environmental, economic and safety risks for local communities and businesses; considers that the upcoming strategy should reflect this urgency and propose appropriate measures in this regard;

3. Suggests that the reactive nature of the European Union Solidarity Fund be complemented by proactively planned adaptation to climate change, which will reduce the vulnerability of the EU territory and its inhabitants by increasing adaptive capacity and reducing its sensitivity;

4. Expresses its support to the Global Commission on Adaptation for its work in drawing attention to adaptation;

5. Calls for a renewed and improved focus on adaptation; is therefore pleased that the Commission will present a new strategy as a key component of the EU’s climate policy and asks it to present the strategy without delay; considers it an opportunity to show that the EU is a global leader in building global climate resilience through increased financing, as well as promoting science, services, technologies and practices for adaptation; considers that the new strategy should be an integral part of the European Green Deal, with the aim of building a resilient EU through the creation and upholding of systems with highly adaptive and responsive capacity in a rapidly changing climate by boosting sustainable economic development, safeguarding quality of life and public health, ensuring water and food security, respecting and protecting biodiversity, turning to clean energy sources and ensuring climate and social justice; welcomes the enhanced governance regime of adaptation under the European Climate Law;

6. Welcomes the Commission’s evaluation of the EU strategy on adaptation to climate change of November 2018 and takes note of its conclusion that the wide-ranging objectives of the strategy have not been completely fulfilled, but that progress has been made towards all of its individual actions; believes in this regard that the goals set in the new strategy need to be more ambitious in order for the EU to be prepared for the projected adverse effects of climate change;

7. Calls for adaptation to climate change to be taken into account when building and renovating existing infrastructure, in all sectors and in spatial planning, and calls for effective climate-proofing of spatial planning, buildings, all relevant infrastructure and other investments, in particular through ex ante examination to assess the capacity of projects to cope with medium- to long-term climate impacts in different global temperature rise scenarios, in order to know whether or not they are eligible for Union funding and to ensure that EU funds are being spent efficiently on long-lasting, climate-compatible projects; calls for a reform of engineering standards and practice across the EU to integrate physical climate risks;

8. Emphasises that green infrastructure contributes to adaptation to climate change through the protection of natural capital, the conservation of natural habitats and species, good ecological status, water management and food security;

9. Regrets the fact that the 2013 strategy fails to properly address the urgency of implementing adaptation measures; calls for strengthened governance of the new strategy, the identification of priority areas and investment needs, including an assessment of the extent to which EU investments contribute to reducing the overall climate vulnerability of the Union, a more frequent review process, with clear goals, a proper assessment, and indicators informed by the latest science to measure progress in its implementation; recognises the need to keep measures and plans continuously up-to-date in an unprecedented changing world; therefore calls on the Commission to regularly review and update the new strategy in line with the relevant provisions of the European Climate Law;

10. Notes also that progress on the number of local and regional adaptation strategies with differences between Member States has been more limited than expected; encourages the Member States to incentivise and assist regions in implementing adaptation plans and taking action; underlines that adaptation strategies should take due account of territorial specificities and local knowledge; calls on the Commission to ensure that all EU regions are prepared to tackle the impacts of climate change through adaptation; recognises in this context the value of the Covenant of Mayors, which has increased cooperation on adaptation at local level, and of the permanent national multi-level climate and energy dialogues, as envisaged in the Regulation on the Governance of the Energy Union and Climate Action; calls for an enhanced role for adaptation in the European Climate Pact;

11. Highlights the importance of managing physical climate risks and calls for the integration of mandatory climate risk assessments into the EU strategy on adaptation to climate change, including of national adaptation plans;

12. Calls for public procurement to serve as an example of the use of climate-friendly materials and services;

13. Highlights the importance of further promoting climate adaptation in regions and cities in the new strategy, for example by promoting legislative frameworks requiring adequate adaptation strategies and monitoring at regional and city level after proper consultation with the relevant stakeholders including civil society and youth organisations, trade unions and local businesses, accompanied by financial incentives to aid their implementation; stresses that special attention should be paid to enhancing the preparedness and adaptive capacity of the most vulnerable geographical areas such as coastal areas, islands and outermost regions, which are particularly impacted by climate change through natural disasters and extreme weather disturbances; regrets the fact that there was a strong lack of a gender perspective in the Commission’s 2013 adaptation strategy and insists on a gender perspective that fully considers the vulnerability of women and girls and also upholds gender equality in participation;

14. Stresses the need to improve cross-border cooperation and coordination on climate adaptation, as well as in rapid response to climate disasters; in this context, calls on the Commission to support the Member States in sharing knowledge and best practices on the different climate adaption efforts at regional and local level;

15. Highlights the need for Member States, regions and cities to build their adaptive capacity to reduce vulnerabilities and the social impacts of climate change; calls for the Commission and the EU agencies to provide the necessary capacity-building and training, and a framework for the proper exchange of information and best practices across local, sub-national and national authorities;

16. Emphasises that adaptation strategies should also encourage a change of model in vulnerable areas, such as islands, based on environmentally friendly and nature-based solutions, and should enhance self-sufficiency to ensure better living conditions, including sustainable and local agriculture and fishery practices, sustainable management of water, greater use of renewable energy, etc., in line with the SDGs, in order to foster their resilience and the protection of their ecosystems;

17. Notes the further need for mapping of the impacts of climate change, for example in the occurrence of natural hazards; welcomes, therefore, the EU Observatory for Climate Change and Health’s Climate-ADAPT project, which has already been launched, and encourages the Commission to further develop and expand the project to cover further sectors;

18. Highlights the important synergies and potential trade-offs between climate change mitigation and adaptation; stresses the fact that the evaluation of the current adaptation strategy has established the need for further emphasis to be placed on the link between adaptation and mitigation in policies and plans; notes that synergistic approaches to these issues are essential as a result both of the urgency of the climate and environmental crises, and of the need to protect human health and strengthen the resilience of ecological and social systems, making sure that no one is left behind; stresses that while common efforts are vital to ensure effective action on mitigation owing to its global transboundary nature, particular attention also has to be paid to the impacts of climate change and the costs of adaptation for each region, particularly those regions that are facing the double challenge of contributing to the global mitigation effort while bearing the increasing costs of dealing with climate-related impacts;

19. Believes that the adverse effects of climate change could potentially exceed the adaptive capacities of Member States; is, therefore, of the opinion that the Member States and the Union should work together to avert, minimise and address loss and damage associated with climate change, as provided for in Article 8 of the Paris Agreement; recognises the need to further develop measures to address loss and damage;

20. Recognises that the impacts of climate change are transboundary in nature, affecting, for example, trade, migration and security; urges the Commission, therefore, to ensure that the new strategy is holistic and covers the whole range of climate impacts;

21. Stresses that the EU must be ready for climate-induced displacement and recognises the need for adequate measures to be taken to protect the human rights of populations under threat from the effects of climate change;

Nature-based solutions and green infrastructure

22. Recalls that climate change and its impacts affect not only humans, but also biodiversity and marine and terrestrial ecosystems, and that according to the landmark IPBES report, climate change is currently the third most important direct driver of biodiversity loss worldwide, and sustainable livelihoods will be vital for mitigating dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system and adapting to it; calls, therefore, on the Commission and the Member States to ensure greater coherence between the implementation of the adaptation and biodiversity conservation measures emanating from the biodiversity strategy for 2030;

23. Encourages the development of a truly coherent and resilient Trans-European Nature Network, consisting of ecological corridors to prevent genetic isolation, allow for species migration and maintain and enhance healthy ecosystems, while permitting the development of traditional, yet climate-proofed infrastructure;

24. Stresses the importance of using sustainable nature-based adaptation solutions, of the conservation and restoration of marine and terrestrial ecosystems that can simultaneously contribute to climate mitigation and adaptation, the protection of biodiversity and combating different types of pollution; calls for the new strategy to include ambitious action plans on stepping up the use of such solutions, with adequate funding, including from the MFF, InvestEU and the Recovery and Resilience Facility, and proposes looking into the portfolios of available financial products and improving the terms of financing to remedy the current sub-optimal investment situation; further calls for good use to be made of the LIFE programme, allowing it to act as a catalyst for innovation in adaptation and to become a space to experiment, develop and pilot solutions to build up the Union’s resilience to climate risk;

25. Highlights the need to assess and make further use of the potential of forests, trees and green infrastructure in climate adaptation and in the provision of ecosystem services such as, for example, trees in urban areas, which can even out extreme temperatures, in addition to providing other benefits, such as improving air quality; calls for more trees to be planted in cities, for support to be given to sustainable forest management and for an integrated response to forest fires, including, for example, adequate training for the fire fighters involved in combating them, in order to protect the EU’s forests against the destruction caused by extreme climate events; highlights that all adaptation measures for reforestation and agriculture should be based on the latest scientific knowledge and should be implemented with full respect for ecological principles;

26. Notes that identifying the forest areas which have remained closest to their natural state and should therefore be given particular protection, was one of the priorities of the second EU environmental action programme of 1977; further notes that, while no action has been taken as yet, the EU also made this a priority in the Biodiversity Strategy for 2030; calls on the Commission to align the future EU climate adaptation strategy with the objectives of the EU Biodiversity Strategy, particularly with regard to the strict protection of all primary forests and its conservation and restoration objectives;

27. Highlights the role of intact forest ecosystems[8] in overcoming environmental stressors, including changes to the climate, thanks to their inherent properties which enable them to maximise their adaptive capacity, and which include evolutionary lineages that are uniquely adapted to survive major seasonal temperature changes and landscape-level disturbances over time;

28. Underlines that several technologies enable trees to be replanted; understands that, in some instances, construction works conducted in cities may entail the destruction of green areas, and supports, in this context, the replanting of trees, giving them a new life in new well-designed places;

29. Calls on the Commission and the Member States to classify green infrastructure as belonging to the category of critical infrastructure for the purposes of programming, funding and investments;

30. Notes that certain components of green infrastructure also suffer under increased heat and other stressful conditions, and that in order for them to create not only physical, but also physiological cooling effects, we need to provide them with favourable conditions, soil and moisture to thrive in urban areas; highlights, therefore, the role of proper green urban planning which takes the needs of the various components of green infrastructure into account and not merely the planting of trees;

31. Recognises the role of the oceans in adapting to climate change, and stresses the need to ensure and promote healthy and resilient seas and oceans; recalls that the IPCC special report entitled ‘The Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate’ specifies that climate mechanisms depend on the health of the ocean and marine ecosystems, which are currently affected by global warming, pollution, the overexploitation of marine biodiversity, acidification, deoxygenation and coastal erosion; highlights that the IPCC also points out that the ocean is part of the solution to mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change, and underlines the necessity of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and pollution in ecosystems, as well as of enhancing natural carbon sinks;

32. Points out that the degradation of coastal and marine ecosystems threatens the physical, economic and food security of local communities and the economy at large, and weakens their ability to provide critical ecosystem services such as food, carbon storage and oxygen generation, as well as to support nature-based solutions to climate change adaptation;

33. Warns that certain coastal zones may come under great pressure due to rising sea levels and the intrusion of saline water into both the coastal aquifers used for the abstraction of drinking water and into sewers, as well as due to extreme weather, which may have consequences such as crop failure, the contamination of bodies of water, damage to infrastructure, and forced displacement; encourages the development of green infrastructure in coastal cities, which are generally located near wetlands, to preserve biodiversity and coastal ecosystems, as well as to strengthen the sustainable development of the economy, tourism and coastal landscapes, which also help to improve resilience to climate change in these vulnerable areas which are particularly affected by rising sea levels;

34. Supports initiatives, including the development of urban strategies and better spatial planning, to use the potential of roofs and other infrastructure, such as parks, urban gardens, green roofs and walls, air filter appliances, cool pavements, penetrable concrete and other measures that can contribute to cooling high urban temperatures, the retention and reuse of rainwater and the production of food, while reducing air pollution, improving quality of life in cities, reducing risks to human health and protecting biodiversity, including pollinators; believes that infrastructure such as roads, parking lots, train tracks and power and drainage systems, among others, need to be made biodiversity- and climate-proof;

35. Acknowledges that assessments by public authorities of the impact of spatial plans and urban development on the water system could provide planning authorities with the necessary advice on ways to build without causing problems for the water system; calls on the Member States to embed these assessments in their approach; calls on the Member States to draw up flood hazard and flood risk maps in accordance with Article 6 of Directive 2007/60/EC on the assessment and management of flood risks, thereby reducing the impact of floods;

36. Recalls that climate change has an impact on both water quantity and its quality, as lower flow in bodies of water means less dilution of harmful substances which are a threat to biodiversity, human health and the drinking water supply; calls, therefore, for better water management in urban and rural areas, including the creation of sustainable drainage through improved land planning, which safeguards and recovers natural flowing systems and natural water retention measures to help moderate flooding and droughts, facilitate groundwater recharge and ensure the availability of water resources for the production of drinking water; emphasises that adaptation measures in water management should be consistent with measures to enhance sustainability and circularity in farming, foster the energy transition and conserve and restore ecosystems and biodiversity; in this respect, calls for a strong link between the upcoming zero pollution action plan on water, air and soil and the new EU climate adaptation strategy;

37. Calls on the Member States and the Commission to fully implement Directive 2000/60/EC, which establishes a framework for Community action in the field of water policy, improving the quality of waters upstream; notes that measures to retain and abstract water from bodies of water upstream has an impact on bodies of water downstream – also across borders – which might hamper the economic development of downstream areas and limit the availability of drinking water resources; calls for coherent policy measures across areas in order to contribute to reaching at least good ecological status of bodies of water in the EU, and stresses the crucial importance of ensuring WFD-compliant ecological flows and a significant improvement in freshwater ecosystem connectivity;

38. Calls on the Commission and the Member States to further promote water reuse in order to prevent allocation conflicts between different uses of water, while providing sufficient availability of water resources for the production of drinking water, essential to fulfilling the human right to water;

39. Notes the high energy consumption in the water sector; calls on the Commission to consider energy-efficient measures and the possibility of using treated waste water as an ‘on-site’ source of renewable energy; notes that the current Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive has not been revised since its adoption in 1991; calls on the Commission to revise the Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive in order to make sure that it contributes positively to the Union’s climate and environmental goals;

Adaptation measures and consistency

40. Emphasises the need to mainstream climate adaptation in, and maximise the co-benefits with, all relevant EU policies towards a more sustainable future, such as agriculture and food production, forestry, transport, trade, energy, environment, water management, buildings, infrastructure, industrial, maritime and fisheries policies, as well as cohesion policy and local development, and social policies, and the need to ensure that other European Green Deal initiatives are consistent with climate adaptation and mitigation measures;

41. Calls on the Commission to thoroughly assess the climate and environmental impact of all relevant legislative and budgetary proposals, and to ensure that they are fully aligned with the goal of limiting global warming to below 1.5 °C;

42. Regrets the fact that EU policies allowed for climate and environmentally harmful subsidies in the period 2014-2020, which contributed to the reduced resilience of EU ecosystems; urges that the applicable rules across all policy areas should prevent such use of public resources;

43. Calls on the Commission to adopt an ambitious approach to the upcoming renovation wave and adopt proper initiatives securing staged and deep renovations with a strong cost-effective focus; welcomes, in this context, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen’s ambition to set up a ‘European Bauhaus’ bringing together engineers, architects and other personnel from the buildings sector as stressed during the State of the Union speech on 16 September 2020 in the European Parliament;

44. Calls for the new strategy to be consistent with global action and agreements such as the Paris Agreement, the SDGs and the Convention on Biological Diversity; asks the Commission to identify actions that promote and facilitate adaptation outside of the EU in the new strategy, in particular in least developed countries and small island states which are the most severely impacted by climate change and rising sea levels, and to step up its technical assistance for and the sharing of best practices with developing countries as part of its external action;

45. Calls for the new adaptation strategy to promote and develop adaptation solutions with third countries, especially in the parts of the world most vulnerable to and affected by climate change; emphasises, in addition, the need for effective and targeted capacity-building in developing countries, the diffusion of technologies for climate adaptation, and the responsibilities that exist throughout supply chains;

46. Calls for the Commission to adequately and swiftly address desertification and land degradation, problems that already affect most countries in the Union and have emerged as one of the most visible consequences of climate change, and to develop a methodology and indicators to assess their extent; also highlights the need to address soil sealing; recalls the findings of the European Court of Auditors’ special report entitled ‘ Combating desertification in the EU: a growing threat in need of more action’, in particular the need to enhance the EU legal framework for soil, to step up actions towards delivering the commitment made by Member States to achieve land degradation neutrality in the EU by 2030 at the latest, and to better address the underlying causes of desertification, in particular unsustainable agricultural practices; regrets the lack of a specific EU policy and action in this regard; calls, therefore, on the Commission to present an EU strategy to combat desertification within the framework of the adaptation strategy; calls for sufficient funding for combating desertification and land degradation;

47. Acknowledges the unequal impacts of climate change, and the fact that the adverse impacts will not only vary between Member States, but also, more importantly, between regions, affecting their respective needs for adaptation measures; calls, therefore, on the Commission to draw up guidance for Member States and regions to help them target their adaptation measures in the most effective manner;

48. Stresses the need to enhance the preparedness and adaptive capacity of geographical areas with a high exposure to climate change, such as the island and outermost regions of the EU;

49. Recognises that the adverse impacts of climate change will particularly affect poor and disadvantaged groups within society, as they tend to have more limited adaptive capacities and are more dependent on climate-sensitive resources; stresses that climate change adaptation efforts need to address the nexus between climate change and the wide-ranging socio-economic sources of vulnerability, including poverty and gender inequality;

50. Calls for reinforced social protection systems to protect the most vulnerable regions and people against the adverse impacts of climate change, as well as for the identification of vulnerable groups in the design of fair adaptation policies at all relevant governance levels;

51. Highlights that the selection of adaptation measures should be carried out on the basis of a multi-criteria analysis through efficiency, effectiveness, financial cost, consistency with mitigation, an urban perspective, etc.; calls on the Commission to develop a definition of climate-proofing as a way to ensure that all measures are effective and fit for purpose;

52. Highlights the risk of maladaptation to climate change and the associated costs thereof; calls, therefore, on the Commission to develop indicators to measure whether the Union is meeting the targets on adaptation, based on projected impacts;

53. Encourages the development of common methodologies and approaches to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of adaptation actions, while recognising that climate change impacts and adaptation actions are local and context-specific;

Financing

54. Calls for increased funding at all governance levels and for the mobilisation of public and private investments in adaptation; recalls its position calling for a climate-related spending target of 30 % and a biodiversity-related spending target of 10 % in the next MFF 2021-2027 and Next Generation EU, which should contribute to both climate mitigation and adaptation; calls for climate resilience to be considered as a key criterion in all relevant EU funding; considers that the European Investment Bank (EIB), as a climate bank, should also fund climate adaptation measures[9]; calls on the EIB, as the EU’s climate bank, to properly deliver the EU’s financing for adaptation to climate change and to commit to an enhanced level of ambition on adaptation in its Climate Bank Roadmap, and calls for increased incentives for SMEs, which can play a key role in developing innovative sustainable solutions for adaptation; stresses that the next MFF and the Recovery Fund should neither lead to increased pressure on ecosystems, nor to their reduced connectivity, nor to their overexploitation as only the sustainable use of nature will allow the Union to adapt to and mitigate dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system[10]; calls for adequate financial support for the implementation of the protection and restoration targets of the EU Biodiversity Strategy; stresses the need to make the financing of adaptation to climate change inclusive and gender-responsive;

55. Regrets the fact that the EU’s tracking methodology for climate funding does not differentiate between mitigation and adaptation, and that climate earmarking has been difficult to track, being used more as an accounting tool than an actual support for policy planning; calls for the climate earmarking system to be policy-specific and include monitoring criteria that allow for comparisons across EU funds, differentiating between climate mitigation and adaptation across all EU budget instruments;

56. Encourages better use of the EU Solidarity Fund as a ‘build back better’ funding mechanism that also provides incentives for adaptation and forward-looking planning;

57. Acknowledges that adaptation has a cost; notes, however, that the cost of inaction is expected to be far greater; insists on the importance of making investments in adaptation as, in addition to saving lives and protecting the environment, preventive actions can be more cost-effective; emphasises the principle of prevention and calls on the Commission to develop approaches to ensure that the costs arising from a failure to take adaptation measures are not passed on to the general public, and to enforce the ‘polluter pays’ principle, giving adaptation responsibilities to the polluter; calls for the EU and the Member States to ensure that public investments are climate-proof and, at the same time, provide incentives for green and sustainable private investments to act as a catalyst for systemic changes; believes that the ‘do no harm’ principle should be explicit in the upcoming adaption strategy, in particular to prevent negative impacts on biodiversity, and avert maladaptation;

58. Welcomes the Commission’s proposal to extend the scope of the EU Solidarity Fund to cover public health emergencies such as pandemics;

Awareness-raising, adaptation knowledge and research

59. Underlines the importance of raising awareness about the effects of climate change, such as extreme weather events, including on health and on the environment, and about the need for adaptation, as well as its benefits, not only among decision makers, but also through appropriate and continuous information and educational activities at all stages and in all areas of life; regrets, in this context, the fact that budget cuts have been made to important programmes such as EU4health and Erasmus;

60. Recognises that the priority knowledge gaps have not been closed and that new gaps have emerged; calls, therefore, on the Commission to further identify and fill knowledge gaps, also in relation to critical sectors, in order to ensure informed decision-making, by further developing tools such as Climate-ADAPT and the European Institute of Innovation and Technology Climate and Knowledge and Innovation Community (EIT Climate-KIC); in this regard, stresses the importance of better knowledge sharing between Member States, which remains insufficient, and of improved coordination on issues such as international river basins, flood defences, building codes and construction in potential high-risk zones; calls on the Commission to create an adaptation analysis and modelling forum to improve the use of climate change impact and adaptation models for policy-making;

61. Highlights the large amount of innovation that underpins projects and measures for climate change adaptive measures, such as technology development, digital services, etc., and stresses the need for the EU to support the development and deployment of such initiatives;

62. Stresses the importance of supporting research and innovation through the Horizon Europe programme and other financing mechanisms in the areas of climate adaptation, nature-based solutions, green technologies and other solutions that can help in the fight against climate change and extreme weather phenomena; recalls also the potential of Horizon Europe to foster the climate resilience of EU citizens, thereby contributing to adaptation also through societal transformation; regrets, in this context, the fact that massive cuts have been made to the budgets in the field of research and innovation to programmes such as Horizon Europe, as these cuts will diminish the EU’s competitiveness in cutting-edge technologies and solutions for climate mitigation and adaptation; recalls the fundamental role that researchers play in combating global warming and stresses, in this regard, the importance of close scientific collaboration between international partners; notes that the agricultural European Innovation Partnership (EIP-AGRI) can be an important tool for developing new technologies and practices for climate adaptation in agri-food systems;

63. Stresses the importance of basing the adaptation measures on the latest scientific knowledge and accessible data; takes note, in this context, of the work already carried out by EU programmes such as COPERNICUS, and emphasises the role of enforced data collection in ensuring the most accurate projections possible; calls for an increase in research and development to find innovative solutions for adaptation and for targeted support to digital innovations that exploit the power of digitalisation for sustainable transformation;

64. Notes that the effects of climate change on health will increase and that, according to the European Environment Agency (EEA) Report on Health and Climate Change, and the Lancet Countdown, these impacts are only now beginning to be considered; stresses, therefore, the importance of further studying the impact of climate change on human health and calls for investment in research in this area, for cross-sectoral cooperation on risk assessment and surveillance, and increased awareness and capacity in the health sector, including at local level, and for the sharing of best practices and the latest knowledge on the risks posed by climate change to human health, through EU programmes such as Horizon Europe and the LIFE programme; calls for the data that is collected to be channelled into the European Health Data Space;

65. Calls on the Commission to take into account in its strategy the need to ensure that Member States have climate-resilient health systems, capable of anticipating and responding to the consequences of climate change for health, particularly for the most vulnerable people, by fully engaging the health community in the design of the instruments for adaptation; stresses that this should include prevention programmes, plans on adaptive measures and awareness-raising campaigns on the effects of climate change on health, such as death, injury, the increased risk of food- and water-borne disease resulting from extreme temperatures, floods and fires, as well as effects emanating from disrupted ecosystems, bringing risks of diseases, changed pollen seasons and allergies; calls on the Commission also to provide the necessary resources for the maintenance and further development of the vector-borne disease surveillance network and entomological surveillance, and its proper implementation in the Member States;

Early warning and rapid response

66. Calls for the new strategy to put a stronger focus on crisis prevention and preparedness planning, and management and disaster response, including in the event of pandemics, exploiting all synergies with the reinforced Union Civil Protection Mechanism and with the active involvement of EU agencies such as the EEA and the European Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (ECDC); is of the opinion that the Member States should coordinate the creation of these preparedness plans with the Union Civil Protection Mechanism through its Emergency Response Coordination Centre; calls on the Commission to develop guidelines on urban heat emergencies and to encourage the exchange of best practices between Member States in this context;

67. Urges the Member States to develop adequate prevention and rapid response plans for climate disasters such as heatwaves, floods and drought, which take into account the specificities of the regions, such as border or coastal regions, and include mechanisms for cross-border action, ensuring shared responsibilities and solidarity between the Member States and with third countries; insists on the need to adopt an adaptation strategy for territories and cities exposed to the consequences of climate change, based on a new innovative ecosystem approach to risk prevention and management, in particular by identifying fall-back areas, flood retention areas, natural protections and, in cases where they are essential, artificial protections;

68. Requests national, regional and local authorities to establish timely early warning systems and prepare appropriate tools to respond to extreme weather events and other negative impacts of climate change, as well as pandemics;

 

°

° °

69. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Commission.

 

RECOMMENDATION FOR A DECISION to raise no objections to the Commission delegated regulation of 7 December 2020 amending Annex II to Regulation (EC) No 853/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards the identification mark to be used for certain products of animal origin in the United Kingdom in respect of Northern Ireland – B9-0423/2020

Source: European Parliament

RECOMMENDATION FOR A DECISION to raise no objections to the Commission delegated regulation of 7 December 2020 amending Annex II to Regulation (EC) No 853/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards the identification mark to be used for certain products of animal origin in the United Kingdom in respect of Northern Ireland

RECOMMENDATION FOR A DECISION to raise no objections to the Commission delegated regulation of 29 October 2020 amending Delegated Regulation (EU) 2019/2124 as regards official controls at the border control post where goods leave the Union and certain provisions on transit and transhipment – B9-0420/2020

Source: European Parliament

RECOMMENDATION FOR A DECISION to raise no objections to the Commission delegated regulation of 29 October 2020 amending Delegated Regulation (EU) 2019/2124 as regards official controls at the border control post where goods leave the Union and certain provisions on transit and transhipment

RECOMMENDATION FOR SECOND READING on the Council position at first reading with a view to the adoption of a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the quality of water intended for human consumption (recast) – A9-0241/2020

Source: European Parliament

DRAFT EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION

on the Council position at first reading with a view to the adoption of a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the quality of water intended for human consumption (recast)

(06230/3/2020 – C9‑0354/2020 – 2017/0332(COD))

(Ordinary legislative procedure: second reading)

The European Parliament,

 having regard to the Council position at first reading (06230/3/2020 – C9‑0354/2020),

 having regard to the reasoned opinions submitted, within the framework of Protocol No 2 on the application of the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality, by the Czech Chamber of Deputies, the Irish Houses of the Oireachtas, the Austrian Federal Council and the United Kingdom House of Commons, asserting that the draft legislative act does not comply with the principle of subsidiarity,

 having regard to the opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee of 12 July 2018[1],

 having regard to the opinion of the Committee of the Regions of 16 May 2018[2],

 having regard to its position at first reading[3] on the Commission proposal to Parliament and the Council (COM(2017)0753),

 having regard to Article 294(7) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

 having regard to the provisional agreement approved by the committee responsible under Rule 74(4) of its Rules of Procedure,

 having regard to Rule 67 of its Rules of Procedure,

 having regard to the recommendation for second reading of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (A9-0241/2020),

1. Approves the Council position at first reading;

2. Takes note of the Commission statements annexed to this resolution;

3. Notes that the act is adopted in accordance with the Council position;

4. Instructs its President to sign the act with the President of the Council, in accordance with Article 297(1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union;

5. Instructs its Secretary-General to sign the act, once it has been verified that all the procedures have been duly completed, and, in agreement with the Secretary-General of the Council, to arrange for its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union;

6. Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council, the Commission and the national parliaments.

 

ANNEX TO THE LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION

DECLARATION BY THE COMMISSION ON DELEGATED ACTS IN THE DRINKING WATER DIRECTIVE

 

The Commission regrets the decision of the co-legislators to limit its empowerment to modify the annexes of the revised Drinking Water Directive to Annex III, whereas the Commission had sought an empowerment to modify Annexes I to IV in its original proposal[4].

 

The Commission specifically regrets that the co-legislators did not agree on an empowerment to amend Annex II, which is particularly necessary in light of the need to update the monitoring requirements set out in Annex II to scientific and technical progress.

 

 

DECLARATION BY THE COMMISSION ON THE PROCEDURE OF ADOPTION OF IMPLEMENTING ACTS

 

The Commission underlines that it is contrary to the letter and to the spirit of Regulation (EU) No 182/2011[5] to invoke point (b) of the second subparagraph of Article 5(4), without proper justification. Recourse to this provision must respond to a specific need to depart from the rule of principle, which is that the Commission may adopt a draft implementing act when no opinion is delivered. Given that it is an exception to the general rule established in Article 5(4), it cannot be simply seen as a “discretionary power” of the Legislator, but must be interpreted in a restrictive manner and thus must be justified.

SHORT JUSTIFICATION

The Council position at first reading reflects the agreement reached between the Parliament and the Council in interinstitutional negotiations at early second reading stage, after legal-linguistic verification. Since the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI), at its vote of 18 February 2020, already confirmed the outcome of those interinstitutional negotiations, as your rapporteur I am proposing that ENVI recommend that the plenary confirm the position of the Council at first reading, without amending it.

PROCEDURE – COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE

Title

Quality of water intended for human consumption (recast)

References

06230/3/2020 – C9-0354/2020 – 2017/0332(COD)

Date of Parliament’s first reading – P number

28.3.2019 T8-0320/2019

Commission proposal

COM(2017)0753 – C8-0019/2018

Receipt of Council position at first reading announced in plenary

13.11.2020

Committee responsible

 Date announced in plenary

ENVI

13.11.2020

 

 

 

Rapporteurs

 Date appointed

Christophe Hansen

18.7.2019

 

 

 

Discussed in committee

21.10.2019

6.11.2019

2.12.2019

20.1.2020

Date adopted

1.12.2020

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

73

2

5

Members present for the final vote

Nikos Androulakis, Margrete Auken, Simona Baldassarre, Marek Paweł Balt, Traian Băsescu, Aurelia Beigneux, Monika Beňová, Sergio Berlato, Alexander Bernhuber, Malin Björk, Simona Bonafè, Delara Burkhardt, Pascal Canfin, Sara Cerdas, Mohammed Chahim, Tudor Ciuhodaru, Nathalie Colin-Oesterlé, Esther de Lange, Christian Doleschal, Marco Dreosto, Bas Eickhout, Cyrus Engerer, Eleonora Evi, Agnès Evren, Pietro Fiocchi, Andreas Glück, Catherine Griset, Jytte Guteland, Teuvo Hakkarainen, Anja Hazekamp, Martin Hojsík, Pär Holmgren, Jan Huitema, Yannick Jadot, Adam Jarubas, Petros Kokkalis, Athanasios Konstantinou, Ewa Kopacz, Joanna Kopcińska, Peter Liese, Sylvia Limmer, Javi López, César Luena, Fulvio Martusciello, Liudas Mažylis, Joëlle Mélin, Tilly Metz, Silvia Modig, Dolors Montserrat, Alessandra Moretti, Dan-Ştefan Motreanu, Ville Niinistö, Ljudmila Novak, Grace O’Sullivan, Stanislav Polčák, Jessica Polfjärd, Luisa Regimenti, Frédérique Ries, Sándor Rónai, Rob Rooken, Silvia Sardone, Christine Schneider, Günther Sidl, Ivan Vilibor Sinčić, Linea Søgaard-Lidell, Nicolae Ştefănuță, Nils Torvalds, Edina Tóth, Véronique Trillet-Lenoir, Petar Vitanov, Alexandr Vondra, Mick Wallace, Pernille Weiss, Michal Wiezik, Tiemo Wölken, Anna Zalewska

Substitutes present for the final vote

Sven Giegold, Karin Karlsbro, Ulrike Müller, Andrey Slabakov

Date tabled

3.12.2020

 

FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE

73

+

EPP

Traian Băsescu, Nathalie Colin-Oesterlé, Christian Doleschal, Agnès Evren, Adam Jarubas, Ewa Kopacz, Esther de Lange, Peter Liese, Fulvio Martusciello, Liudas Mažylis, Dolors Montserrat, Dan-Ştefan Motreanu, Ljudmila Novak, Stanislav Polčák, Jessica Polfjärd, Christine Schneider, Edina Tóth, Pernille Weiss, Michal Wiezik

S&D

Nikos Androulakis, Marek Paweł Balt, Monika Beňová, Simona Bonafè, Delara Burkhardt, Sara Cerdas, Mohammed Chahim, Tudor Ciuhodaru, Cyrus Engerer, Jytte Guteland, Javi López, César Luena, Alessandra Moretti, Sándor Rónai, Günther Sidl, Petar Vitanov, Tiemo Wölken

RENEW

Pascal Canfin, Andreas Glück, Martin Hojsík, Jan Huitema, Karin Karlsbro, Ulrike Müller, Frédérique Ries, Nicolae Ştefănuță, Linea Søgaard-Lidell, Nils Torvalds, Véronique Trillet-Lenoir

ID

Simona Baldassarre, Aurelia Beigneux, Marco Dreosto, Catherine Griset, Joëlle Mélin, Luisa Regimenti, Silvia Sardone

GREENS/EFA

Margrete Auken, Bas Eickhout, Sven Giegold, Pär Holmgren, Yannick Jadot, Tilly Metz, Ville Niinistö, Grace O’Sullivan

ECR

Sergio Berlato, Pietro Fiocchi, Joanna Kopcińska, Rob Rooken, Andrey Slabakov, Alexandr Vondra, Anna Zalewska

GUE/NGL

Anja Hazekamp

NI

Eleonora Evi, Athanasios Konstantinou, Ivan Vilibor Sinčić

 

2

ID

Sylvia Limmer

GUE/NGL

Mick Wallace

 

5

0

EPP

Alexander Bernhuber

ID

Teuvo Hakkarainen

GUE/NGL

Malin Björk, Petros Kokkalis, Silvia Modig

 

Key to symbols:

+ : in favour

 : against

0 : abstention

 

 

[1] OJ C 367, 10.10.2018, p. 107.

[2] OJ C 361, 5.10.2018, p. 46.

[5] OJ L 55, 28.2.2011, p. 13.

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2020/1511 of 16 October 2020 amending Implementing Regulation (EU) No 540/2011 as regards the extension of the approval periods of the active substances amidosulfuron, bifenox, chlorotoluron, clofentezine, clomazone, cypermethrin, daminozide, deltamethrin, dicamba, difenoconazole, diflufenican, fenoxaprop-P, fenpropidin, fludioxonil, flufenacet, fosthiazate, indoxacarb, lenacil, MCPA, MCPB, nicosulfuron, paraffin oils, picloram, prosulfocarb, sulphur, triflusulfuron and tritosulfuron – B9-0367/2020

Source: European Parliament

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2020/1511 of 16 October 2020 amending Implementing Regulation (EU) No 540/2011 as regards the extension of the approval periods of the active substances amidosulfuron, bifenox, chlorotoluron, clofentezine, clomazone, cypermethrin, daminozide, deltamethrin, dicamba, difenoconazole, diflufenican, fenoxaprop-P, fenpropidin, fludioxonil, flufenacet, fosthiazate, indoxacarb, lenacil, MCPA, MCPB, nicosulfuron, paraffin oils, picloram, prosulfocarb, sulphur, triflusulfuron and tritosulfuron

REPORT with recommendations to the Commission on an EU legal framework to halt and reverse EU-driven global deforestation – A9-0179/2020

Source: European Parliament 2

MOTION FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT RESOLUTION

with recommendations to the Commission on an EU legal framework to halt and reverse EU-driven global deforestation

(2020/2006(INL))

The European Parliament,

 having regard to Article 225 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

 having regard to Article 114(3) and Article 192(1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

 having regard to the Commission Communication on Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) — Proposal for an EU Action Plan of 21 May 2003 (COM(2003)0251),

 having regard to Regulation (EU) No 995/2010 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 October 2010 laying down the obligations of operators who place timber and timber products on the market (‘the EU Timber Regulation’)[1],

 having regard to Regulation (EU) 2020/852 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 June 2020 on the establishment of a framework to facilitate sustainable investment[2],

 having regard to Regulation (EC) No 1905/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 December 2006 establishing a financing instrument for development cooperation[3],

 having regard to the 2030 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in particular SDG 12 concerning responsible consumption and production and SDG 15, to protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss,

 having regard to the Paris Agreement reached at the 21st Conference of Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21),

 having regard to the study on due diligence requirements through the supply chain commissioned by the Commission’s Directorate General for Justice and Consumers (2020),

 having regard to the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS) study “An EU legal framework to halt and reverse EU-driven global deforestation – European added value assessment” of September 2020[4],

 having regard to the conclusions of the Council and of the Governments of the Member States sitting in the Council on the Communication on Stepping Up EU Action to Protect and Restore the World’s Forests of 16 December 2019,

 having regard to the Amsterdam Declaration “Towards Eliminating Deforestation from Agricultural Commodity Chains with European Countries” of 7 December 2015,

 having regard to the UN’s Programme on Reducing Emissions form Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) mechanism,

 having regard to the UN Strategic Plan for Forests 2017-2030 (UNSPF), which defines six Global Forest Goals and 26 associated targets to be achieved by 2030,

 having regard to the UN Convention to Combat Desertification, adopted on 17 June 1994,

 having regard to the National Sustainable Commodity Platforms developed by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP),

 having regard to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 1966,

 having regard to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights of 1966,

 having regard to the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union[5];

 having regard to the American Convention on Human Rights of 1969,

 having regard to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights of 1987,

 having regard to the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention No 169 on Indigenous and Trial Peoples of 1989,

 having regard to the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples of 2007,

 having regard to OECD/FAO guidelines for responsible agricultural supply chains,

 having regard to the FAO report – The State of the World’s Forests 2020,

 having regard to the FAO’s publication The State of the World’s Forests 2018 – Forest Pathways to Sustainable Development, FAO (2018),

 having regard to the FAO’s Global Forest Resources Assessment 2015 – FRA 2015 Desk Reference,

 having regard to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) of 1973,

 having regard to the Convention on Biological Diversity of 1992 and the associated Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety of 2000 and Nagoya Protocol and Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilisation of 2010,

 having regard to the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services 2019 Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services of 6 May 2019,

 having regard to the UN Principles for Responsible Investment of 2006,

 having regard to the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, endorsed by the UN Human Rights Council in 2011, as well as to the OECD’s Guidelines on Multinational Enterprises, updated in 2011,

 having regard to the United Nations’ International Panel on Climate Change Special Report on Climate Change and Land of 8 August 2019,

 having regard to the Global Programme for Combating Wildlife and Forest Crime of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC),

 having regard to the Convention of Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision Making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters, adopted on 25 June 1998 in Aarhus by the United Nation Economic Commission for Europe,

 having regard to its resolution of 17 June 2010 on EU policies in favour of human rights defenders[6],

 having regard to its resolution of 25 October 2016 on corporate liability for serious human rights abuses in third countries[7],

 having regard to its resolution of 4 April 2017 on palm oil and deforestation of rainforests[8],

 having regard to its resolution of 12 September 2017 on the impact of international trade and the EU’s trade policies on global value chains[9],

 having regard to its resolution of 3 July 2018 on violation of the rights of indigenous peoples in the world, including land-grabbing[10],

 having regard to its resolution of 11 September 2018 on transparent and accountable management of natural resources in developing countries: the case of forests[11],

 having regard to its resolution of 15 January 2020 on the European Green Deal[12],

 having regards to its resolution of 16 January 2020 on the 15th meeting of the Conference of Parties (COP15) to the Convention on Biological Diversity[13],

 having regard to its resolution of 16 September 2020 on the EU’s role in protecting and restoring the world’s forests[14],

 having regard to the “Forest pledge” of 21 March 2019 by which many serving Members of the European Parliament pledged to promote policies to protect and restore forests worldwide and recognise and secure forest peoples’ territories and their rights,

 having regard to the Council conclusions of 28 June 2018 on forest law enforcement, governance and trade,

 having regard to the Commission Communication entitled “Stepping up EU action to Protect and Restore the World’s Forests” of 23 July 2019 (COM(2019)0352),

 having regard to the Commission’s “Feasibility study on options to step up EU actions against deforestation” of January 2018,

 having regard to the Commission’s Communication on the European Green Deal of 11 December 2019 (COM(2019)0640),

 having regard to the Commission’s Communication on an EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 – Bringing nature back into our lives of 20 May 2020 (COM(2020)0380),

 having regard to the Commission’s Communication on a Farm to Fork Strategy for a fair, healthy and environmentally-friendly food system of 20 May 2020 (COM(2020)0381),

 having regard to the statement from civil society representatives on the EU’s Role in Protecting Forests and Rights of April 2018,

 having regard to Rules 47 and 54 of its Rules of Procedure,

 having regard to the opinions of the Committee on International Trade, the Committee on Development, the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy, and the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development,

 having regard to the report of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (A9-0179/2020),

A. whereas biologically diverse forests, being natural carbon sinks, are indispensable in the fight against climate change in line with the Paris Agreement’s goals to hold the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels and pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1,5 °C above pre-industrial levels, and that the most up to date science indicates that limiting the increase to 1,5 degrees would substantially reduce harm to people and natural ecosystems as compared to the 2 degrees scenario[15], as well as for climate change adaptation and biodiversity conservation; whereas not only deforested areas, but also forests degraded by human intervention can turn into a source of carbon dioxide;

B. whereas forests host 80 % of the Earth’s biodiversity and cover 30 % of its land area[16]; whereas forests provide vital organic infrastructure for some of the planet’s densest, most fragile and most diverse ecosystems; whereas deforestation is the most serious threat for 85 % of threatened or endangered species and 58 % of vertebrate animals have already disappeared from the surface of the globe between 1970 and 2012 due to deforestation[17];

C. whereas forests are a source of livelihood and income for about 25% of the world’s population[18] and their destruction has serious consequences for the livelihoods of the most vulnerable people, including indigenous peoples heavily dependent on forest ecosystems;

D. whereas emissions from land-use change, mostly due to deforestation, account for approximately 12 % of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and are the second biggest cause of climate change after burning coal, oil and gas[19];

E. whereas primary forests are particularly affected by deforestation; whereas primary forests have high carbon stocks, and are characterised by unique ecological features and biodiversity levels and therefore cannot be replaced by newly planted forests; whereas afforestation, performed in a way that is compatible with the protection and enhancement of local ecosystems, can play a role in the fight against climate change;

F. whereas in order to help tackle the biodiversity loss and climate crises, it is essential that forests are protected and restored in such a way as to maximise their capacity for carbon storage and biodiversity protection; whereas this brings multiple benefits since it favours the growth of existing forests to their maximum carbon storage potential whilst restoring previously degraded ecosystems and allowing organic material to decompose and also protects biodiversity, as well as soil, air, land, and water;

G. whereas public pressure for the fulfilment of non-productive forest functions is increasing worldwide, which is often in stark disagreement with the deteriorating condition of forests;

H. whereas forests provide important ecosystem services to society, such as clean air, water flow regulation, carbon reduction, protection against water and wind erosion, habitats for animals and plants, restoration of degraded land, resilience to climate change; natural regulation of water flows in forests alone have been evaluated to be between 1360 and 5235 USD (value at 2007)[20] per hectare per year, and this “natural service” is heavily impacted by deforestation; while forests and biodiversity also have an intrinsic value beyond their use value to humans, including as carbon stocks, which cannot be monetised or quantified;

I. whereas forests have cultural, social and spiritual value for many people and peoples;

J. whereas, while forest cover in the Union has increased over recent decades (though its quality has declined), global tree cover loss has been rising steadily over the past 18 years and in 2019 alone 3,8 million hectares of primary rainforests were destroyed[21];

K. whereas deforestation, degradation and conversion of world forests exacerbates the threat posed to indigenous peoples and local communities, who are met with human rights violations, attacks and killings in response to their efforts to protect their forests, land and environments and on average more than three land and environmental defenders were murdered each week in 2018, with more than 300 people killed in resource and land-use conflicts in the Amazon region alone in the last decade[22];

L. whereas climate change, the worldwide loss of biodiversity, as well as the destruction and modification of natural ecosystems, including forests, have severe impacts on wildlife habitats and lead to increased contact between wild animals, humans and domesticated animals, which increases the risk of new outbreaks of epidemics and pandemics originated in wildlife; whereas the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) confirms that the increase in emerging infectious diseases coincides with the accelerated growth of tropical deforestation, linked in particular to the planting of oil palm or soybean[23]; whereas more than two-thirds of emerging infectious diseases originate in animals, of which the overwhelming majority come from wildlife; whereas protecting and restoring biodiversity and well-functioning ecosystems is therefore key to boost our resilience and prevent the emergence and spread of future diseases;

M. whereas water is a precious resource; whereas the absence or inadequate implementation of a legal framework on protection of water resources makes it impossible to control the use of this resource and allows for over-abstraction, pollution and water-grabbing; whereas this is detrimental to ecosystems downstream and to local communities; whereas there are cases of water-grabbing due to production of forest and ecosystem-risk commodities[24];

N. whereas the sustainable management of forest resources and renewable raw materials as well as the use of forest lands in a way and at a rate that maintains their biodiversity, regeneration capacity, vitality and their potential to fulfil now and in the future relevant ecological, economic and social functions at local, national and global levels and that does not cause damage to other ecosystems, is an important element of the overall policy approach to stop deforestation, both at Union and global level;

O.  whereas Union consumption is estimated to contribute to at least 10 % of global deforestation;

P. whereas it is important to promote sustainable diets, by raising consumer awareness of the impacts of consumption patterns and providing information on diets that are better for human health and have a lower environmental footprint;

General remarks

1. Underlines that approximately 80 % of global deforestation is caused by the expansion of land used for agriculture1; stresses in this context that the Commission Communication on Stepping up EU Action to Protect and Restore the World’s Forests of July 2019 recognises that Union demand for products such as palm oil, meat, soy, cocoa, maize, timber, rubber, including in the form of processed products or services, is a large driver of deforestation, forest degradation, ecosystem destruction and associated human rights violations across the globe and represents around 10 % of the global share of deforestation embodied in total final consumption[25]; in addition notes that EU consumption of other commodities, such as cotton, coffee, sugar cane, rapeseed and mangrove-farmed shrimps also contributes to global deforestation.

2. Points out that global preservation of forests and preventing their degradation are some of the biggest sustainability challenges of our times, without which the objectives of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Paris Agreement and the Green Deal cannot be achieved; stresses that the sustainable use of forests and ecosystems in many parts of the world cannot be ensured with current policies;

3. Notes with the highest concern that in the period from 2014 to 2018, the rate of tree cover loss has increased by 43 % to an average loss of 26,1 million hectares per year, as compared to 18,3 million hectares per year in the period from 2002 to 2013; is particularly worried about the loss of primary forests as the three most recent years with available data (2016, 2017 and 2018) have registered the highest loss rates this century with deforestation rates in the Brazilian Amazon alone having increased 88 % in June 2019 compared to June 2018; points out that destruction and degradation of natural forests is not only happening in tropical areas, but all over the world, including inside the Union and in its direct neighbourhood;

4. Regrets that the global forest area is currently only 68 % of estimated pre-industrial levels, that forest cover was reduced by 290 million hectares because of land clearance and timber production between 1990 and 2015, and undisturbed forests (land areas of more than 500 km2 in which satellites do not detect any human pressure) were reduced by 7 % between 2000 and 2013[26];

5. Notes also that habitat modification and destruction, encroaching upon natural forest areas, have severe consequences for human and animal health globally, as well as biodiversity impacts, notably the increased incidence of zoonoses (causing 50 pandemics in last 30 years), most recently the COVID-19 pandemic;

6. Notes with concern that following the tragic COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, research continues to affirm a worrying link between zoonotic diseases and deforestation, climate change and biodiversity loss;

7. Emphasises that primary forests are irreplaceable and the loss of primary forests cannot be compensated by a new forest-based approach; notes that halting deforestation and forest degradation, combined with protection of existing forests, sustainable restoration, afforestation and reforestation activities in such a way as to maximise their capacity for carbon storage and biodiversity protection, can provide livelihoods, increase income for local communities and offer economic development opportunities; stresses to this end the importance of promoting agroecology and sustainable agriculture production at global, national, regional and local levels, preventing unsustainable land use and management practices, coping with natural disturbances and mitigating climate change;

8. Stresses that the existence of large areas of forests help prevent desertification of continental regions; proposes that the protection of forests also as a moisture source receive strong consideration in development and trade policies; highlights for example that as much as 40 % of the total rainfall in the Ethiopian highlands – the main source of the Nile – is provided by moisture recycled from the forests of the Congo Basin and that halting deforestation in the region is relevant also for the issue of the climate-refugee crisis;

9. Underlines the fact that the drivers of deforestation go beyond the forest sector per se and relate to a wide range of issues, such as land tenure, weak government and law enforcement, protection of the rights of indigenous people, climate change, democracy, human rights and political freedom, consumption levels of commodities, high dependence on feed imports, agricultural policies as well as lack of public policies promoting and incentivising sustainably and legally sourced and produced commodities; recalls that indigenous women and women farmers play a central role in protecting forest ecosystems; calls on the Commission to step up its efforts to address deforestation holistically through a coherent and legally binding policy framework, while ensuring the conservation of ecosystems; believes that gender equality in forestry education is a key point in the sustainable management of forests which should be reflected in Union policies.

10. Notes that, in many countries, deforestation is due to the lack of appropriate policies (such as land-use planning), unclear ownership relationships and other land rights, poor governance and law enforcement, illegal activities and insufficient investment in sustainable forest management;

11. Notes that the European Parliament has adopted, since December 2015, 40 objections to the import of genetically modified (GM) food and feed, of which 11 were to GM soy imports; recalls that one of the reasons for objecting to these imports was the deforestation associated with their cultivation in countries such as Brazil and Argentina, where the soy is almost exclusively genetically modified to be used with pesticides; notes that a recent peer-reviewed scientific study by researchers across the Union found that the Union has the largest carbon footprint in the world due to its soy imports from Brazil, 13,8% larger than such imports to China, the largest soy importer worldwide; notes that this large Union carbon footprint is due to its share of emissions from embodied deforestation [27]; notes further that, according to the Commission, soy has historically been the Union’s number one contributor to global deforestation and related emissions, accounting for nearly half of the deforestation embodied in all Union imports[28];

12. Draws attention to how the production of GMOs is a key driver of deforestation, particularly in Brazil and Argentina, and believes that the importation of GMOs into the Union should be ended; recalls that meat consumption, even within the Union, contributes to deforestation outside the Union by way of increasing demand for cheap GMO animal feed, particularly imports of GM soybean;

13. Notes that the conversion of pastures and agricultural land originally used for food and feed production to land for the production of biomass fuels (indirect change in land use) can also have a negative impact on forests;

Voluntary third-party certification and labels

14. Welcomes business’ growing awareness of the problem of global deforestation, forest degradation and ecosystem destruction, the need for corporate action and corresponding commitments as well as increasing calls for transparent, consistent, uniform, sound and enforceable requirements for sustainable supply chains, including a reduced demand for forest-risk commodities; notes that some operators have embraced the 2014 New York Declaration on Forests and have taken action to address deforestation, but regrettably these often lack ambition, only cover parts of the supply chain and are not designed to deal with multiple interconnected deforestation drivers[29], therefore do not deliver on their sustainability claims and the announced commitments; emphasises, in this regard , that companies’ voluntary anti-deforestation commitments have not yet been sufficient to halt global deforestation;

15. Points out that third-party certification schemes have played an important role in bringing together business and civil society to develop a common understanding of the problem of deforestation; observes, however, that while voluntary third-party certification schemes have contributed to developing good practices, these schemes alone cannot halt and reverse global deforestation and ecosystem degradation and should only be complementary to binding measures; notes that voluntary third-party certification can be an auxiliary tool to assess and mitigate deforestation risks when designed and fully implemented with regard to well-defined, measurable and ambitious sustainability criteria it is based on, the robustness of the certification and accreditation process, independent monitoring and compliance mechanisms, possibilities to monitor the supply chain and sound requirements to protect primary forests and other natural forests and promote sustainable forest management;

16. Notes that third-party certification and labels alone are not effective in preventing forest and ecosystem-risk commodities and products from entering the Union internal market; therefore emphasises that third-party certification can only be complementary to, but cannot replace, operators’ thorough mandatory due diligence processes which also ensure their social and environmental liability in accordance with the ‘polluter pays’ principle enshrined in Article 191 TFEU;

17. Is concerned that the multitude of existing certification schemes and labels leads to consumers’ confusion and impairs their chances to make an informed choice; underlines in this regard the harmonisation of the obligation to provide information should be considered;

18. Underlines that a policy measure that is dependent solely on consumer choice unduly shifts the responsibility to purchase deforestation-free products to consumers, which is insufficient in its effectiveness to mainstream more sustainable production; believes that consumer information on deforestation-free products may be a powerful tool to complement a legal framework on due diligence and to address the demand side of this topic; urges the Commission to further integrate deforestation considerations within the EU Ecolabel, Green Public Procurement (GPP) and other initiatives in the context of the circular economy as part of a comprehensive set of actions and initiatives to ensure deforestation-free supply chains; moreover calls on the Commission to include risk of deforestation and ecosystem degradation among the criteria of the green claims in the Directive 2005/29/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council[30] and to set up an EU pre-approval scheme to authorise the use of green claims;

19. Notes that so far there are no rules in place that prohibit placing on the Union market products that contributed to the destruction of forests; remarks that even timber logged that has been legally in accordance with the law of the country of origin can contribute to deforestation and can still enjoy free access to the Union market; notes that, therefore, consumers of many forest and ecosystem-risk commodities in the Union have no guarantee that these products did not contribute to deforestation and that consequently consumers blamelessly, unwillingly and unknowingly drive deforestation;

20. Notes that the criteria for what constitutes a “deforestation-free” commodity or products underpinning certification schemes have not always been comprehensive enough, as they sometimes only cover some of a product’s relevant ingredients, only parts of a product’s life-cycle, or use an insufficient definition of “deforestation-free”, which can lead to label-shopping by companies and water down the ambition of certification in general;

Mandatory rules based on due diligence

21. Welcomes, in this regard, the calls from a number of companies to introduce Union rules for mandatory due diligence in the supply chains of forest risk commodities;

22. Recalls its resolution of 15 January 2020 on the European Green Deal, and its demand to the Commission to present, without delay, a proposal for an EU legal framework based on due diligence to ensure sustainable and deforestation-free supply chains for products placed on the Union market, with a particular focus on tackling the main drivers of imported deforestation and instead encouraging imports that do not create deforestation abroad, taking into account the economic importance of commodity export for developing countries, especially for smallholders, and taking into consideration feedback from all stakeholders, especially SMEs;

23. Recalls that in its Communication on Deforestation of 2008, the Commission set the objective of halting global forest cover loss by 2030 at the latest and reducing gross tropical deforestation by at least 50 % by 2020, warns that the second objective will almost certainly not be achieved;

24. Welcomes the intention of the Commission to tackle global deforestation and forest degradation but asks for a more ambitious policy approach; calls on the Commission to present  a proposal, accompanied by an impact assessment, for an EU legal framework based on mandatory due diligence, reporting, disclosure and third party participation requirements, as well as liability and penalties in case of breaches of obligations for all companies placing for the first time on the Union market commodities entailing forest and ecosystem risks and products derived from these commodities, and access to justice and remedy for victims of breaches of these obligations; that traceability obligations should be placed on traders on the Union market, in particular regarding the identification of the origin of the commodities and products derived thereof at the moment they are placed on the Union internal market, to ensure sustainable and deforestation-free value chains, as laid down in the Annex to this resolution; emphasises that the same legal framework should also apply to all financial institutions authorised to operate in the Union that are providing money to companies that harvest, extract, produce, process or trade forest and ecosystem-risk commodities and derived products;

25. Believes that the Union needs to ensure that it only promotes global supply chains and financial flows which are sustainable and deforestation-free and which do not result in human rights violations; is convinced that mandatory sustainability rules enacted in a large market, such as the Union market, have the potential of steering global production practices towards more sustainable ones;

26. Points out that forest and ecosystem-risk commodities covered by this EU legal framework should be determined on the basis of objective, transparent and science-based considerations that such commodities are associated with the destruction and degradation of forests and high-carbon stock and biodiversity-rich ecosystems, as well as for the rights of indigenous people and human rights in general;

27. Emphasises that such an EU legal framework should not only guarantee the legality of harvesting, production, extraction and processing of forest and ecosystem-risk commodities and derived products in the country of origin, but also the sustainability of their harvesting, production, extraction and processing;

28. Emphasises that, according to several studies[31] a legal framework to prevent the entry into the Union internal market of products linked to deforestation, will have no impact on volume and price of the commodities sold in the Union and covered in the Annex of this resolution and that extra costs incurred by operators to implement these legal obligations are minimal.

29. Underlines the contribution of non-governmental organisations, environmental activists, industry associations, as well as whistle-blowers, in the fight against illegal timber harvesting that results in deforestation, loss of biodiversity and increased emissions of greenhouse gases;

30. Notes that such an EU legal framework should also be extended to high-carbon stock and biodiversity-rich ecosystems other than forests, such as marine and coastal ecosystems, wetlands, peatlands or savannahs, so as to avoid pressure being shifted to these landscapes;

31. Believes that these obligations should apply to all operators placing forest and ecosystem-risk commodities (FERC) on the Union market, irrespective of their size or place of registration, once a careful evaluation has concluded that it is functional and applicable to all actors on the market, including SMEs; while recognising that actions following the operator’s risk assessment must be proportionate to the level of risks associated with the given commodity, believes that in a fragmented end-market, the inclusion of smaller and larger companies is key to ensure both large-scale impact and consumer trust; emphasises that the regulatory framework must not give rise to undue burdens on small and medium-sized producers, including smallholders, or prevent their access to markets and international trade due to a lack of capacity; underlines, therefore, the need for a coordinated support mechanism for SMEs at EU level to ensure their understanding, preparedness and capacity to produce in compliance with environmental and human rights requirements;

32. Believes that Union-wide mandatory due diligence requirements would provide benefits to business through levelling the playing field by holding competitors to the same standards and would provide legal certainty as opposed to a mosaic of different measures at national level;

33. Recalls the findings of the study on due diligence requirements through the supply chain, commissioned by the Commission’s Directorate-General for Justice and Consumers, that finds that a majority of business respondents agree that mandatory due diligence would have a positive impact on human rights and the environment;

34. Stresses that digitalisation and new technology tools hold the potential to provide unprecedented solutions for companies to identify, prevent, mitigate and account for human rights and environmental impacts;

35. Believes that future legal framework regarding forest-risk commodities should build upon lessons learned from the FLEGT Action Plan, the EU Timber Regulation, Regulation (EU) 2017/821 of the European Parliament and of the Council[32] (‘the Conflict Mineral Regulation’), Directive 2014/95/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council[33] (‘the Non-Financial Reporting Directive’), legislation on illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing and other Union initiatives to regulate supply chains;

36. Welcomes the ongoing revision of the Non-Financial Reporting Directive and invites the Commission to step up the quality and scope of non-financial disclosure, in particular on financial institutions’ reporting on environmental aspects, and to promote the integration of forest-relevant considerations into corporate social responsibility;

EU Timber Regulation and FLEGT Voluntary Partnership Agreements (VPAs)

37. Is convinced that the EU Timber Regulation, especially its due diligence requirements, represents a good model to build upon for a future EU legal framework to halt and reverse EU-driven global deforestation, but that a lack of implementation, limited scope of timber products covered and enforcement of the EU Timber Regulation means that it does not live up to its spirit and intent; is of the opinion, therefore, that lessons can be learnt from the EU Timber Regulation for improved implementation and enforcement rules for a future EU legal framework to halt and reverse EU-driven global deforestation; recalls that the legality of harvesting and trading forest products is currently covered by the EU Timber Regulation, and therefore stresses that double regulation in the future EU legal framework should be avoided and measures regulating the legal and illegal harvest of and trade in forest products should be harmonised;

38. Calls on the Commission to assess the possible inclusion of commodities covered by the EU Timber Regulation into the scope of the proposal for an EU legal framework to halt and reverse EU-driven global deforestation, taking into account the upcoming fitness check of the EU Timber Regulation, and ensuring the pursuit of the objectives of the FLEGT Action Plan. When doing so, the Commission should also assess the potential implications on current Voluntary Partnership Agreements (VPAs) The partner timber-producing countries of the Union should be closely associated in this undertaking.

39. Welcomes the good results the cooperation with third countries under the EU FLEGT Action Plan and VPAs have shown in addressing the supply-side challenge of illegal logging and stresses that this work should be stepped up, especially in terms of monitoring, checks and controls and also in terms of offering capacity building; stresses that the VPAs constitute a very effective framework to establish good partnerships with those countries and new VPAs with additional partners should be promoted; calls on the EU to increase funding for FLEGT;

40. Urges the Commission to ensure full implementation of the EU FLEGT Work Plan 2018-2022;

41. Welcomes the Commission’s upcoming fitness check of the FLEGT Regulation and the EU Timber Regulation as an opportunity to strengthen their enforcement and to further improve their implementation and to widen their scope to cover e.g. printed products and wooden products, conflict timber and to strengthen the role of civil society;

42. Repeats its demand that imports of timber and timber products should be more thoroughly checked at Union borders in order to ensure that the imported products do indeed comply with the criteria for entry into the Union; calls on the timely and effective implementation of the Union Customs Code (UCC) and reinforced capacities of national customs authorities to ensure better harmonisation and implementation of the UCC; stresses that the Commission needs to ensure that customs controls throughout the Union follow the same standards, by means of a direct unified customs control mechanism, in coordination with Member States and in full compliance with the principle of subsidiarity;

43. Is of the opinion that trade-based partnership agreements with major producer countries of FERCs could be useful to tackle supply-side drivers of deforestation, notes that the FLEGT VPA model is one option;

44.  The proposal should ensure that there is legal certainty for all relevant stakeholders on any new Union-wide measure and framework relating to the current use of FLEGT VPAs and licensing, in order to secure the interest in investing in deforestation-free export to the Union; and encourages the Commission to establish trade-based partnership agreements with major producer countries of agricultural commodities, in order to tackle supply-side drivers of deforestation.

Trade and international cooperation

45. Stresses that trade and investment policy need to be reviewed in order to address the global deforestation challenge in a more effective manner, and by creating globally a level playing field, and take into account the link between trade agreements and global biodiversity as well as forest ecosystem;

46. Reiterates that Union trade and investment policy, including the free trade agreement with Mercosur, should include binding and enforceable sustainable development chapters that fully respect international commitments, in particular the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, are compliant with World Trade Organization (WTO) rules and respect human rights; calls on the Commission to ensure that all future trade and investment agreements contain legally binding and enforceable provisions, including illegal logging-related and anti-corruption provisions, to prevent deforestation and forest degradation and ecosystem destruction and degradation;

47. Recommends, in the context of the ‘do no harm’ principle as highlighted in the communication on the European Green Deal, that the Commission better and regularly assess the impact of existing trade and investment agreements on deforestation, forest and ecosystem degradation, land grabbing and human rights and ensure that more ambitious binding and enforceable provisions on forest and ecosystem protection, biodiversity, on ending land grabbing and sustainable forestry are included in the trade and sustainable development chapters of all free trade and investment agreements;

48. Points out that, in order to avoid price dumping and ensure sustainable use of wood, to prevent the proliferation of bilateral agreements based on dumping timber prices, and to avoid driving additional logging, remedies should be considered including establishing a common timber auction system, to allow tracking of where material comes from and factoring in climate, biodiversity and human rights concerns into the price;

49. Considers that trade and international cooperation are important tools for consolidating higher standards of sustainability, especially with regard to sectors that are linked to forests and their derived value chains; calls on the Commission and Member States to strengthen cooperation with third countries through technical assistance, exchange of information and good practices in the preservation, conservation and sustainable use of forests, with a special focus on the linkage between organised crime and commodities associated with deforestation and to promote and facilitate scientific and academic cooperation with third countries, as well as research programmes to promote knowledge and innovation on biodiversity, “green business” and the circular economy; stresses the importance of taking into account the effects of the measures on employment and growth of least developed countries (LDCs) that are reliant on the production of FERCs; calls on the Union to support and cooperate with third country governments and civil society in their work against deforestation, particularly via the GSP+ scheme; calls on the Commission to evaluate whether a new specific aid for trade instrument should be developed to facilitate trade in the context of mitigating the risks related to the production of FERCs;

50. Asks the Commission that the measures to be adopted have a comprehensive and differentiated approach to deforestation, considering its multiple dimensions and its linkages both with the generation of sustainable ventures and the fight against criminal economies. To that end, calls on a dialogue with third countries in order to analyse, on a case by case basis, the main causes of forest cover loss and the relevance of the measures to be implemented;

51. Stresses that public procurement provisions in FTAs should take into account social, environmental and responsible business conduct criteria in awarding contracts;

52. Insists that mandatory requirements at Union level need to be complemented by increased and reinforced global cooperation, strengthened global environmental governance and cooperation with third countries through technical assistance, the exchange of information and good practices in preservation, conservation and sustainable use of forests, giving special recognition to sustainability initiatives carried out by the private sector; by increasing efforts in key international fora, including within the WTO and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) actions to halt deforestation, forest degradation and to restore forests and to avoid the inverse effect of diverting unwanted deforestation marked supply chains to other regions in the world;

53. Calls on the Commission and Member States to encourage, through trade and international cooperation, the necessary investment to consolidate higher standards of sustainability in the forestry sectors and their value chains, promoting the circular bioeconomy, green tourism, renewable energy, smart agriculture and other relevant areas, also in third countries;

54.  The proposal should ensure that there is legal certainty for all relevant stakeholders on any new Union-wide measure and framework relating to the current use of FLEGT VPAs and licensing, in order to secure the interest in investing in deforestation-free export to the Union; and encourages the Commission to establish trade-based partnership agreements with major producer countries of agricultural commodities, in order to tackle supply-side drivers of deforestation.

55. Notes the importance of ensuring that deforestation is included in country-level political dialogues, and of helping partner countries to develop and implement national frameworks for forestry and sustainable forestry; emphasises that those national frameworks have to reflect domestic needs as well as global commitments; stresses the need for the implementation of mechanisms incentivising small holder farmers to maintain and improve the ecosystem and products provided by sustainable forestry and agriculture;

56. Is of the opinion that a strong action within the Union internal market should go hand in hand with a strong action at the international level; National Indicatives Programmes under EU’s external action should therefore integrate provisions to help third countries’ companies and smallholders working with operators placing FERC commodities on the Union internal market to carry out activities without harming forest and ecosystems;

57. Believes that the regulation proposed in the Annex of this resolution should be, and can be, designed in a way so as to be compliant with WTO rules and should be accompanied by trade-based partnership agreements with major producer countries of agricultural commodities, in order to tackle supply-side drivers of deforestation;

58. Proposes that when negotiating National Indicative Programmes (NIP) with third countries, the Commission should prioritise provisions to help third countries’ companies and smallholders working with operators placing FERC commodities on the Union internal market to carry out activities that do not harm forests, ecosystems and human rights;

59 Points out that a strengthening of the EU legal framework on deforestation may have a significant impact on land prices in third countries and, in order to prevent any speculation, the cut-off date should not be set after the publication by the Commission of the proposal described in Annex of this resolution;

Deforestation and human rights

60. Highlights that changing the regulatory framework in order to legalise the use of certain areas and modifying tenure rights does not take away the negative impact on human rights and the environment caused by the implementation of this change; therefore stresses that due diligence criteria must include other elements going beyond the legality of action;

61. Notes that the production of forest and ecosystem-risk commodities does not negatively impact on local communities only through direct deforestation, ecosystem degradation and land grabbing, but also through water-grabbing that can affect forest and other ecosystems; therefore points out that a legal framework to halt deforestation and degradation of natural ecosystems should cover the issue of the legality of water supply for the production of forest- and ecosystem-risk commodities;

62. Stresses that local communities, indigenous peoples, land and environmental defenders often are on the frontline of the fights to preserve ecosystems; notes that in some regions conflicts over the use of lands and resources are the main cause of violence against indigenous peoples[34], is concerned that the degradation and destruction of forests and other valuable ecosystems frequently goes along with human rights violations or follows from it; condemns any form of penalisation, harassment and persecution for involvement in activities aimed at protecting the environment; urges, therefore, to include the protection of human rights, in particular land tenure, land and labour rights, with a special view to the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities, within the future EU legal framework; calls on the Commission to encourage that legal reform processes in producer countries are done with the effective and meaningful participation of all stakeholders, including civil society, indigenous peoples and local communities; calls on the Union and Member States to support, at the next UN General Assembly, the global recognition of the right to a healthy environment;

63. Calls on the Commission and Member States to set up a rapid response mechanism at Union level to support environmental and forest defenders in the Union and worldwide;

64. Emphasises that granting effective access to justice and remedies for victims of corporate human rights and environmental harms must be part of such a legal framework;

65. Stresses that, as well as establishing an EU legal framework on commodities driving deforestation, the Union needs to address more decisively the implementation of human rights, environmental responsibility and the rule of law as horizontal issues with the countries concerned and with other main importing countries.

66. Stresses that such a legal framework must be designed in compliance with the Union’s international commitments to African, Caribbean and Pacific states and taken into account in the ambitions of the future Post-Cotonou Agreement;

67. Recalls the importance of respecting the UN’s Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights; supports the ongoing negotiations to create a binding UN instrument on transnational corporations and other business enterprises with respect to human rights and stresses the importance of the Union being proactively involved in this process;

EU measures and policy coherence

68. Underlines that the impact of the Union’s consumption of forest and ecosystem-risk commodities needs to be adequately addressed in any follow-up, regulatory or non-regulatory, actions and measures to the EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030, Farm to Fork Strategy and the CAP Strategic Plans Regulation, including Member States’ national strategic plans;

69. Believes that an immediate and radical change in production methods and food consumption patterns is of the utmost importance; believes that it is therefore necessary to introduce effective measures aimed at increasing support for agro-ecological practices and reducing food waste throughout the supply chain; notes the importance of planning targeted awareness-raising actions for consumers in order to increase their understanding of the impact of consumption patterns on forests, biodiversity and the climate, providing support and encouraging food choices centred around plant-based products;

70. Considers that in order to minimise the carbon footprint created by transport of imports from third countries and to stimulate sustainable local production and jobs, the Union should encourage the use of sustainable locally-sourced timber, harvested wood products or forest biomass;

71. Stresses the need to cut dependency on imports of forest and ecosystem-risk commodities by promoting locally sourced plant protein, pasture-based grazing, legal and sustainably sourced feed, namely by implementing the Union Protein Strategy;

72.  Supports the promotion of nitrogen fixing/leguminous/protein crops under the new CAP strategic plans inter alia through crop rotations, in conditionality, eco-schemes and agro-environmental measures, new sectorial interventions and coupled support in order to increase the protein crop self-sufficiency of the Union, and, at the same time, contribute to reach the objectives of the biodiversity and the Farm to Fork strategies; notes further that livestock farm income and profitability should be made compatible with production levels that can be sustained by pasture-based grazing or home-grown fodder crops; calls for further research and promotion of innovative production systems and methods that can reduce external inputs and costs, for example forage based grazing systems such as rotational grazing, even if production volumes may be lower;

73 Highlights the importance of the development of a sustainable bio-economy which gives a high economic value to sustainably produced products;

74. Stresses that the Union’s bioenergy policy should respond to strict social and environmental criteria;

75. Stresses that the methods used to achieve the objectives set out in the Clean Energy for all Europeans package must not lead to deforestation and forest degradation in other parts of the world; calls, therefore, on the Commission to review by 2021 the relevant aspects of the report annexed to Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2019/807[35] and, if necessary, to revise this Regulation without undue delay, and in any case before 2023, on the basis of scientific knowledge and in accordance with the precautionary principle; asks the Commission to reassess soy-data and phase out high ILUC risk biofuels as soon as possible and by 2030 at the latest;

76. Considers that the large scale use of biofuels in the Union must be accompanied by sufficient sustainability criteria in order to avoid direct and indirect, land-use change (ILUC) including deforestation; notes further that the current criteria do not take sufficient account of fossil raw materials used in biofuel production; calls therefore for monitoring and evaluation of the impact of the revised Renewable Energy Directive during its ongoing implementation including the effectiveness of the sustainability criteria for bioenergy; notes the importance of local supply chains of raw material to achieve long-term sustainability;

Communication and awareness raising

77. Emphasises the importance of ensuring the consumption of products from deforestation-free supply chains in the Union and to continuously assess the impacts of Union consumption of such products; calls on the Commission and Member States to develop information and awareness-raising campaigns about the imported commodities and products and their impact on the world’s forests and biodiversity-reach ecosystems, as well as socio-economic consequences of deforestation and ecosystem destruction and forest-related crimes in the Union and in third countries;

78. Points out the Commission shall consider the possibility of proposing primary forests as UNESCO heritage sites in order to help protect them from deforestation and to increase the chance of drawing public attention to their protection; if this is not feasible, other legal options to reach these objectives should be evaluated;

Definitions, Forest Data and monitoring

79. Notes that the current definition of the term ‘forest’, its categorisation, and a range of other terms and principles associated with deforestation by sustainable forest management adopted by relevant bodies, for example, the FAO, are purely technical and do not adequately differentiate between natural forest and forest plantations in which the economic function of the forest strongly outweighs its other functions, and emphasises that this could ultimately result in the distortion of data about the area and state of the world’s forests; calls on relevant stakeholders to unify the use of terminology in accordance with the wording given in the annex to the draft resolution, and emphasises the significance of this clarification for the effective use of related instruments;

80. Stresses the need in particular for independent monitoring of production and trading of commodities associated with deforestation; calls on the Commission to enhance its efforts on those issues through Horizon Europe, and to support independent monitoring in producer countries, as well as the exchange of best practices and lessons-learnt among them, in order to enhance methodologies used and granularity of information;

81. Stresses the essential need to improve mechanisms which would help identify the source or origin of wood material placed on the internal market;

82. Notes that greater access to customs data on imports entering the Union would increase global value chain transparency and accountability; calls on the Commission to set up a customs partnership within the Union while extending customs data requirements, notably by including the exporter and the manufacturer as mandatory customs data elements, thereby enhancing the transparency and traceability of global value chains;83.  Notes that the availability and accuracy of the data used to assess at what date the land has been deforested/converted to another use needs to be reliable for effective implementation;

84. Calls on the Union to further develop research and monitoring programmes such as Copernicus, European Earth Observation and other monitoring programmes to supervise the commodity supply chain in order to be able to identify and give early warnings on products which caused deforestation or environmental degradation during their production phase;

85. Asks the Commission to explore the strengthened use of the Copernicus satellite system for forest monitoring and for forest fire and forest damage prevention, including monitoring and identification of the causes of fires and forest damage, deforestation and ecosystem conversion, facilitating access for the relevant authorities in each Member State, and ensuring direct source of open data for SMEs or start-ups;

86. Welcomes the creation of a forest observatory to collect data and information on deforestation in Europe as well as globally, and calls for this observatory to establish a mechanism to protect forest defenders;

87. Calls for creating early warning alert mechanisms to notify public authorities, companies, including third party schemes, and consumers of commodities originating in areas of ecosystem conversion risk concerning loss and deterioration of forest and savannah and areas where human rights have been violated, and to assist in tackling these issues by intensifying dialogue and data sharing with respective third countries;

88. Calls upon the Commission to set up a European database collecting ongoing and past projects between the Union and third countries as well as bilateral projects between Member States and third countries in order to assess their impact on the world’s forests; underlines the involvement of local and regional authorities in the implementation of these projects;

Forest management, research and innovation

89. Emphasises the need to take into consideration the links between the forest-based sector and other sectors, and the importance of digitalisation and investment in research and innovation in order to monitor deforestation;

90. Notes that the forestry sector employs at least 500 000 people directly[36] in the Union, and 13 million people worldwide[37], and that these jobs are found especially in rural areas;

91. Notes that at Union level, some Member State policies reflect a framework on forests and forest management that can be fragmented and disjointed, therefore they need better and more co-ordination in order to encourage sustainability;

92. Calls for closer cooperation between governments, undertakings, producers and civil society to adopt policies and establish framework conditions to support private sector projects;

93. Underlines the essential role of research and innovation in fostering the contribution of sustainable forest management and the forest-based sector in meeting deforestation challenges and tackling climate change;

94. Calls for mutual support in the event of adverse events through research and exchanges in order to find measures adapted to the geographical conditions that can protect against large-scale fires or prevent pest infestations;

95. Welcomes measures to adapt plantations to climate change; welcomes the fact that in many countries an increase in the number of resilient native tree species in healthy and biologically diverse forests is already recommended and practiced;

96. Emphasises the importance of training within the Union and in third countries in sustainable management of forests, plantations and agroforestry, including continuous vegetation cover; considers that these are an essential factor in ensuring biodiversity as well as income of forest communities and farmers practicing agroforestry;

97. Stresses the importance of education and of a skilled and well-trained workforce for the successful implementation of sustainable forest management in practice; calls therefore on the Commission and Member States to implement measures, and use existing partnerships, to facilitate the exchange of best practices in that field;

98. Calls for strengthening worldwide co-operation to better share knowledge and experiences in improving sustainability in managing multifunctional forests;

99. Calls therefore, on the Union to develop international alliances with third countries to protect forests, pursuing sound policies aiming at zero deforestation, integrated land planning, land tenure transparency, and preventing conversion of forest into agricultural land; calls to this end, for securing international financing in the framework of global forest protection agreements, in close cooperation with European governments and international actors;

100. Calls for the development of concepts for a sustainable future for forests worldwide that reconcile both economic and environmental interests, given that forests are an important resource for many countries and that the latter are not willing to forego this resource voluntarily;

101. Calls for a more holistic approach, within the Union, in which the Union provides direct support to local authorities for afforestation and sustainable management practices; calls particularly for a stronger Union role in helping local and regional authorities in enforcement of forest protection regulations in force;

102. Calls for robust financial support and incentive programmes for measures to afforest deteriorated land and land unsuitable for farming.

Financing

103. Calls on the Commission to adopt a climate and environment proof Multiannual Financial Framework; paying particular attention to the impact of external action funds that may contribute to deforestation and ecosystem degradation, as well as certain research and development funds; calls for a Green Deal Check of the MFF and all European budgets;

104. Believes that EU Green Public Procurement criteria should include deforestation and compliance with the due diligence proposal among its provisions; a revision of Directive 2014/24/EU on public procurement[38] should integrate compliance with due diligence in the award criteria;

105. Urges all Union institutions and agencies to lead by example by modifying their behaviour, procurements and framework contracts towards the use of “deforestation-free only” products;

106. In particular, calls on the Commission to take initiatives to forbid the public purchase of imported products resulting in deforestation within the framework of the WTO Plurilateral Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA) and Directive 2014/24;

107. Calls on the Union to provide appropriate support to the protection of existing and the creation of new and appropriately selected protected areas, especially in countries that are major timber producers;

108. Calls on the Union to make the provision of financial aid to partner countries conditional on the introduction of a functional system of binding conceptual instruments contributing to sustainable forest management (for example, forest management plans); emphasises that these are functional only if they are prepared with sufficient expertise and calls on the Union to set out and enforce clear rules for compliance with them;

109. Calls for the forestry sector to feature strongly in the upcoming Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI) and for the full potential of the External Investment Plan and regional blending facilities to be exploited in leveraging private funding for sustainable forest management; calls for the strengthening of standards and certification schemes that already exist instead of introducing new ones and stresses that those standards and certification schemes need to comply with WTO rules;

110. Stresses the need to ensure effective recognition and respect of customary land tenure rights of forest-dependent communities and of indigenous peoples as a question of social justice in line with the FAO Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security (VGGT), the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) and in ILO Convention No. 169; invites the Commission to support the dissemination, use and implementation of the VGGT at global, regional and country level, also through the External Investment Plan;

111. Calls for the EU-ACP cooperation to be strengthened in order to tackle the increasing problem of deforestation and desertification in ACP countries through the development of action plans aimed at improving the management and conservation of forests and the setting-up of monitoring systems; calls on the Union to ensure that deforestation is included in political dialogues at country level, and to help partner countries to develop and implement national frameworks on forests and on sustainable supply chains, while supporting the effective implementation of partner countries’ Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) pursuant to the Paris Agreement;

*

**

 

112. Requests that the Commission submit, on the basis of Article 114(3) and Article 191 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, a proposal for an EU legal framework to halt and reverse EU-driven global deforestation, following the recommendations set out in the Annex hereto;

113. Instructs its President to forward this resolution and the accompanying recommendations to the Commission and the Council.

 

 

ANNEX TO THE MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION:

RECOMMENDATIONS AS TO THE CONTENT OF THE PROPOSAL REQUESTED

 

1. Objective

The proposal for a Regulation (‘the proposal’) should provide the basis for the assurance of a high level of protection for natural resources, such as natural forests, biodiversity and natural ecosystems, as well as contribute to a strengthened framework for their sustainable management to avoid their degradation and conversion, by ensuring that Union market and consumption patterns do not detrimentally affect them. The protection of human rights and both formal and customary rights of indigenous peoples and local communities to lands, territories and resources affected by harvesting, extraction and production of products should also be covered by the proposal.

It should provide transparency and certainty with regard to:

(a) commodities covered by the proposal and their derived products which are marketed on the Union internal market,

(b) the supply practices and financing of all operators active on the Union internal market,

(c) production practices, including the water abstraction aspect, of operators harvesting, extracting, supplying, and processing forest and ecosystem-risk commodities (FERCs) covered by this proposal or producing FERC-derived products in the Union internal market, as well as the practices of their financiers;

It should contribute to the fulfilment of international environmental and human rights commitments taken by the Union and its Member States, such as the Paris Agreement, the Sustainable Development Goals, and human rights obligations, set out in international human rights treaties and establish legally binding sustainability criteria for human rights, and the protection of natural forests and natural ecosystems against their conversion and degradation, as set out in the proposal. The proposal should be risk-based, proportionate and enforceable.

2. Scope

 The proposal should apply to all operators, irrespective of their legal form, size or complexity of their value chains, i.e. any natural or legal person (excluding non-commercial consumers) that places commodities that are covered by the proposal and their derived products on the Union internal market for the first time, or that provides financing to the operators undertaking these activities. This should apply to both Union and non-Union-based operators. Operators that are not based in the Union should mandate an authorised representative to perform the tasks (in accordance with Regulation (EU) 2019/1020 of the European Parliament and of the Council[39]).

All operators should be entitled to lawfully place FERCs and FERC-derived products on the Union market only when, in accordance with provisions referred to in -Section 4 of this Annex, they are able to demonstrate that within their own activities and all types of business relationships that they have with business partners and entities along their entire value chain (i.e. transport companies, suppliers, traders, franchisees, licensees, joint ventures, investors, clients, contractors, commercial customers, consultants, financial, legal and other advisers) that, at the very most, there is a negligible risk level, that the goods placed on the Union market:

 originate from land obtained via the conversion of natural forests or other natural ecosystems;

 originate from natural forests and natural ecosystems undergoing degradation, and

 are produced in, or are linked to, violation of human rights.

Financial institutions providing finance, investment, insurance or other services to operators engaged in the supply chain of commodities also have a responsibility to undertake due diligence to ensure that supply chain companies are respecting the obligations laid down in this proposal.

The proposal should cover all commodities that are most frequently associated with deforestation, degradation of natural forests and conversion and degradation of natural ecosystems due to human activity. A list of these commodities should be prepared on the basis of an independent expert evaluation, taking into account the precautionary principle, and should be provided in an annex to this proposal and comprise at least palm oil, soy, meat, leather, cocoa, coffee, rubber, and maize and all intermediate or final products that are derived from these commodities, and products that contain these commodities. In the event that the derived products contain input from more than one commodity covered by the proposal, due diligence should be performed with respect to each of these commodities. Commodities covered by Regulation (EU) No 995/2010[40] of the European Parliament and of the Council (‘the EU Timber Regulation’) should be integrated into the scope of the proposal, following the Commission’s assessment on the basis of an independent, expert evaluation, taking into account the precautionary principle, within three years from the date of entry into force of the proposal.

The Commission should adopt delegated acts in a timely fashion on the basis of an independent, expert evaluation, taking into account the precautionary principle, to revise and amend the list with any additional commodities, and their derived products to be covered by the proposal if evidence or significant indications emerge concerning the detrimental impact of their harvesting, extraction or production on natural forests, natural ecosystems or human rights formal and customary rights of indigenous peoples and local communities to lands, territories and resources . The Commission should have a vigilant, proactive role in identifying emerging risks, and actively consult a diversity of stakeholders with relevant experience to maintain a list of commodities that reflects the state of knowledge about human rights and environment risks in relevant sectors.

The proposal should equally apply to all financial institutions authorised to operate in the Union which provide finance, investment, insurance or other services to operators that harvest, extract, produce, process, trade or sell forest and ecosystem-risk commodities and their derived products to ensure that these financial institutions themselves and their supply chain companies respect the responsibilities on the environment and human rights as set out in the proposal.

The proposal should apply to a trader, i.e. any natural or legal person that in the course of a commercial activity, sells to or buys from operators on the Union internal market any commodity covered by the proposal or a derived product that has been already placed on the Union internal market. Operators on the Union internal market should not be able to engage with traders, unless traders are able to:

 identify the operators or traders that supplied the commodities covered by the Regulation and their derived products; and

 where applicable, identify the traders to which they supplied the commodities covered by the proposal and their derived products; and

 ensure the traceability of their products, in order to be able to identify their origin, when they are placed on the Union Internal Market.

3. General obligations

3.1. Deforestation and conversion of natural ecosystems

Commodities covered by the proposal and their derived products that are placed on the Union market should not result in, or derive from, deforestation or the conversion of natural ecosystems.

For that purpose, FERCs placed on the Union market, in raw form or as products derived from or containing such commodities, should not be harvested, extracted or produced from land that at a cut-off date that lays in the past, but no later than 2015, that is science-based, justifiable, implementable in practice and in line with EU international commitments, had the status of natural forest or natural ecosystem, in accordance with the definition laid down in Section 3.3 “Definitions”, but had since lost that status as a result of deforestation or conversion.

 

3.2. Degradation of natural forests and natural ecosystems

Commodities covered by the proposal and their derived products placed on the Union market should not result in, or derive from, the degradation of natural forests or natural ecosystems due to human activity.

For that purpose, FERCs placed on the Union market, in raw form or as products derived from or containing such commodities, should not be harvested, extracted or produced from land that, at a defined cut-off date, had the status of natural forest or natural ecosystem in accordance with the definition laid down in Section 3.3. The cut-off date must be set in the past, but no later than 2015, and must also be science-based, justifiable, implementable in practice and in line with Union international commitments. It should only be legally possible to place on the Union market a commodity that has been harvested, extracted or produced in compliance with conservation objectives and it did not lead to the loss or degradation of ecosystem functions on or adjacent to the land from which it was harvested, extracted or produced.

3.3. Definitions

The Commission’s legislative proposal should contain definitions as to what constitutes a “forest”, a “natural forest” that possesses many or most of the characteristics of a forest native to the given site, even in the presence of human activities, “deforestation”, “forest degradation”, a “natural ecosystem”, “ecosystem degradation” and “ecosystem conversion”, as well as “sustainable management”. Those definitions should be based on objective and scientific considerations and take into account relevant sources of international law and international organisations, as well as other initiatives providing for suitable definitions, such as the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, the European Environmental Agency, the Accountability Framework Initiative or the High Carbon Stock Approach.

The definitions should be based on the following principles

 they should allow the achievement of the highest level of environmental protection, notably for forests and other natural ecosystems, and be consistent with the Union’s international and domestic commitment on forest, biodiversity and climate protection,

 they should support the Union’s goal of preserving natural forests and ecosystems, including in particular primary and regenerated forests, and prevent their replacement with forests and ecosystems derived from human activities, such as tree plantations,

 they should be sufficiently comprehensive to grant protection to other natural ecosystems that, as forests, are important for the preservation of biodiversity or for the achievement of the climate objectives set out in the Paris Agreements,

 they should aim at ensuring that the adoption of Union measures to protect the world’s forests might result in the problem of conversion and degradation being shifted onto other natural ecosystems that are as important as natural forests for biodiversity, climate and human rights protection.

3.4. Human rights violations

FERCs placed on the Union market, in raw form or as products derived from or containing such commodities, should not be harvested, extracted or produced from land obtained or used in violation of human rights embedded into national laws, nor those rights expressed, as a minimum, in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights or in international agreements, such as the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities, including tenure rights and the procedural right to give or withhold their free prior and informed consent as set out for example by the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues and UN and regional treaty bodies, the right to water, the right to environmental protection and sustainable development, the right to defend human rights and the environment, free from any form of persecution and harassment, labour rights as enshrined in ILO fundamental conventions and other internationally recognised human rights related to land use, access or ownership, as well as the human right to a healthy environment, as defined in the Framework Principles on Human Rights and the Environment and the standards and good practices identified by the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment.

Special attention should be paid to child labour with the aim to eliminate it.

At all stages, harvesting, extracting or producing covered commodities should respect local communities’ and indigenous peoples’ community and land tenure rights in all forms, whether they are public, private, communal, collective, indigenous, women’s or customary rights. Indigenous peoples’ and local communities’ formal and customary rights to lands, territories and resources should be identified and respected, as should their ability to defend their rights without reprisals. Those rights include the rights to own, occupy, use and administer these lands, territories and resources.

Commodities covered by the proposal should not be obtained from land whose acquisition and use affects community and land tenure rights. In particular, commodities placed on the Union market should not be harvested, extracted or produced from the lands of indigenous peoples and local communities, both those lands formally titled and those under customary ownership, without their free, prior and informed consent.

4. Duty to identify, prevent and mitigate harm in value chains

4.1. Duty of due diligence

Operators should take all necessary measures to respect and ensure the protection of human rights, natural forests and natural ecosystems, as set out in the proposal, throughout their entire value chain. This should include all types of business relationships of the undertaking with business partners and entities along its entire value chain (such as suppliers, traders, franchisees, licensees, joint ventures, investors, clients, contractors, commercial customers, transport companies, consultants, financial, and legal and other advisers), and any other state or non-state entity directly linked to its business operations, products or services.

In doing so, operators should take a risk-based approach to due diligence, where the nature and extent of due diligence corresponds to the type and level of risk of adverse impacts. Higher risk areas should be subject to enhanced due diligence.

The following measures should be adequately and effectively included:

(a) Mapping the entire value chain

Operators should determine whether the commodities and products in their entire value chains comply with the sustainability and human rights criteria of the proposal, by accessing and evaluating information on the precise land area(s) from where these goods originate. In addition to the environmental criteria, access to information must allow the operator to conclude that those using the land to produce FERCs are entitled to do so and have obtained Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) from those holding rights on those land areas and that they are not violating, or have violated, any human rights referred to in this proposal.

In particular, operators are required to have, and make available, information on:

(i) the precise area or areas of harvest or extraction or production of the commodities; in relation to cattle, beef and leather, operators must be able to obtain information about the various areas of pasture where cattle has been fed or, where cattle is raised using feed, about the origin of feed used;

(ii) the present ecological status of the area of harvest, extraction or production;

(iii) the ecological status of the area at the indicated cut-off date of this proposal.

(iv) the legal status of land (ownership/title including both formal and customary rights of indigenous peoples and local communities to lands, territories and resources) and evidence of Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC).

(v) the elements of the supply chain of the commodity in question, with the aim of having information about the likelihood of contamination risks with products of unknown origin or  originating from deforested areas, or  from areas in which natural forest, forest and ecosystem conversion and degradation occurred, and information about where, by whom and under which conditions the commodities have been harvested, transformed or processed, with a view to determine compliance with the human rights obligations of this proposal.

Operators should have access to all the information related to the origin of the products entering the Union internal market through the systematic declaration of GPS coordinates for these commodities, after the entry into force of the proposal as laid down in Section 4.1 of this Annex.

(b) Identify and assess real and potential forest and ecosystem risks in the value chains, on the basis of the criteria laid down in the proposal

Where an operator sets up new operations or engages new business partners, it should identify the actors involved in the new supply and investment chains, and assess their policies and practices, as well as their harvesting, production, extraction and processing sites. For existing operations, ongoing adverse impacts and harms as well as potential risks should be identified and assessed. Risk analysis should be done with regard to the risks occurring from the operator’s activities to, or impact on, natural forests and natural ecosystems, indigenous peoples, local communities and individuals affected, rather than material risk to corporate shareholders. When operators have large numbers of suppliers, they should identify general areas where the risk of adverse impacts is most significant and, based on this risk assessment, prioritise suppliers for due diligence.

(c) Preventing risks and mitigating risks to a negligible level

Except where the risk identified in the course of the risk identification and assessment procedures referred to in point (b) is negligible, and therefore the operator has no residual reason to be concerned that the commodities and products may not meet the criteria set out in this framework, the operators should adopt risk mitigation procedures. Those procedures should consist of a set of adequate and proportional measures that effectively and demonstrably reduce to a negligible level all identified risks e.g. amending contracts with suppliers, providing support to suppliers to change their practices, changing its purchasing and investment practices, for the purpose and in view of the lawful placing of the covered commodities and products on the internal market.

(d) Ceasing environmental and human rights abuses

Where, after thoroughly following the requirements referred to in points (a), (b) and (c), operators come to the conclusion that operations, or parts of operations, contribute to or potentially cause or contribute to adverse impacts on human rights, natural forests, or natural ecosystems, as set out in the proposal, that cannot be prevented or mitigated, they should cease all of these operations, or parts of operations.

(e) Monitoring and continuously improving the effectiveness of their due diligence system and its implementation

Operators should periodically check to see if their due diligence system is fit for preventing harm and ensure the compliance of commodities and products with the framework and if not, adjust it or develop other actions. The evaluation of the due diligence system should be based on qualitative and quantitative indicators, internal and external feedback and clear accountability processes.

(f) Integrating third-party certification schemes

Third-party certification schemes can complement and ensure the identification of origin of products, risk assessment and mitigation components of due diligence systems, provided that these schemes are adequate in terms of scope and strength of sustainability criteria for the protection of natural forests and natural ecosystems against their conversion and degradation, as set out in the proposal and in terms of their ability to monitor the supply chain, and provided that they meet adequate levels of transparency, impartiality and reliability. By means of delegated act, the Commission should establish minimum criteria and guidance for operators to assess the credibility and solidity of third-party certification schemes. Those minimum criteria should in particular ensure independence from the industry, inclusion of social and environmental interests in standard-setting, independent third-party auditing, public disclosure of auditing reports, transparency at all stages, and openness. Certification schemes should only award certification to products with 100 % certified content. Only certification schemes meeting those criteria can be used by operators for their due diligence systems. Third-party certification should not impair the principle of the operator’s liability.

(g) Role of Voluntary Partnership Agreements

The Union may negotiate Voluntary FERC Partnership Agreements with FERC-producing countries (partner countries), which create a legally binding obligation for the parties to implement a licensing scheme and to regulate trade in FERCs in accordance with the national law of the FERC-producing country and the environmental and human rights criteria laid out in the proposal. FERCs under the scope of the proposal which originate in partner countries with Voluntary FERC Partnership Agreements should be considered to be of negligible risk, as far as the partnership agreement is implemented, for the purpose of the proposal. Such agreements should be based around national multi-stakeholder dialogues with effective and meaningful participation of all stakeholders, including civil society, indigenous peoples and local communities.

4.2. Duty of consultation

Operators should:

(a) adequately, timely and directly consult impacted and potentially impacted stakeholders;

(b) properly take into account stakeholders’ perspectives in the definition and implementation of the due diligence measures;

(c) ensure that representative trade unions and workers’ representatives are involved in the definition and implementation of the due diligence measures;

(d) establish an early-warning mechanism that give an opportunity to workers and interested parties with substantiated concerns to inform the operator about any risk of harm to natural forests, natural ecosystems and human rights throughout the entire value chain; the operator should take this information into account in its due diligence processes;

(e) properly take into account indigenous and local knowledge and risks an concerns expressed by local communities, indigenous peoples, land and environmental defenders.

4.3. Duty of transparency and reporting

Operators should annually report on their due diligence and consultation processes, the risks identified, their procedures for risk analysis, risk mitigation and remediation, and their implementation and outcomes to the competent authority and in a public, accessible and appropriate manner, which will not disproportionately in particular burden small and medium-sized enterprises.

The Commission should adopt delegated acts to set out the format, and the elements of the reports. In particular, operators should, inter alia, report on the system they use and how they apply it to the commodities in question, identified risks and impacts; the actions taken to cease and remedy existing abuses and to prevent and mitigate risks of abuse, as well as their outcomes; the measures and results of monitoring the implementation and effectiveness of such actions, warnings received through the early-warning mechanism and how the operator took them into account in their due diligence processes, and a list of all subsidiaries, subcontractors and suppliers, products and their quantity and origin. A failure to publish complete and timely reports should be penalised and ultimately lead to the suspension of authorisation to place products on the Union internal market.

4.4. Duty of documentation

Operators should maintain a written record of all due diligence actions and their results and make it available to the competent authorities upon request.

4.5. Commission guidelines

The Commission should develop guidelines and guidance to facilitate compliance with the legal obligations contained in the proposal, in particular to clarify the due diligence expectations for specific contexts, sectors, or in relation to certain types of operators. When doing so, the Commission should build on and extend good practices present in existing environmental management systems.

To support economic operators in conducting their due diligence obligations, the Commission should publish regional hotspot analyses with regard to FERCs.

5. Control, monitoring, enforcement, sanctions and access to justice

5.1. Public enforcement

Member States should ensure, in accordance with their national law and practice, the enforcement of the duties referred to in Section 4 by:

(a) providing for proportionate, effective and dissuasive penalties and sanctions for non-compliance with any of the obligations set out therein or where non-compliance with any of those obligations causes, contributes to, is linked to, or aggravates damage to natural forests or natural ecosystems or human rights abuses or the risks thereof; these should include:

i. monetary penalties proportionate to the damage to natural forests, natural ecosystems or human rights, as set out in the proposal, the cost of natural forest and natural ecosystem and human rights restoration and the economic prejudice resulting from the infringement to the affected communities;

ii. permanent seizure of covered commodities and derived products concerned;

iii. immediate suspension of authorisation to place products on the Union internal market;

iv. exclusion from public procurement processes;

v. criminal penalties to individuals and, where allowed, for legal entities in the case of the most serious offenses;

(b) designating competent national investigating and enforcement authorities (‘competent authorities’); the competent authorities should monitor that operators effectively fulfil the obligations laid down in the proposal; for that purpose, the competent authorities should carry out official checks, in accordance with a plan as appropriate, which may include checks on the premises of operators and field audits, and should be able to adopt provisional orders and, in addition and without prejudice to the application of sanctions, should have the power to require operators to take remedial actions; the competent authorities should also carry out timely and thorough checks when in possession of relevant information, including substantiated concerns from third parties, and should treat information related to their activity in accordance with Directive 2003/4 on public access to environmental information;

(c) ensuring that members of the public have the right to challenge non-compliance before the judicial or administrative authorities, which should include any individuals or groups whose rights and obligations or interests are affected, directly or indirectly, by the undertaking’s total or partial failure to perform its duties, including employees, customers, consumers and end-users, trade unions, transnational trade union federations, local communities, national or local governments or institutions, journalists, NGOs and local civil society organisations.

The Commission should adopt delegated acts to lay down legally binding standards and guidelines applicable to national competent authorities to ensure effective and uniform implementation and enforcement of the proposal across the Union, in particular with regard to:

 listing and making public operators falling under the remit of the proposal in a public register;

 setting standards for the quality and quantity of compliance checks conducted by national competent authorities;

 further guidance on how to conduct compliance checks, such as guidance for national competent authorities that specifies criteria for checks to better analyse and evaluate the risk level of products and sufficient documentation of due diligence systems in use;

 guidance on third-party concerns to establish Union-wide criteria to assess whether a concern is substantial and reliable enough to be processed, and develop clear procedural standards for the timely, impartial, effective and transparent responses by the national competent authorities towards third-party concerns;

 Union-level criteria to help specify when an operator should be given a notice of remedial action, a penalty or when other penalties should apply; and

 obligations on competent authorities to report publicly about control and enforcement activities, infringements detected and responses to substantial concerns.

5.2. Civil liability and access to remedies

(a) Civil liability

Operators should be:

i) jointly and severally liable for harm arising out of human rights abuses or damage to natural forests and natural ecosystems, as set out in the proposal, that has been caused, aggravated, contributed by or linked to controlled or economically dependent entities;

ii) liable for harm arising out of human rights abuses or damage to natural forests and natural ecosystems, as set out in the proposal, directly linked to their products, services or operations through a business relationship, unless they can prove they acted with due care and took all reasonable measures given the circumstances that could have prevented the harm; operators may therefore discharge their liability if they can prove that they took all due care to identify and avoid the damage.

(b) Disclosure of evidence

Where a plaintiff has presented reasonably available facts and evidence sufficient to support their action, the defendant should bear the burden of proving:

i) the nature of its relationship with the entities involved in the harm;

ii) whether it acted with due care and took all reasonable measures to prevent the harm from occurring.

(c) Access to remedies

Damaged parties should have the right to accessible and effective judicial remedies to seek redress against operators that cause, aggravate, or are linked to or contribute to an adverse impact on their rights. Non-State grievance mechanisms should complement judicial remediation mechanisms to improve accountability and access to remedy.

6. Final provisions

6.1. Non-regression

The implementation of the proposal should in no way constitute grounds for justifying a reduction in the general level of protection of human rights, both formal and customary rights of indigenous peoples and local communities to lands, territories and resources, or the environment. In particular, it should not affect other existing subcontracting or supply chain liability frameworks.

6.2. More favourable provisions

Member States may introduce or maintain provisions that go beyond the provisions set out in the proposal as regards the protection of human rights and the environmental standards along the FERCs supply chain.

 

EXPLANATORY STATEMENT

Background and context

 

A total of 13 million hectares are deforested[41] each year and almost all of it is happening in tropical forests (96 %). The main driver (80 %) of deforestation is expansion of agricultural land[42]. Three commodities: soy, beef and palm oil are responsible for nearly 80 % of global deforestation[43]. Other commodities, such as cocoa, or coffee, have relatively small forest footprints globally. However, as their production is highly concentrated in few countries, their footprint and negative impacts are very high in those areas.[44] The Union imports and consumes between 7 to 10 % of the global consumption of crops and livestock products associated with deforestation in the countries of origin[45]. The Union is also among the major global importers of a number of ‘forest risk commodities’, i.e. palm oil (17%), soy (15%), rubber (25%), beef (41%), maize (30%), cocoa (80%), and coffee (60%)[46].

 

To mention climate change impacts, global deforestation is responsible for about 12 % of global greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions[47]. Deforestation also means lost biodiversity, which cannot be reconstructed by planting a new forest. When it comes to economic and social consequences of deforestation, it needs to be noted that 1,6 billion people depend on forest resources[48]. In countries where the rule of law is weak, land tenure rights are often not respected and indigenous population lose access to forest resources, which are key for the local economy.

 

Through the Sustainable Development Goals, the Paris Agreement and the 7th Environmental Action Plan, the Union has committed at different levels to protect both European and global forests and to contribute to sustainable land use, land use change and forestry.

 

 

 

The Union has already introduced some regulatory measures to tackle the problem of imported deforestation. This concerns inter alia the 2003 Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Action Plan, the 2005 Council Regulation (EC) No 2173/2005[49], Regulation (EU) No 995/2010[50] (‘the EU Timber Regulation’) Directive (EU) 2018/2001[51], together with Directive (EU) 2015/1513[52] and Directive (EU) 2015/1513. However, different evaluations assessed their efficiency and scope and concluded that they are not sufficient to halt and reverse global deforestation[53] [54].

 

However, there is no coherent EU legal framework directly addressing ‘forest risk commodities’ food or feed products – that impact global deforestation. The Union did not achieve the 7th EAP goal of reducing gross tropical deforestation by 2020. Against that background, considering recent results of studies and consultations launched by the Commission, and in view of academic findings on the issue, a Union regulatory intervention is needed.

 

On 23 July 2019, the Commission adopted an EU Communication on Stepping up EU Action to Protect and Restore the World’s Forests[55]. The new Commission has clearly confirmed that it is planning to take legislative action at Union level against global deforestation. It was confirmed in the Commissioners’-designates hearings in the European Parliament[56].

 

The European Parliament has been regularly calling on the Commission to step up Union action against global deforestation.[57] [58] More specifically, in its resolution of 16 January 2020 on the COP15 to the Convention on Biological Diversity, the European Parliament called on the Commission to propose due diligence-based legislation for deforestation free products on the EU market.[59]

 

The rapporteur is recommending that the Commission presents, for the first time, a legislative proposal for mandatory due diligence for forest and ecosystem-risk commodities being placed on the Union market.

 

The rapporteur believes that the EU Timber Regulation can be a good model to build upon, while improving some of its aspects. Those improvements should concern requirements for commodities being put on the Union market that go beyond the legality of the sourcing of the commodities in the country of origin to include sustainability criteria and human rights protection. Furthermore, lessons should be learnt from the flawed implementation and enforcement of the EU Timber Regulation. The rapporteur therefore proposes the inclusion of an improved implementation and enforcement mechanism in the legislative proposal for a future forest-risk commodity regulation.

 

The rapporteur believes that due diligence obligations for economic operators putting forest and ecosystem-risk commodities and derived products on the Union market is necessary, as efforts and voluntary commitments by economic actors aimed at curbing the impact of forest and ecosystem-risk commodities on deforestation and enacting voluntary supply-chain measures have been so far rather limited and overall unsatisfactory[60]. Studies have indicated an urgent need for stepping up public intervention[61].

 

Companies and business associations shared this view in numerous meetings with the rapporteur. They expressed their preference for a Union due diligence Regulation for forest-risk commodities also for business reasons.

 

These calls are echoed by a study commissioned by the Commission’s DG Just on due diligence requirements through the supply chain[62], according to which a majority of business and other stakeholders (68%) responded that the current regimes of voluntary measures have failed to significantly change the way companies manage their social, environmental and governance impacts, or to provide remedies to victims.

 

The study envisages that mandatory due diligence would allow “for significant preventative benefits”, “opportunities for protection” as well as “enhanced access to justice in case of adverse environmental impacts” for rights-holders[63] that reporting requirements would not cover.

 

According to the study, mandatory due diligence would have the most positive social, human rights and environmental impacts, while voluntary guidelines and reporting requirements are considered not likely to produce significant positive impact on people or the planet.

 

 

Objective

 

Thus, based on those reasons, the rapporteur aims with the proposal to ensure a high level of protection for natural forests and natural ecosystems and the protection of human rights potentially affected by the harvesting, extraction and production of commodities that most often are related to deforestation, ecosystem destruction, forest and ecosystem degradation and human rights violations.

 

The rapporteur believes it is necessary to also cover natural ecosystems by the proposal, as otherwise pressure would shift to these areas to be turned into agricultural land, with equally devastating effects for the climate and biodiversity. In addition, human rights need to be covered by the proposal, as human rights violations are a driver and a consequence of forest and ecosystem destruction. Securing the tenure rights of forest-dependent peoples directly benefits forests and ecosystems.

 

 

Scope

 

The rapporteur is of the opinion that the proposal should cover economic operators of all sizes, as otherwise the creation of regulatory loopholes would jeopardize the objectives of the regulation. The same reasoning applies to covering economic operators’ complete value chains. Making the regulation applicable to all economic operators would be in line with the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, which highlights that all businesses have responsibility to respect human rights. The rapporteur wants to underline that this responsibility is equally applicable as regards the protection of the environment.

 

Additionally, the regulation should cover all financial institutions. A recent study by Global Witness shows that, between 2013 and 2019, Union-based financial institutions were one of the main sources of funds and had backed six agribusiness companies linked to forest destruction in the climate critical forests of the Amazon, Congo Basin and Papua New Guinea to the tune of 7 billion Euro.[64]

 

The rapporteur agrees with the findings of the study commissioned by DG Just that a broad scope of businesses should be included in an Union-wide due diligence framework, including SMEs and financial institutions..[65]

 

It also seems logical that traceability obligations for commodities and products covered by the proposal should also apply to traders. Traceability allows at any given moment, for the identification of the relevant economic operator(s) placing goods covered by the regulation on the market and therefore responsible for performing due diligence.

 

In its communication “Stepping up EU action to protect and restore the world’s forests” of 2019, the Commission concluded that when looking at deforestation embodied in total final consumption, Union consumption represents around 10% of the global share. This is mostly due to Union imports of products such as palm oil, meat, soy, cocoa, maize, timber, rubber, including in the form of processed products or services. Therefore, these commodities should be covered by the regulation. The proposed measures should also apply to any product containing raw or processed commodities, either as a sole input or in combination with other inputs, to avoid the effect of incentivising the demand for such products and the risk of bypassing the due diligence obligation. The rapporteur notes that scientific knowledge about the exact impact of the import of certain commodities on the situation of forests, ecosystems and human rights is still evolving. The rapporteur therefore suggests that further commodities could be added to the regulation’s scope by way of a delegated act.

 

 

General obligations

 

The rapporteur proposes that the commodities covered by the proposal should not have originated from areas that can be classified as natural forests or natural ecosystems before 1 January 2008 but have lost that status after this cut-off date or have suffered degradation since then.

 

Taking 1 January 2008 as the cut-off date would align the proposal with the sustainability provisions laid down in Directive (EU) 2018/2001.

 

To define natural forests, natural ecosystems, deforestation and forest and ecosystem degradation, the rapporteur suggests to use the definitions of the Accountability Framework and the approach of Directive (EU) 2018/2001 to land with high biodiversity value ecosystems and high carbon stock. The rapporteur believes that these are recognised concepts with already existing guidance making them easily operational. Moreover, the Accountability Framework definition clearly distinguishes natural forests from tree plantations, and it addresses explicitly both conversion to plantation and severe, ongoing degradation.

 

In view of facilitating implementation, the Commission should regularly adopt, by way of delegated act, a non-exhaustive list of areas that are covered by the proposal.

 

As regards human rights, economic operators should guarantee that their products are not linked to human rights violations most frequently associated with deforestation, ecosystem destruction and forest and ecosystem degradation. Those are tenure rights, rights of indigenous people, free prior and informed consent as set out by the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, the right to water, labour rights as enshrined in ILO fundamental conventions and other internationally recognised human rights related to land use, access or ownership.

 

 

Duty of due diligence

 

Building on the OECD guidelines for multinational enterprises and the OECD-FAO guidance for responsible agricultural supply chains, the rapporteur suggests to place a duty of due diligence, a duty of consultation, a duty of transparency and reporting and a duty of documentation upon economic operators.

 

The due diligence should follow a risk-based approach. The rapporteur emphasises that taking a risk-based approach should not prohibit economic operators from engaging in certain contexts or with certain business partners, but should assist them in effectively managing the risks of adverse impacts in high-risk contexts.

 

Employing due diligence does not rely on states of origin in order to ensure compliance, but casts the responsibility on economic actors which want to market commodities or derived products in the Union. The rapporteur stresses that, importantly, as opposed to tools such as labels and certifications, due diligence does not rely on consumer preferences and thereby offers potentially high levels of effectiveness in achieving regulatory objectives.

 

Under the proposed measures, lawfully placing on the Union market would be possible only when economic operators are able to demonstrate, as a result of their due diligence process, that any identified risk has been mitigated so that it becomes negligible at most. In addition, and in view of facilitating enforcement, operators would be obliged to ensure the traceability and transparency of their supply chain and to report about their compliance with due diligence, in particular concerning risk assessment and risk mitigation.

 

The rapporteur suggests that the Commission develops guidelines to support economic operators in implementing these duties. To ensure Union-wide high quality and comparable standards of transparency and reporting, the Commission should adopt delegated acts on these matters.

 

Duty of due diligence: an obligation requiring economic operators to conduct due diligence throughout their entire supply chain in order to identify, prevent, and mitigate environmental , social and human rights risks and impacts in order to ensure compliance of goods placed on the Union market with a set of sustainability and legal criteria, should be put in place.

 

Similar to Regulation (EC) No 2173/2005, Voluntary Partnership Agreements could be negotiated between the Union and FERC-producing countries. The rapporteur wants to underline, though, that while the negotiation of Voluntary Partnership Agreements might take many years, a mandatory due diligence regulation for forest-risk commodities can enter into force more quickly and can also stand alone.

 

Economic operators should be able to use third-party certification schemes to inform the conduct of these duties. The rapporteur emphasises, though, that third party certification schemes cannot replace the economic operators’ duty for due diligence and the economic operator’s liability. In light of the considerable variety of third-party schemes and certification that is potentially relevant, operators should carry out a rigorous assessment against the forest and ecosystem risk criteria identified in the proposal before concluding that a scheme can in fact contribute to the objectives of the proposal. The rapporteur points out that there are large differences in quality between certification schemes, whose effectiveness depends on a range of factors, including its scope, its level of transparency and the strength of its criteria[66], as well as the required frequency of audits, as well as their quality and independence. This variation limits the extent to which they can be used consistently as a tool for preventing deforestation[67]. In addition to forest and ecosystem risk criteria, the above assessment should also cover specific governance criteria, comprising independence from industry, inclusion of social and environmental interests in standard-setting, independent third-party auditing, public disclosure of auditing reports, transparency at all stages, and openness. Only after performing such an assessment may operators decide to take into account third-party schemes where necessary and relevant.

 

Duty of consultation: economic operators should consult affected stakeholders as regards the definition and implementation of their due diligence measures and should install an early-warning mechanism that allows third-parties to inform the economic operator about any risk of harm throughout the entire value chain. Third parties often have extensive expertise on the ground and can help economic operators to fulfil their duty to prevent harm.

 

Duty of transparency and reporting: economic operators should regularly and publicly report about their due diligence processes, activities and results. Format and elements of the reports should be defined by a delegated act so as to ensure uniformity and avoid cherry-picking in economic operators’ reporting practices. Public reporting should enable third parties to scrutinise economic operators’ activities. 

 

Duty of documentation: economic operators should keep written records of all their due diligence actions to investigate potential infringements of the regulation when accusation come up at a later stage.

 

 

Control, monitoring, enforcement and access to justice

 

The due diligence exercise will constitute the basis on which an operator decides to place the goods covered by the regulation on the Union market. The consequence for placing such goods on the Union market, notwithstanding the failure to establish compliance with the sustainability and human rights criteria and duties described above, should be considered a legal liability of the economic operators concerned, in the form of exposure to both public and private enforcement, by the competent administrative and judiciary authorities and damaged private parties respectively.

 

Therefore, Member States should ensure that competent authorities monitor the fulfilment by economic operators of the obligations provided for in the regulation (due diligence, consultation, reporting, documentation).

 

Economic operators should be criminally liable for breaches of their duties. Member States should provide for proportionate, effective and dissuasive penalties for non-compliance with the duties for due diligence, consultation, reporting and documentation, and where non-compliance with the regulation’s obligations caused environmental damage or human rights abuses.

 

Standards and guidelines should be developed at Union level for national competent authorities to ensure effective and uniform implementation and enforcement of the proposal across the Union. The rapporteur is of the opinion that for this, one can draw from the experience of the EU Timber Regulation.[68] [69]

 

Third parties should be able to challenge non-compliance of economic operators with the regulation’s obligations before judicial or administrative authorities. Economic operators should bear the burden of proof where a plaintiff has presented reasonably available facts and evidence sufficient to support their action.

 

Economic operators should be jointly and severally liable for harm arising out of human rights and environmental abuses and should provide for remedy where harm was caused to individuals or organisations.

 

That mandatory due diligence rules must include some form of liability is also supported by the DG Just study on due diligence requirement, according to which 73% of stakeholder respondents prefer mandatory due diligence requirements coupled with civil or criminal liability and/or fines to voluntary guidelines. The preferences of industry organisations are, however, in reverse order.

 

Financial implications

 

The measures contained in the proposal are mostly without immediate impact on EU operational expenditure. Additional costs for Member States to monitor and enforce the implementation of such a regulation will depend on national choices of implementation, but can be minimised insofar as these costs could fall within the structures of existing budgets, for example those of environmental or customs agencies, courts and judicial systems. Moreover, the rapporteur stresses that implications for public budgets should be weighed against the positive environmental and human rights impacts of the proposal.

 

For economic operators, preliminary findings of the study on due diligence requirements through the supply chain commissioned by the Commission’s DG Just indicate that “the cost of mandatory due diligence compared to the revenue of companies appears to be relatively low. As concerns the additional recurrent company-level costs as percentages of companies’ revenues, these costs on average amount to less than 0.14% for SMEs and 0.009% for large companies.” [70]

 

The findings of DG Just’s study furthermore give a preliminary indication that the costs of due diligence obligations would be offset by a Union-wide regulation, thanks to planning-security, a level playing field for economic operators across the Union and increased leverage through a non-negotiable standard.[71]

 

While the findings of the DG Just study refer to the costs and benefits of a cross-sectorial human rights and environmental due diligence regulation, the rapporteur is of the opinion that similar costs and benefits can be assumed for a mandatory due diligence regulation for forest- and ecosystem-risk commodities.

 

The forthcoming European Added-Value assessment study will provide for further insight on this matter.

 

Final provisions

 

The rapporteur believes that the proposal should serve as a de minimis measure and Member States may implement stricter supply chain regulations.

 

 

OPINION OF THE COMMITTEE ON INTERNATIONAL TRADE (9.9.2020)

for the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety

with recommendations to the Commission on an EU legal framework to halt and reverse EU-driven global deforestation

(2020/2006(INL))

Rapporteur for opinion:Karin Karlsbro

(Initiative – Rule 47 of the Rules of Procedure)

(*) Associated committee – Rule 57 of the Rules of Procedure

 

 

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on International Trade calls on the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, as the committee responsible:

 to incorporate the following suggestions into its motion for a resolution:

1. notes that global preservation of forests and preventing their degradation are some of the biggest sustainability challenges of our times, without which the objectives of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Paris Agreement and the Green Deal cannot be achieved; stresses that the sustainable use of forests and ecosystems in many parts of the world cannot be ensured with current policies; stresses in this regard that trade and investment policy need to be reviewed in order to address this global challenge in a more effective manner, and by creating globally a level playing field, and take into account the link between trade agreements and global biodiversity as well as forest ecosystems; believes that the EU needs to ensure that it only promotes global supply chains and financial flows which are sustainable and deforestation-free and which do not result in human rights violations;

2. notes with concern that following the tragic COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, research continues to affirm a worrying link between zoonotic diseases and deforestation, climate change and biodiversity loss;

3. welcomes the good results the cooperation with third countries under the EU FLEGT Action Plan and Voluntary Partnership Agreements (VPAs) have shown in addressing the supply-side challenge of illegal logging and stresses that this work should be stepped up, especially in terms of monitoring, checks and controls and also in terms of offering capacity building; stresses that the VPAs constitute a very effective framework to establish good partnerships with those countries and new VPAs with additional partners should be promoted; calls on the EU to increase funding for FLEGT;

4. urges the Commission to ensure full implementation of the EU FLEGT Work Plan 2018-2022;

5.  welcomes the EU communication of 23 July 2019 on stepping up EU action to protect and restore the world’s forests; underlines the importance of measures which ensure that demand is in line with the stated goals, as the EU is a significant importer of forest and ecosystem-risk commodities (FERCs), and that the EU has a responsibility to reduce any negative impacts of these imports;

6. acknowledges the importance of the EU Timber Regulation in preventing the entry of illegally harvested timber to the EU markets; welcomes the Commission’s upcoming fitness check of the FLEGT Regulation and the EU Timber Regulation as an opportunity to strengthen their enforcement and to further improve their implementation and to widen their scope to cover e.g. printed products and wooden products, conflict timber and to strengthen the role of civil society;

7. repeats its demand that imports of timber and timber products should be more thoroughly checked at EU borders in order to ensure that the imported products do indeed comply with the criteria for entry into the EU; calls on the timely and effective implementation of the Union Customs Code (UCC) and reinforced capacities of national customs authorities to ensure better harmonisation and implementation of the UCC; stresses that the Commission needs to ensure that customs controls throughout the EU follow the same standards, by means of a direct unified customs control mechanism, in coordination with Member States and in full compliance with the principle of subsidiarity;

8. notes that agricultural expansion accounts for an estimated 80 % of global deforestation and has its roots in the demand for FERCs such as palm oil, soy, meat, leather, cocoa, coffee, rubber, and maize; notes that, with the exception of the products covered by the EU Timber Regulation, there is currently no EU legislation in force that requires economic operators placing FERCs into the EU market to follow due diligence procedures to mitigate the risk of deforestation; is of the opinion that trade-based partnership agreements with major producer countries of FERCs could be useful to tackle supply-side drivers of deforestation, notes that the FLEGT VPA model is one option;

9. considers that trade and international cooperation are important tools for consolidating higher standards of sustainability, especially with regard to sectors that are linked to forests and their derived value chains; calls on the Commission and Member States to strengthen cooperation with third countries through technical assistance, exchange of information and good practices in the preservation, conservation and sustainable use of forests, with a special focus on the linkage between organised crime and commodities associated with deforestation and to promote and facilitate scientific and academic cooperation with third countries, as well as research programmes to promote knowledge and innovation on biodiversity, “green business” and the circular economy; stresses the importance of taking into account the effects of the measures on employment and growth of least developed countries (LDCs) that are reliant on the production of FERCs; calls on the EU to support and cooperate with third country governments and civil society in their work against deforestation, particularly via the GSP+ scheme; calls on the Commission to evaluate whether a new specific aid for trade instrument should be developed to facilitate trade in the context of mitigating the risks related to the production of FERCs;

10. recommends that all new and updates of existing trade and investment agreements include more ambitious climate and environmental provisions regarding the conservation and sustainable management of forests, and strengthen the enforcement of these rules, leading to better conditions for the forests and ecosystems, including the protection of indigenous peoples and local communities rights, as well as illegal logging related anti-corruption provisions, and the obligation to ensure multilateral environmental agreements, such as the Paris Agreement and the Convention on Biological Diversity, are implemented effectively; calls on the Commission to look at different tools to monitor the carbon footprint of imports;

11. notes that despite the genuine attempts by companies to self-regulate through voluntary due diligence obligations, it is evident that they remain insufficient, since complex, dynamic and non-transparent global value chains are often linked to deforestation; and consequently recommends that more efficient bolder EU binding regulatory framework be developed, addressing the Union-wide demand side;

12. considers that a legislative proposal to introduce a due diligence obligation on operators placing forest and ecosystem-risk commodities and products on the internal market needs to ensure that such commodities and products do not cause deforestation, forest degradation, and the conversion or degradation of natural ecosystems or related human rights violations; a similar due diligence obligation should apply to the financial sector; the due diligence obligations should apply to the whole supply chain and cover OECD guidelines on social responsibility and human rights in trade; stresses that in order to be more effective, such legal framework should also include adequate access to justice, legal remedies and effective protection for whistleblowers in natural resources exporting countries;

13. believes that future proposals regarding forest-risk commodities should build upon lessons learned from the FLEGT Action Plan, the EU Timber Regulation, Regulation (EU) 2017/821 of the European Parliament and of the Council[72] (‘the Conflict Mineral Regulation’), Directive 2014/95/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council[73] (‘the Non-Financial Reporting Directive’), legislation on illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing and other EU initiatives to regulate supply chains; and asks the EU to encourage voluntary sustainable forest management certification, which can verify sustainability and be compatible with any due diligence system in place;

14. asks the Commission that the measures to be adopted have a comprehensive and differentiated approach to deforestation, considering its multiple dimensions and its linkages both with the generation of sustainable ventures and the fight against criminal economies. To that end, calls on a dialogue with third countries in order to analyse, on a case by case basis, the main causes of forest cover loss and the relevance of the measures to be implemented;

15. stresses the importance to carry out an impact assessment and to take account of its results in order to design rules that do not forego but rather enhance competitiveness and are functional and applicable to all actors on the market, including SMEs; to ensure that such a framework is WTO compliant i.e. proportionate, non-discriminatory and that it would not constitute arbitrary or unjustifiable discrimination or a disguised restriction on international trade; recommends that SMEs are provided adequate support and transition time in order to adapt their business operations to the new rules;

16. underlines the fact that the drivers of deforestation go beyond the forest sector per se and relate to a wide range of issues, such as land tenure, protection of the rights of indigenous people, agricultural policies, climate change, democracy, human rights and political freedom; recalls that indigenous women and women farmers play a central role in protecting forest ecosystems; calls on the Commission to step up its efforts to address deforestation holistically through a coherent policy framework, while ensuring the conservation of ecosystems; believes that gender equality in forestry education is a key point in the sustainable management of forests which should be reflected in the EU Action Plan;

17. recalls the importance of respecting the UN’s Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights; supports the ongoing negotiations to create a binding UN instrument on transnational corporations and other business enterprises with respect to human rights and stresses the importance of the EU being proactively involved in this process;

18. stresses that public procurement provisions in FTAs should take into account social, environmental and responsible business conduct criteria in awarding contracts;

19. insists that mandatory requirements at Union level need to be complemented by increased and reinforced global cooperation, strengthened global environmental governance and cooperation with third countries through technical assistance, the exchange of information and good practices in preservation, conservation and sustainable use of forests, giving special recognition to sustainability initiatives carried out by the private sector; by increasing efforts in key international fora, including the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) actions to halt deforestation, forest degradation and to restore forests and to avoid the inverse effect of diverting unwanted deforestation marked supply chains to other regions in the world;

20. calls on the Commission and Member States to encourage, through trade and international cooperation, the necessary investment to consolidate higher standards of sustainability in the forestry sectors and their value chains, promoting the circular bioeconomy, green tourism, renewable energy, smart agriculture and other relevant areas, also in third countries;

 to incorporate the following recommendations into the annex to its motion for a resolution:

Voluntary Partnership Agreements (VPAs)

 

INFORMATION ON ADOPTION IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

Date adopted

3.9.2020

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

38

0

4

Members present for the final vote

Barry Andrews, Anna-Michelle Asimakopoulou, Tiziana Beghin, Geert Bourgeois, Saskia Bricmont, Udo Bullmann, Jordi Cañas, Daniel Caspary, Anna Cavazzini, Miroslav Číž, Arnaud Danjean, Paolo De Castro, Emmanouil Fragkos, Raphaël Glucksmann, Markéta Gregorová, Enikő Győri, Roman Haider, Heidi Hautala, Danuta Maria Hübner, Herve Juvin, Karin Karlsbro, Maximilian Krah, Danilo Oscar Lancini, Bernd Lange, Margarida Marques, Gabriel Mato, Emmanuel Maurel, Maxette Pirbakas, Carles Puigdemont i Casamajó, Samira Rafaela, Inma Rodríguez-Piñero, Massimiliano Salini, Helmut Scholz, Liesje Schreinemacher, Sven Simon, Dominik Tarczyński, Mihai Tudose, Kathleen Van Brempt, Marie-Pierre Vedrenne, Jörgen Warborn, Iuliu Winkler, Jan Zahradil

 

FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

38

+

GUE/NGL

Emmanuel Maurel, Helmut Scholz

ID

Roman Haider, Herve Juvin, Maximilian Krah, Danilo Oscar Lancini, Maxette Pirbakas

NI

Tiziana Beghin, Carles Puigdemont i Casamajó

PPE

Anna-Michelle Asimakopoulou, Daniel Caspary, Arnaud Danjean, Enikő Győri, Danuta Maria Hübner, Gabriel Mato, Massimiliano Salini, Sven Simon, Jörgen Warborn, Iuliu Winkler

RENEW

Barry Andrews, Jordi Cañas, Karin Karlsbro, Samira Rafaela, Liesje Schreinemacher, Marie-Pierre Vedrenne

S&D

Udo Bullmann, Miroslav Číž, Paolo De Castro, Raphaël Glucksmann, Bernd Lange, Margarida Marques, Inma Rodríguez-Piñero, Mihai Tudose, Kathleen Van Brempt

VERTS/ALE

Saskia Bricmont, Anna Cavazzini, Markéta Gregorová, Heidi Hautala

 

 

4

0

ECR

Geert Bourgeois, Emmanouil Fragkos, Dominik Tarczyński, Jan Zahradil

 

Key to symbols:

+ : in favour

 : against

0 : abstention

 

 

 

 

OPINION OF THE COMMITTEE ON DEVELOPMENT (20.7.2020)

for the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety

with recommendations to the Commission on an EU legal framework to halt and reverse EU-driven global deforestation

(2020/2006(INL))

Rapporteur for opinion:Michèle Rivasi

(Initiative – Rule 47 of the Rules of Procedure)

 

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on Development calls on the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, as the committee responsible to incorporate the following suggestions into its motion for a resolution:

1.  Stresses that forestry policy is primarily a national competence, however recognizes that many Union policies have an impact on forests; calls on the Union to adopt without delay a legislative act requiring companies to conduct mandatory due diligence throughout their entire supply chains to ensure that forest risk commodities placed on the Union market are sustainable, deforestation-free, do not degrade forests or biodiversity-rich ecosystems and comply with human rights obligations, in line with international labour and environmental standards and other international obligations, including the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities, and the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Business Conduct; stresses that such legislation should follow a cross-commodity approach, apply to all economic actors in the supply chain, including financial actors, both upstream and downstream, provide access to justice for victims, be accompanied by a robust reporting, disclosure and enforcement mechanism, including effective, proportionate and dissuasive penalties for non-compliance and should be based on the lessons of existing legislation such as that concerning conflict minerals, timber regulation, unregulated and unreported fishing, which all include mandatory due diligence requirements;

2. Invites the Commission to promote such a regulatory framework at international level; to this end, stresses the importance of cross-sectoral coordination and of designing partnerships, in close collaboration with producer and consumer countries, to tackle deforestation and forest degradation holistically, notably in key international fora, which implies for example the promotion of a common understanding of sustainable and deforestation-free supply chains and transparent value chains on the basis of a robust methodology which is shared by partner countries;

3.  Stresses equally that the new regulatory framework should not lead to unfair competition or an excessive administrative burden for SMEs and calls for support to be given to developing countries in adapting to the proposed new regulatory framework, notably regarding the diversification of income; stresses the importance of adopting accompanying measures to compensate for possible income loss by SMEs and to support developing countries to adjust to the new legal framework;

4 Urges the Union to show leadership and to take decisive action as the global rates of deforestation have continued to worsen in recent years despite the multiplication of international initiatives; underlines that the proliferation of deforestation-free initiatives by the private sector is creating a momentum for policy synergies; however, insists that introduction of labelling and certification schemes for deforestation-free products is not sufficient, particularly in the context of the climate and biodiversity crisis and that further guidance is needed to inform the design, implementation and monitoring of such supply-chain initiatives to reduce deforestation from private initiatives;

5. Calls on the private sector to fulfil without delay its zero deforestation commitments, while ensuring full transparency on compliance with those commitments; to this end, stresses the need to strengthen the requirements concerning voluntary certifications on social and environmental criteria, notably by promoting the access of small producers to certification, facilitating the use of independent auditing, strengthening appeal procedures, their transparency and the settlement of disputes, adopting high conservation value and high carbon stock criteria, securing ecosystem conversion and the absence of planting on peatlands and ensuring that customary land tenure rights are respected and calls on the Commission to cooperate closely with the private sector in the exchange of best practices, as well as for data harmonization;

6. More broadly, calls on the Commission to encourage the strengthening of standards and certification schemes that help to identify and promote deforestation-free commodities in third countries; insists on the importance of strengthening cooperation with producer countries through technical assistance, exchange of information and good practices, as well identifying joint activities to inform policy developments based on an advanced understanding of the impact of deforestation and forest degradation, transparent supply chains, and effective monitoring mechanisms;

7. Calls for the forestry sector to feature strongly in the upcoming Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI) and for the full potential of the External Investment Plan and regional blending facilities to be exploited in leveraging private funding for sustainable forest management; calls for the strengthening of standards and certification schemes that already exist instead of introducing new ones and stresses that those standards and certification schemes need to comply with WTO rules;

8. Calls for the Union to strengthen its standards in terms of mandatory disclosure of information by undertakings related to the production or processing of forest risk commodities, calls for the implementation of the bioeconomy strategy; recognises the positive economic, societal and environmental contribution of the forest industry and calls for further investment in research, innovation and technological advancement;

9. Welcomes the Commission’s proposal to further integrate deforestation provisions within the EU Ecolabel, green public procurement and other initiatives in the context of the circular economy; calls on the Commission to present initiatives in this regard;

10. In particular, calls on the Commission to take initiatives to forbid the public purchase of imported products resulting in deforestation within the framework of the plurilateral Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA) of the World Trade Organization and Directive 2014/24 of the European Parliament and of the Council

 

FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

22

+

EPP

Anna‑Michelle Asimakopoulou, Hildegard Bentele, György Hölvényi, Rasa Juknevičienė, Janina Ochojska, Christian Sagartz, Tomas Tobé

S&D

Udo Bullmann, Mónica Silvana González, Pierfrancesco Majorino, Maria Noichl, Patrizia Toia

RENEW

Catherine Chabaud, Charles Goerens, Jan‑Christoph Oetjen, Chrysoula Zacharopoulou

ID

Dominique Bilde

GREENS

Pierrette Herzberger‑Fofana, Erik Marquardt, Michèle Rivasi

GUE/NGL

Miguel Urbán Crespo

NI

Antoni Comín i Oliveres

 

2

ID

Gianna Gancia, Bernhard Zimniok

 

1

0

ECR

Ryszard Czarnecki

 

Key to symbols:

+ : in favour

 : against

0 : abstention

 

 

 

 

 

OPINION OF THE COMMITTEE ON INDUSTRY, RESEARCH AND ENERGY (3.6.2020)

FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

48

+

PPE

François-Xavier Bellamy, Hildegard Bentele, Tom Berendsen, Vasile Blaga, Cristian-Silviu Buşoi, Jerzy Buzek, Maria Da Graça Carvalho, Pilar Del Castillo Vera, Christian Ehler, András Gyürk, Seán Kelly, Andrius Kubilius, Eva Maydell, Angelika Niebler, Aldo Patriciello, Markus Pieper, Sara Skyttedal, Maria Spyraki, Edina Tóth, Henna Virkkunen, Pernille Weiss

Renew

Nicola Beer, Nicola Danti, Martina Dlabajová, Valter Flego, Claudia Gamon, Bart Groothuis, Christophe Grudler, Ivars Ijabs, Iskra Mihaylova, Mauri Pekkarinen, Morten Petersen

S&D

Carlo Calenda, Josianne Cutajar, Niels Fuglsang, Lina Gálvez Muñoz, Jens Geier, Nicolás González Casares, Robert Hajšel, Ivo Hristov, Romana Jerković, Eva Kaili, Łukasz Kohut, Miapetra Kumpula-Natri, Dan Nica, Tsvetelina Penkova, Patrizia Toia, Carlos Zorrinho

 

18

ECR

Robert Roos

GUE/NGL

Manuel Bompard, Marc Botenga, Marisa Matias, Sira Rego

ID

Thierry Mariani, Joëlle Mélin, Jérôme Rivière

NI

Martin Buschmann, Ignazio Corrao

Verts/ALE

François Alfonsi, Michael Bloss, Klaus Buchner, Henrike Hahn, Ville Niinistö, Jutta Paulus, Mikuláš Peksa, Marie Toussaint

 

12

0

ECR

Izabela-Helena Kloc, Zdzisław Krasnodębski, Jessica Stegrud, Beata Szydło, Grzegorz Tobiszowski, Evžen Tošenovský

ID

Paolo Borchia, Markus Buchheit, Andrea Caroppo, Georg Mayer, Isabella Tovaglieri

NI

Clara Ponsatí Obiols

 

Key to symbols:

+ : in favour

 : against

0 : abstention

 

 

 

 

 

OPINION OF THE COMMITTEE ON AGRICULTURE AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT (24.9.2020)

FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

38

+

ECR

Mazaly Aguilar, Krzysztof Jurgiel, Veronika Vrecionová

GUE/NGL

Luke Ming Flanagan, Chris MacManus, Eugenia Rodríguez Palop

ID

Ivan David

NI

Dino Giarrusso

PPE

Álvaro Amaro, Daniel Buda, Salvatore De Meo, Jarosław Kalinowski, Norbert Lins, Marlene Mortler, Christine Schneider, Annie Schreijer‑Pierik, Juan Ignacio Zoido Álvarez, Michaela Šojdrová

RENEW

Asger Christensen, Jérémy Decerle, Cristian Ghinea, Martin Hlaváček, Ulrike Müller

S&D

Clara Aguilera, Attila Ara‑Kovács, Carmen Avram, Adrian‑Dragoş Benea, Isabel Carvalhais, Paolo De Castro, Maria Noichl, Juozas Olekas, Pina Picierno, Marc Tarabella

VERTS/ALE

Benoît Biteau, Claude Gruffat, Francisco Guerreiro, Martin Häusling, Bronis Ropė

 

1

PPE

Simone Schmiedtbauer

 

9

0

ECR

Bert‑Jan Ruissen

ID

Mara Bizzotto, Angelo Ciocca, Gilles Lebreton, Maxette Pirbakas

PPE

Herbert Dorfmann, Petri Sarvamaa

RENEW

Atidzhe Alieva‑Veli, Elsi Katainen

 

Key to symbols:

+ : in favour

 : against

0 : abstention

 

 

 

 

INFORMATION ON ADOPTION IN COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE
FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE

45

+

EPP

Michal WIEZIK

S&D

Nikos ANDROULAKIS, Marek Paweł BALT, Monika BEŇOVÁ, Simona BONAFÈ, Delara BURKHARDT, Sara CERDAS, Mohammed CHAHIM, Tudor CIUHODARU, Miriam DALLI, Jytte GUTELAND, Javi LÓPEZ, César LUENA, Alessandra MORETTI, Sándor RÓNAI, Günther SIDL, Petar VITANOV, Tiemo WÖLKEN

RENEW

Pascal CANFIN, Fredrick FEDERLEY, Martin HOJSÍK, Jan HUITEMA, Ulrike MÜLLER, Frédérique RIES, María Soraya RODRÍGUEZ RAMOS, Nicolae ŞTEFĂNUȚĂ, Linea SØGAARD-LIDELL, Nils TORVALDS, Véronique TRILLET-LENOIR

GREENS/EFA

Margrete AUKEN, Bas EICKHOUT, Pär HOLMGREN, Yannick JADOT, Tilly METZ, Ville NIINISTÖ, Grace O’SULLIVAN, Jutta PAULUS

GUE/NGL

Malin BJÖRK, Petros KOKKALIS, Kateřina KONEČNÁ, Silvia MODIG, Mick WALLACE

NI

Eleonora EVI, Athanasios KONSTANTINOU, Ivan Vilibor SINČIĆ

11

EPP

Alexander BERNHUBER, Christine SCHNEIDER

ID

Teuvo HAKKARAINEN, Sylvia LIMMER

ECR

Sergio BERLATO, Pietro FIOCCHI, Joanna KOPCIŃSKA, Ryszard Antoni LEGUTKO, Rob ROOKEN, Alexandr VONDRA, Anna ZALEWSKA

25

0

EPP

Bartosz ARŁUKOWICZ, Traian BĂSESCU, Hildegard BENTELE, Nathalie COLIN-OESTERLÉ, Agnès EVREN, Adam JARUBAS, Ewa KOPACZ, Esther de LANGE, Peter LIESE, Fulvio MARTUSCIELLO, Liudas MAŽYLIS, Dolors MONTSERRAT, Dan-Ştefan MOTREANU, Ljudmila NOVAK, Stanislav POLČÁK, Jessica POLFJÄRD, Edina TÓTH, Pernille WEISS

ID

Simona BALDASSARRE, Aurelia BEIGNEUX, Marco DREOSTO, Catherine GRISET, Joëlle MÉLIN, Luisa REGIMENTI, Silvia SARDONE

 

Key to symbols:

+ : in favour

 : against

0 : abstention