Motion for a resolution - B9-0040/2020Motion for a resolution

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on the European Green Deal

10.1.2020 - (2019/2956(RSP))

to wind up the debate on the statement by the Commission
pursuant to Rule 132(2) of the Rules of Procedure

Bas Eickhout
on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B9-0040/2020

Procedure : 2019/2956(RSP)
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European Parliament resolution on the European Green Deal


The European Parliament,

 having regard to the precautionary principle enshrined in Article 191 of the TFEU,

 having regard to the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union,

 having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,

 having regard to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and its entry into force on 21 January 2011, in accordance with Council Decision 2010/48/EC of 26 November 2009 on the conclusion, by the European Community, of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities[1],

 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 United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD),

 having regard to the latest and most comprehensive scientific evidence on the damaging effects of climate change provided in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) special report entitled ‘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 massive threat of loss of biodiversity described in the summary for policymakers of the global assessment report on biodiversity and ecosystem services of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) of 29 May 2019,

 having regard to the 25th Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC (COP25), held in Madrid, Spain, from 2 to 15 December 2019,

 having regard to the 26th Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC to be held in December 2020 and the fact that all Parties to the UNFCCC need to increase their nationally determined contributions in line with the objectives of the Paris Agreement,

 having regard to the 15th Conference of Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15) to be held in Kunming, China, in October 2020, where Parties need to decide on the post-2020 global framework to halt biodiversity loss,

 having regard to the UN Environment Programme’s (UNEP) tenth synthesis report on greenhouse gas emissions of November 2019 (the emissions gap report 2019),

 having regard to the UN Environment Programme’s (UNEP) first synthesis report on fossil fuel production of December 2019 (the production gap report 2019),

 having regard to the report ‘The European environment — state and outlook 2020’ by the European Environment Agency,

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

 having regard to the crossing of four out of nine planetary boundaries, as defined by the Stockholm Resilience Centre, to measure a safe operating space for humanity and the general state of the Earth System,

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

 having regard to its resolution of 14 March 2019 on climate change – a European strategic long-term vision for a prosperous, modern, competitive and climate-neutral economy in accordance with the Paris Agreement[2],

 having regard to its resolution of 28 November 2019 on the 2019 UN Climate Change Conference in Madrid, Spain (COP25)[3],

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

 having regard to the European Council conclusions of 12 December 2019 on climate change,

 having regard to the findings and recommendations of the Compliance Committee with regard to Communication Accc/C/2008/32 (Part II) concerning compliance by the European Union, adopted by the Compliance Committee of the Aarhus Convention on 17 March 2017,

 having regard to its resolution of 26 October 2017 on the application of Directive 2004/35/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 April 2004 on environmental liability with regard to the prevention and remedying of environmental damage (the ‘ELD’)[5],

 having regard to its resolution of 16 January 2018 on international ocean governance: an agenda for the future of our oceans in the context of the 2030 SDGs[6],

 having regard to Regulation (EU) No 2019/1241 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 June 2019 on the conservation of fisheries resources and the protection of marine ecosystems through technical measures[7],

 having regard to Regulation (EU) No 1380/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2013 on the Common Fisheries Policy[8]

 having regard to the Malta Ministerial Declaration of 30 March 2017 ‘MedFish4Ever’,

 having regard to the 2019 Environmental Implementation Review (COM(2019)0149),

 having regard to Rule 132(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A. whereas the scientific evidence of a serious and imminent danger to human well-being on the planet as a result of environmental damage caused by human activity has been formally recognised by governments at international level, at least since the Rio Earth Summit held in 1992;

B. whereas ‘The Limits to Growth’, a 1972 report on the computer simulation of exponential economic and population growth with a finite supply of resources, has proven to be a scientifically rigorous warning but was unfortunately ignored by policy makers over the last decades;

C. whereas the Stern Review published in 2006 concluded that the benefits of strong, early action on climate change far outweigh the costs of not acting; whereas taking into account that without action, the overall costs of climate change will be equivalent to losing at least 5 % of global gross domestic product (GDP) each year, now and forever;

D. whereas the most recent science-based reports from, among others, the IPCC, the IPBES and the EEA make clear that policies adopted to date fall far short of preventing a catastrophic overshoot of the planet’s capacity to support human prosperity – notably by exceeding 1.5°C of global warming, diminishing biodiversity, disturbing biogeochemical flows and therefore risking ecological collapse;

E. whereas these reports, among others, also make clear that effective policy measures and technology to avoid that overshoot not only exist but are socially and economically feasible to implement and that policymakers need to ensure their implementation within the next decade;

F. whereas, according to the Eurobarometer special survey released in April 2019 and the Autumn 2019 Eurobarometer survey, climate change is a growing concern for EU citizens, with 93 % of EU citizens considering climate change as a serious problem;

G. whereas Parliament has urged the new Commission to ensure that all its proposals are fully aligned with the objective of limiting global warming to under 1.5 °C, and halting biodiversity loss;

H. whereas the transition to a sustainable and inclusive socio-economic model presents social, environmental and economic benefits and avoids future social, environmental and economic costs that hugely outweigh the financial investment required for the transition;

I. whereas the EU approved EUR 5 000 billion to bail out banks during the financial crisis and the ECB mobilised EUR 2 400 billion from 2015 to 2019 for its QE programme;

J. whereas scientific literature has shown that a transition to a more plant-based diet would release pressure on land, reduce emissions from the agriculture sector and help restore ecosystems;

K. whereas ensuring a Just Transition consists of distributing the benefits without discrimination, actively reaching out to the socially excluded, in particular in order to eradicate the unacceptable inequalities that persist in the EU, while strictly applying the ‘polluter pays (and doesn’t get paid)’ principle in the attribution of costs;

L. whereas the precautionary principle, as enshrined in the TFEU, should underpin all actions taken in the context of the European Green Deal in order to help safeguard health and the environment;

M. whereas the EU is responsible for approximately 10 % of global emissions and that, therefore, the EU must use all means at its disposal to take a strong lead internationally to raise the level of ambition of its international partners, especially the US, China, India, Russia, Japan and Brazil;

N. whereas a Just Transition also implies the right of people to full access to and full enforcement of justice with regard to the climate and environmental obligations of the Union, its Member States and the private sector;

O. whereas the Aarhus Convention’s compliance committee found that the EU fails to comply with paragraphs 3 and 4 of Article 9 of the Convention with regard to access to justice by members of the public because neither the Aarhus Regulation, nor the case-law of the European Court of Justice implements or complies with the obligations arising under those paragraphs, thus rendering a review of the Regulation an obligation under the Convention rather than an option as implied in the EGD Communication;

P. whereas, on 20 December 2019, the Dutch Supreme Court recognised that climate change is violating human rights, more particularly Articles 2 and 8 of the European Convention for Human Rights, and that Member States are compelled to act regardless of the action of international partners; whereas all Member States are signatories to the Convention and the accession of the Union to the Convention is provided for by the Lisbon Treaty;

Q. whereas the Commission initiated an evaluation and ‘fitness check’ exercise to assess how far rules at Union level help fight environmental crime and increase environmental protection, with a view to a possible review of those rules on environmental crime; whereas this must clearly be conducted in a manner coherent with the ambitions set out in the European Green Deal;

A coherent and comprehensive action plan to address the climate and environment emergency

1. Reiterates, following its declaration of a climate and environment emergency, that immediate and ambitious action is crucial to limiting global warming to 1.5°C and avoiding massive loss of biodiversity; welcomes in that regard the publication of the Commission communication ‘The European Green Deal’; believes that the Union should adopt a transformative, comprehensive, inclusive, non-discriminatory and coherent action plan to ensure a socially fair transition, across all regions and different sectors of the economy, towards ensuring prosperity for all within planetary boundaries;

2. Stresses that all the people living in Europe should be granted the fundamental right to a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment and to a stable climate without discrimination, and that this right must be fully enforceable through the justice system at national and EU level;

3. Stresses that the European Green Deal is a transformative project that needs to fundamentally change value creation in our economies by re-embedding our economic model in our social market economy; points out that, while income inequality in the EU between high and low income groups has even increased since the crisis, the income share of the 20 % at the lower end has decreased since 2008 to only 7.7 % of the overall national income; the share of investments (private and public) in the EU as compared to GDP is to date still below pre-crisis levels, and the opportunity is being missed to put persistently high levels of savings into productive use; points out that our economy is highly financialised resulting in unsustainable short-termism in the real economy; notes that there is an increased risk of fossil investments turning into stranded assets with potentially disruptive consequences for financial markets, investors and financial institutions;

4. Calls for a European Green Deal that addresses the current situation of underinvestment and inequality by benefitting from the prevailing low-interest environment for private and public investment for the greening of our economy, reducing inequality and providing for crucial public goods in the future; calls for a transformation of the financial sector in order to reconnect it to the real economy, while limiting systemic financial instability, especially through addressing the risk of stranded assets; acknowledges that our economies, by undergoing a fundamental and disruptive transformation, will face losses of employment in some sectors for which the European Green Deal can and must give bold solutions, providing new quality employment, social security and perspective for most affected regions;

5. Underlines that, even if the Union and its Member States have managed to reduce their GHG emissions by 23 % between 1990 and 2018 while at the same time pursuing economic growth, Europe’s ecological footprint remains considerable, as confirmed by the European Environment Agency; highlights that research suggests that 2.8 Earths would be needed to sustain the global demand for natural resources required by European production and consumption; underlines therefore that the ambition of the European Green Deal should not only be to significantly reduce the Union’s domestic GHG emissions but also to address imported emissions and the Union’s overall global footprint;

6. Strongly regrets the Commission’s current framing of the European Green Deal as a ‘new growth strategy’ when its primary aim must, on the contrary, provide shared prosperity within the planetary boundaries; insists that the Commission make clear that an increase in economic value added as traditionally defined is deeply subordinated to effectiveness in achieving climate and other environmental targets when choosing between policy options under the European Green Deal; calls therefore on the Commission to work on alternatives to GDP as a way of measuring prosperity and well-being in the Union and its Member States;

7. Regards the European Deal as a unique opportunity to reinvigorate our European democracy towards a more equitable, inclusive, cooperative, transparent and accountable model of economic and public governance; calls on the Commission to seize this opportunity to meet those goals in its approach to the ecological transformation;

8. Strongly believes that the environmental ambition of the Green Deal should guide all the work of the new Commission, in particular by ensuring that all new legislative and non-legislative proposals, as well as relevant existing legislation, are consistent with the objective of limiting global warming to under 1.5°C, to halting biodiversity loss and to respect the planetary boundaries;

9. Strongly believes that the European Green Deal should foster an integrated approach and bring all sectors together in order to put them on the same track towards the same goal; considers that the integration of different policies towards a holistic vision is the real added value of the European Green Deal and should therefore be strengthened; calls on the Commission to design and implement the European Green Deal as an umbrella framework with an appropriate governance structure, detailed, integrated and transformative strategies per sector to lay down how each sector will contribute to the objectives and targets of the European Green Deal, accompanied by an estimation of the relevant funding needs;

10. Calls for the transformative agenda of the European Green Deal to be put at the core of a renewed European Semester so as to ensure, through binding measures, that all Member States’ socio-economic, macroeconomic and fiscal policies contribute and are fully consistent with the objectives and targets of the European Green Deal;

11. Insists that a Just Transition, in order to truly leave no-one behind, cannot be limited to mitigating certain economic impacts on firms but must, imperatively, address economic, regional, geographical, age, gender and other inequalities in the EU by ensuring that the benefits – including new jobs in green sectors, lower energy bills, clean air and water – are distributed in a way that reduces those inequalities while the costs are primarily borne by those who have historically profited most from the activities responsible for the climate emergency;

12. Deplores the lack of gender perspective, actions and goals in the European Green Deal Communication and urges the European Commission to include gender mainstreaming and gender-responsive climate and environmental action at all levels; calls on the Commission to deliver on the commitment made by President von der Leyen to promote gender equality in all policy making and on the proposals made by Vice‑President Timmermans to pursue a ‘twin-track approach on gender and climate change’ and ‘take measures to redress gender and climate issues into all aspects of European development policy’; reminds that meaningful and equal participation of women in decision making bodies and EU, national and local level climate policy and action is vital for achieving long-term climate goals;

Increasing the EU’s climate ambition for 2030 and 2050

13. Welcomes the recognition that the Union’s current NDC is not in line with the Union’s commitment to respect the long-term goals of the Paris Agreement and calls on the Commission and the Member States to urgently step up climate action; calls on the Commission to present by March 2020 an ambitious European Climate Law, establishing a carbon budget for the Union and enshrining into Union law, informed by the Union’s responsibility to act upon the latest scientific evidence on pathways compatible with the objective of maintaining global warming under 1.5°C, an increased economy-wide target of at least 65 % domestic GHG emission reductions by 2030 compared to 1990 levels, as well as the objective of reaching net-zero GHG emissions in the Union by 2040;

14. Calls on the Commission to revise and align, as soon as possible, and by June 2021 at the latest, all climate- and energy-related policy instruments of the Union with this increased medium and longer-term climate ambition, and to urgently close any loophole or inconsistency that exists in current Union policies or international commitments, in particular with regard to the treatment of biofuels and forest biomass under the Renewable Energy Directive and the EU ETS, and to put forward, by June 2020, a Union strategic plan for methane, including specific phase‑down targets, instruments and policy options to rapidly address and drastically reduce methane emissions in all relevant sectors, namely agriculture, waste and energy;

15. Regrets that the Commission did not specifically identify in the European Green Deal any plans to revise the F-gas Regulations; calls on the Commission to seize the opportunity of the 2020 review of the F-gas Regulation in order to address known shortcomings that threaten the EU’s climate ambition, such as the illegal trade in hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and insufficient action against the use of sulphur hexafluoride (SF6);

16. Welcomes the aim of ensuring effective carbon pricing throughout the economy, and calls on the Commission to undertake an ambitious reform of the EU ETS to deliver climate-neutrality by 2040, including by substantially increasing the linear reduction factor, ending all free allowances, introducing an effective and increasing carbon floor price and extending the EU ETS to maritime transport; welcomes the commitment of the Commission to introduce a carbon border adjustment mechanism in order to ensure a level playing field in international trade; believes that the review of the Energy Taxation Directive should put an end to the unjust and environmentally damaging tax exemption currently applied to aviation and maritime fuels, and deliver effective and fair carbon pricing for all sectors not covered by the EU ETS; stresses that such measures should be designed with care so as not to increase inequalities and strongly encourages allocating additional tax revenues for reducing inequalities, absorbing costs for people most affected by the transition and ensuring that no one is left behind in the transition towards a climate-neutral continent;

17. Believes that all existing measures on carbon leakage should be replaced by policies and instruments that internalise all costs linked to GHG emissions; welcomes, in this regard, the proposal to set up a WTO‑compatible carbon border adjustment mechanism, and the fact that this should be an alternative to, not complement, existing measures, but strongly regrets that its introduction is made conditional upon a persisting gap in ambition between the Union and its international partners;

18. Underlines that nature-based solutions can help the Union and its Member States to reach their GHG emissions reduction and biodiversity objectives; insists that nature-based solutions be additional to GHG emission reductions at source; is alarmed by the negative trends with regard to the protection, conservation and enhancement of Europe’s nature and biodiversity as reported by the State of the Environment Report 2020; calls in that context for the launch of a ‘Natural Climate Solutions’ strategy, including a legal framework to preserve the good ecological status of ecosystems, implement a zero-degradation policy, and restore degraded ecosystems, including by fully protecting at least 30 % of land and marine ecosystems and sustainably managing the remaining areas;

19. Calls on the Commission to continue its work on the long-term strategy to include a new scenario based on a highly energy- and resource-efficient and fully renewable-based economy, and relying on ecosystem-based solutions rather than carbon removal technologies that would entail significant risks for ecosystems, biodiversity and food security, with a view to its submission to the UNFCCC by 2020, in accordance with the Paris Agreement;

20. Welcomes the announcement of launching a European Climate Pact by March 2020 to engage with the public and non-state actors on climate action; recognises the prominent role of local and regional authorities in delivering climate ambition; calls on the Executive Vice-President responsible for the European Green Deal to fully involve local and regional authorities, as well as civil society representatives, in the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the European Green Deal; calls on a multi-level governance approach to be enhanced and for the local and regional actors to be recognised as the most appropriate levels of government to make a decisive shift towards a zero-carbon economy;

21. Reiterates its call for a revision of the Aarhus Regulation, the Environmental Liability Directive and Directive 2008/99/EC on the protection of the environment through criminal law, so as to ensure that the ‘polluter pays’ principle, including through clear liability rules of companies for environmental damage, and access to justice for the victims of pollution and environmental crimes, are implemented in all Member States and at Union level;

22. Believes there is a fundamental and irreconcilable conflict between the fossil fuel industry’s interests and the policies required under the European Green Deal; insists, therefore, that policymakers and their representatives at Union or Member State level, when dealing with the fossil fuel industry or those working to further its interests, should be fully accountable and transparent; further insists that measures be implemented to ensure that the fossil fuel industry and those working to further its interests operate and act in a manner that is fully accountable and transparent; calls on the Commission to re-enter the negotiations on an upgraded interinstitutional transparency register to include the meaningful participation of the Council of the EU and all permanent representations;

23. Welcomes the announcement that the Commission will become climate-neutral by 2030; recalls that the European Parliament has been carbon-neutral since 2016 already, mainly through its environmental and EMAS policies, the use of offsetting and green electricity certificates; considers that Parliament should step up its climate action by putting in place policies to become domestically climate-neutral by 2030; tasks the Bureau of the European Parliament to discuss and agree by the end of 2020 on a roadmap to reach that objective;

Supplying clean, affordable and secure energy

24. Welcomes the Commission’s aspiration to decarbonise the energy system so that the EU can reach net-zero emissions by 2050 at the latest and preferably by 2040; welcomes further the priority given to energy efficiency; in this context, calls on the Commission and the Member States to implement the energy efficiency first principle in all sectors and policies; deplores the fact that the Commission does not address the rebound effect resulting from energy efficiency measures while this effect has been empirically shown to offset a significant percentage of the initial gains; calls upon the Commission to tackle it properly when designing future policies and measures;

25. Regards the European Green Deal as an important and unique momentum for creating a vision towards a fully energy‑efficient renewables-based energy system, which can respond to the expectations of people in the EU; urges the Commission to urgently develop an additional scenario delivering 100 % renewables compatible with the objective of reaching climate-neutrality by 2040;

26. Calls on the Commission to revise all relevant energy legislation by June 2021 at the latest in order to deliver both a binding 2030 energy‑efficiency target of at least 45 % and a binding 2030 renewable‑energy target of at least 40 % as a necessary step towards becoming an energy‑efficient and 100 % renewable energy-based economy and matching the 2030 target of 65 % GHG emission reduction; insists that the Commission set binding targets for each Member State for both energy efficiency and renewable energy for 2030 and to ensure that all related legislation is clear, enforceable and free from loopholes;

27. Demands an immediate end to direct and indirect nuclear and fossil fuel subsidies at EU level and calls on the Member States to introduce the same requirements at national and sub-national levels; requires Member States as well as public and private pension funds to fully divest from fossil fuels; calls to phase-out nuclear, lignite, coal, peat and oil shale for power generation by 2030 and to ban fossil fuel use by 2040, while ensuring a just and inclusive transition;

28. Underlines that partner countries must be fully integrated in Green Deal policies and also be able to tap into funding, especially for research and just transition. Points to the necessary energy transition in the Western Balkan countries, with regard to energy production from coal and lignite for domestic electricity and heat as well as for electricity imports to the EU;

29. Insists on the fact that the EU must prioritise the fight against poverty, including energy poverty and social justice; supports the inclusion of an energy poverty reduction target and adopt a harmonised definition of energy poverty;

30. Calls on the Commission to design the gas market in line with the energy efficiency first principle and the objective of phasing out fossil fuel use so as to reach climate-neutrality by 2040; believes that the fourth list of Projects of Common Interest is at risk of creating carbon lock-in and would therefore jeopardise the objective of reaching climate-neutrality by 2040; sees a limited role for renewable gas and calls therefore for a restriction of its use in hard-to-decarbonise sectors, while ensuring that renewable gas is restricted to biogas or renewable hydrogen produced from 100 % renewable energy, derived from energy-efficient processes and limited to the sustainable available feed-stock;

31. Recalls that nuclear energy is an unsafe, unsustainable and not cost-effective technology, and therefore acknowledges that nuclear energy does not represent a climate solution and requests the EU, Member States and the EIB to stop financing this technology and to redirect available resources to investments in renewable energy sources, energy efficiency and smart grid development; recognises that nuclear energy is inherently incompatible with a renewable energy mix due to its inflexible supply and harms the development of sustainable solutions; remembers that no country in the world has a deep geological repository for the long‑term disposal of nuclear waste, which causes significant and long-term harm to the environment; proposes the revision of the EURATOM treaty to enshrine safety principles, in particular for the decommissioning of nuclear plants and the storage of radioactive waste as well as the obligation for a liability insurance;

Building and renovating in an energy and resource efficient way

32. Welcomes the proposed initiative to spur a renovation wave in Europe, as well as measures aimed at easing access to finances for building renovation; strongly insists that this must include a special focus on social housing and rented housing;

33. Underlines that every European citizen needs an affordable, healthy and safe place to call home; deplores that non-legislative measures and aspirational initiatives have not proven successful in the past and that current legislations fall short of adequately addressing the challenges;

34. Calls for legislative measures and necessary investments to increase the annual building renovation rate to 3 %, and to ensure that the existing building stock is renovated to nearly zero energy building (nZEB) standard; rejects the idea of extending the EU ETS to building emissions as it would take the responsibility away from public action and could lead to higher energy bills for tenants and homeowners;

35. Highlights the role of citizens’ energy communities and sector integration in a sustainable economy; calls for building policies to become holistic and inclusive so as to combine social services, industrial, mobility and energy functions of homes, workplaces and public buildings to the benefit of European citizens;

36. Stresses that existing initiatives such as the ‘Smart finance for smart buildings initiative’ need higher budgets and have not yet unfolded their full potential; calls for dedicated financing instruments for new business models such as energy service companies (ESCOs), a combination of free advisory services on building renovation with an enlarged and properly funded European Local Energy Assistance (ELENA) facility to identify and bundle small-scale renovation projects into bankable projects, as well as the introduction of additional free advisory services and energy efficiency kits to citizens;

Mobilising industry for a clean and circular economy

37. Welcomes the commitment to a climate neutral and circular economy, and therefore calls on the Commission to ensure that all actions to achieve a climate neutral and circular economy are fully aligned with the zero-pollution ambition for a toxic-free environment to achieve non-toxic material cycles;

38. Calls for the establishment of binding targets at EU level to reduce primary raw material consumption and increase resource efficiency, to achieve a sustainable and clean circular economy at the latest by 2050;

39. Calls for the internalisation of external costs by adequate taxation of resources, and stresses the need to respect the need to keep resource consumption within planetary boundaries in economic accounting and macro-economic policies;

40. Welcomes that in March 2020, the Commission will adopt an EU industrial strategy to address the twin challenge of the green and the digital transformation, yet stresses that the industrial strategy needs to be in line with the objective of reaching climate-neutrality by 2040 and that the renewal of European industry needs to be centred on energy and resource efficiency and a life-cycle and clean circular economy approach if it intends to maintain its competitiveness and become a global leader in eco-friendly production; calls for the introduction of a regular monitoring report focusing on the competitiveness and crisis resistance of eco-industry, -SMEs and -start-ups;

41. Calls for the EU industrial policy to steer investments into creativity, skills, innovation, sustainable technologies and solutions and to promote the modernisation of Europe’s industrial base through a value chain-conscious policy that includes all industrial sectors and actors, including SMEs, and across all EU regions; underlines that the strategy needs to be underpinned by a long-term regulatory framework that includes clear targets and indicators and measuring of progress, and that is based on inclusive and transparent processes that ensure policy coherence;

42. Welcomes the fact that the Commission will adopt a new circular economy action plan, including a ‘sustainable products’ policy, that will prioritise reducing and reusing materials before recycling them, to guide the transition of all sectors; emphasises the role of multi-cycle systems, especially for industrial packaging and food containers such as water bottles, calls for an EU-wide deposit system;

43. Calls for decisive action against intentional and unintentional releases of microplastics and for further measures against single-use plastics; supports the Commission’s intention to revise the rules on waste shipments so as to stop the exports of waste outside the EU;

44. Calls on the Commission to revise the eco-design legislation so as to extend it beyond energy efficiency, including measures to have clear labelling of products’ recyclability and repairability; also asks the Commission to present by March 2020 the eco-design and energy labelling working plan 2020-2024 and to adopt the measures for each specific product group as soon as they are ready;

45. Insists that the Commission include textile in its industrial strategy and give incentives for textile recycling within the EU;

46. Welcomes the Commission’s intention to put sustainability at the heart of the digital sector; in that context, insists on improving energy efficiency and circular economy performance of the digital sector itself, from broadband networks to data centres and ICT devices; calls in this regard for the creation of an EU Green IT strategy with concrete energy efficiency standards for data centres and an IT ecodesign directive which sets binding standards and goals for energy efficiency, resource savings, recyclability and repairability of IT devices, create a ‘right to repair’ for digital end devices, define the requirements for efficiency standards for video platforms such as deactivating autoplay as the default setting, inserting a visible audio-only button or default settings for the video resolution of streaming and video-on-demand services, and establish a European think tank for digital best practice, with the aim of capturing best practice examples for the sustainable use of digitisation and making them available to companies and administrations;

47. Recalls that sustainable and fair supply chains through systematic use of sustainability award criteria in public procurement is a key instrument for achieving the objectives of the European Green Deal; calls on the Commission to thoroughly examine which legislative and non-legislative adjustments of the existing procurement framework are needed in order to ensure full consistency with the objectives of the European Green Deal, in particular that of becoming climate-neutral by 2040, and to come up with a concrete action plan in this field involving specific measurable targets and a monitoring of the progress made by each Member State in this regard;

Accelerating the shift to sustainable and smart mobility

48. Highlights that the transport sector is the only sector in which emissions have risen since 1990, and welcomes the clear recognition that all modes of transport (road, rail, aviation and waterborne transport) will have to fully contribute to the decarbonisation of the transport sector in line with the objective of reaching a climate-neutral economy; strongly supports the objective of internalising all costs that the transport sector has on the environment and health, which currently amount to around EUR 1 000 billion annually reflected in the recent study on externalities and cost internalisation commissioned by the Commission;

49. Considers that the general orientation for transport projects and policy must be based on a comprehensive understanding of all short- and long-term external costs; calls therefore for a comprehensive strategy for the full internalisation of these costs through measures that embed the polluter and user-pay principles as well as the ‘well-to-wheel’ approach; believes that such measures should guarantee a level playing field between all modes of transport and include, but not be limited to, comprehensive road charging, ending fossil fuel subsidies such as those for aviation and maritime fuel, possible interconnection between Member States’ rail infrastructure and affordability of low emission transport, and the lack of VAT on flight tickets, and revisiting state aid guidelines to stop investments in airport expansion;

50. Strongly regrets the fact that the social dimension of an inclusive, non-discriminatory and fully-accessible transport policy is absent from the Commission proposals given the poor working conditions for many transport sector workers and in light of an ageing and unequal society; stresses that, in addition to environmental and health costs, poor working conditions for workers artificially lower the cost of travel and allow socially and environmentally unsustainable business models to flourish;

51. Welcomes the focus on increasing charging infrastructure for electric vehicles, which are part of the solution to reducing road transport emissions; calls nevertheless for a more comprehensive urban mobility plan to reduce congestion and improve liveability in towns and cities, in particular with the aim of reducing the available space for individual cars and replacing it with space for public, active and micro mobility; regrets the absence of a mobility strategy for rural areas, which are typically more isolated and will require significant investments in public transport to ensure their connectivity while reducing emissions;

52. Strongly urges the Commission to support Member States willing to ban the sale of new vehicles equipped with combustion engines after a certain date, and believes it necessary to set an EU-wide ban on conventional combustion engines in new passenger cars and light commercial vehicles by 2030 at the latest to fulfil the objective of reaching climate-neutrality by 2040 while preventing fragmentation of the Single Market; recalls its rejection of the extension of the EU ETS to road transport and calls instead for a strengthening of the CO2 standards for cars, vans and heavy-duty vehicles;

53. Recalls the EEA figures that around 412 000 premature deaths in 2016 were due to air pollution; calls in this regard for a mandatory retrofitting of all diesel vehicles in the EU not complying with EU standards and for the establishment of an EU agency for emission testing as well as for the adoption of EURO 7 standards for vehicle emissions that capture all emissions including from tyres and brakes; calls for EU funding for remote sensing technologies and infrastructure;

54. Calls for a renewed commitment for decisive action on road safety with a ‘Vision Zero’ target by 2030, and a commitment to lower speed limits, increase traffic rule enforcement and car-free urban centres, prioritising active mobility, reducing the need for travel and prioritising a modal shift towards safer and cleaner transport modes;

55. Stresses that the finalisation of the Single European Sky may lead to some efficiency gains but may also lead to an overall increase in air traffic and therefore will not contribute to a significant reduction in aviation emissions required to reach climate-neutrality by 2040; underlines in this regard the importance of ensuring a modal shift from air to rail and calls on the Commission and the Member States to design policies, investments and incentives to ensure that rail journeys in Europe of up to 1 000 km, where feasible and practicable, are more attractive to people than air or road transport equivalents; calls for a moratorium on new aviation agreements that aim at increasing aviation capacity and opening new routes as this runs counter to the objectives of the Green Deal;

56. Deplores the fact that the Commission does not yet intend to eliminate, but only reduce, free allowances for aviation activities under the EU ETS;

57. Stresses that EU transport financing, including all relevant EU funds (CEF, ESIFs, InvestEU, etc.) as well as the EIB transport lending policy, should be tailored to ensure the decarbonisation of the transport sector, prioritising a sustainable modal shift, increasing funding for cross-border and TEN-T network missing rail links while promoting night trains and increasing investments in affordable and accessible public transport, combined transport, active mobility and mobility as a service; recalls that investing in infrastructure such as motorways, parking areas and airports typically causes induced demand, increases emissions and therefore contravenes the objectives of the European Green Deal; believes that the upcoming TEN-T revision is crucial to correct the current framework to focus on a modal shift and binding targets for the shift from road to rail and waterways; considers a stronger articulation of urban transport financing with Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans (SUMPS) to be essential for boosting the urban mobility transformation;

58. Calls on the Commission to adopt legislative proposals to eliminate pollutant emissions from maritime transport (NOx, SOx and PM emissions) and tax fossil fuel usage in shipping, as well as make the use of shore side electricity mandatory and introduce ambitious efficiency standards for ships calling at EU ports; calls on the Commission to set targets for partial sail power, on-board solar and wind energy, and slow steaming which are hugely beneficial fuel savers; urges the Commission to ensure that all ships ordered for EU waters are zero-emission capable, and soon thereafter zero-emission;

From ‘Farm to Fork’: designing a fair, healthy and environmentally-friendly food system

59. Welcomes the Commission’s commitment to ensuring that European food should become a global standard for sustainability and notes that this requires that the whole food supply chain, from farm to fork, covering all the inputs, including feed imports, does no harm to climate and the environment; regrets, however, that the Commission did not seize this opportunity to revise its proposal on the future Common Agricultural Policy to achieve those objectives;

60. Welcomes the fact that the Commission has committed to ensuring that, from the outset, the national strategic plans for agriculture will need to reflect an increased level of ambition to reduce significantly the use and risk of chemical pesticides, as well as the use of fertilisers and antibiotics; recalls the need to shift to high biodiversity, agroecological systems, through ecosystem-based solutions like integrated pest management, crop rotation with legumes and other organic farming practices;

61. Considers that a far-reaching reform of the Common Agricultural Policy is essential for consistency with the EU’s climate and biodiversity targets:

i. Payments should be made only for mitigating climate change, biodiversity restoration, animal welfare and, particularly, reduced pesticide use; the Commission will approve only coupled payments for livestock at a low density;

ii. Direct payments should be capped at a maximum of EUR 50 000 per farm, per year (excluding employment costs), with the product of capping allocated for redistributive payments to the first hectares, thus preventing the subsidies flowing disproportionately to the biggest actors;

iii. 50 % of the national envelopes for the EAGF should be allocated to eco-schemes that meet ambitious criteria consistent with the EU’s climate and biodiversity goals, for farmers transitioning to sustainable practices, particularly agroecology. The Commission shall verify the high ambition and effectiveness of the Member States’ eco-schemes, and closely monitor the results of their implementation;

iv. A well-financed EAFRD should be directed towards supporting farmers and rural communities to fundamentally restructure the local and regional economies towards environmentally and socially sustainable systems, in particular based upon avoiding food waste and shorter supply chains, the protection of nature and promoting employment in rural areas;

62. Calls on the Commission to follow the calls made in the European Parliament resolution of 16 January 2019 on the Union’s authorisation procedure for pesticides, including taking all necessary action to ensure that Member States properly assess pesticide formulations in line with the judgment of the European Court of Justice in Case C-616/17;

63. Calls on the Commission to propose legislation with a binding commitment at EU level to drastically reduce the use of synthetic pesticides by 50 % by 2025 with binding national contributions, with a view to phasing them out in 15 years; calls for a ban on the EU-export of pesticides that are banned in the EU; calls for strictly limiting the emergency authorisation of pesticides to real emergency situations, with detailed rules on notifications, complete and detailed explanations, and the obligation to make those notifications public;

64. Calls on the Commission to finally implement a full European vegetable protein plan with the aim of reducing the importation of deforestation‑driving commodities;

65. Calls on the Commission and the Member States to ensure the full adoption of the 2013 EFSA bee guidance as a matter of urgency and urges Member States in the meantime to align their assessments of pesticides accordingly; further calls on the Commission to act in accordance with Parliament’s position that there should be a ban on all neonicotinoid-based pesticides;

66. Considers it important to set higher standards in legislation for animal welfare and start infringement procedures against systemically non-compliant Member States in the implementation and enforcement of existing animal welfare legislation, whether they be standards for animal transport or farming; in order to considerably reduce animal transport, the Commission should also support local and smaller slaughterhouses and ban the export of living animals outside the EU;

67. Urges the Commission to adopt as soon as possible a Soil Directive with the aim of halting land degradation that leads to the loss of soil, land and carbon sink capacity;

68. Stresses the urgent need to end the over-exploitation of marine biological resources in order to secure the productivity of fisheries, protect marine biodiversity and sustain the ocean’s resilience to the impacts of climate change; urges the Commission and the Member States, therefore, to fully implement the requirements of the Common Fisheries Policy relating to the sustainable harvesting of fish and to the minimisation and, where possible, elimination of harmful impacts of fishing activities on marine ecosystems;

69. Calls on the Commission to further consider how to foster a transition to climate-friendly, low impact, sustainable fisheries in all European sea basins;

70. Stresses that urgent legislative action is needed as regards food contact materials and maximum residue levels of pesticides in food. Urges the Commission to ban potentially dangerous and unnecessary food additives;

71. Calls on the Commission to revise labelling for more transparency on all substances present in food and to improve nutrition labelling (Nutriscore), country of origin labelling and animal welfare labelling; urges the Commission to finally put in place nutrient profiles as part of the Health Claims Directive;

72. Calls for no new authorisations of GMOs (both import and cultivation) since the authorisation procedure does not adequately take into account health risks and impacts on biodiversity; calls on the Commission and the Member States to ensure the full and swift implementation of the ECJ ruling on new GMOs (so called ‘new breeding techniques’) and ensure that new GMOs are not deregulated; stresses that any authorisation procedure should be fully democratic; underlines the importance of natural biodiversity in both adaptation to and mitigation of climate change;

Preserving and restoring ecosystems and biodiversity

73. Welcomes the announcement of the 2030 Biodiversity Strategy to be published by March 2020; believes that an ambitious Strategy is key for the Union to lead the way to COP15 in Kunming and deliver a legally binding agreement to protect and restore global biodiversity; stresses that the EU Biodiversity Strategy should address all the main causes of biodiversity loss in the EU, in particular unsustainable agricultural, forestry and fisheries practices, and set binding targets for the Union and its Member States to protect at least 30 % of the Union’s land and marine areas and to restore at least 30 % of degraded ecosystems by 2030, while promoting their interconnectivity and ensuring their sufficient financing and effective management;

74. Stresses the need for ocean and coastal conservation efforts, both mitigating and adapting to climate change, to protect and restore marine and coastal ecosystems, as outlined in the IPCC special report on oceans and the cryosphere, by minimising impacts of fisheries and aquaculture and extractive industries on marine ecosystems, as well as by minimising marine pollution and shipping emissions; believes that the Common Fisheries Policy should aim at ending overfishing and rebuild stocks above levels which can produce the maximum sustainable yield, and urges Member States to apply this principle in the distribution of fishing quotas;

75. Welcomes the commitment of countries around the Mediterranean Sea to develop comprehensive governance, enhance data collection and scientific evaluation, establish an ecosystem-based fisheries management framework, develop a culture of compliance and eliminate illegal unreported or unregulated fishing, support sustainable small-scale fisheries and aquaculture and achieve greater solidarity and coordination;

76. Strongly encourages the Commission to step up its action to protect and restore forests in the Union and worldwide; reiterates its call to block access to EU markets for products of deforestation and to introduce mandatory due diligence obligations on companies placing deforestation-risk commodities on the Union’s market, such as soy, palm oil, eucalyptus, beef, leather and cocoa; calls on the Commission to stop authorising GM soybeans, the import of which drives large-scale deforestation in countries such as Brazil and Argentina; notes the role of increasingly threatened indigenous peoples and forest communities as custodians and guardians of forest ecosystems;

77. Stresses the current inconsistencies between the Union’s biodiversity objectives and its bioenergy policy; calls therefore on the Commission to adopt stronger sustainability criteria for bioenergy to ensure its contribution does not harm biodiversity and ecosystems;

78. Notes that new afforestation cannot compensate for old growth forest, neither in carbon sinking nor in biodiversity terms; warns against replacing biodiversity forests with species-impoverished plantations, and insists that the flawed concept of ‘biodiversity offsetting’ should not be used as a policy instrument; calls for a European strategy for rewilding Europe and for reconstructing a pan-European forest;

79. Emphasises the importance of increasing both the coverage and effectiveness of protected area networks in order to mitigate and adapt to climate change, and allow biodiversity to recover from multiple stressors; calls on the Commission and the Member States to join efforts to agree on an ambitious global protected areas target for effectively managed and connected marine and terrestrial areas of at least 30 % coverage by 2030; encourages the Union and the Member States to complete the European Green Belt as a pilot project and significant part of European Green Infrastructure;

80. Calls on the Commission to establish binding criteria to ensure the proper management of Flora Fauna Habitat and Natura 2000 areas, to ban harmful activities and pesticide-use in and around protected areas, and to reinforce monitoring and inspections by independent authorities; calls on the Commission to strengthen the Environmental Liability Directive in line with the recommendations of the European Parliament in its resolution adopted on 26 October 2017; calls on the Commission to launch infringement procedures against Member States who do not respect nature protection legislation;

81. Underlines the fact that, often, threats to biodiversity can arise from diverse envisaged infrastructures, such as transport, energy generation and distribution, waste management facilities, or mining activities; recalls that the environmental impact of such projects needs to be properly assessed at the earliest planning stage, alongside the effects on existing socioeconomic activities such as agriculture; recalls that the underlying purpose and spirit of the relevant EU legislation is to prevent, to the greatest possible extent, significant damage to habitats and species with the best possible alternative, which can also be the non-realisation of the project; urges the Commission to live up to its role as guardian of the treaties also in this field, by going beyond its current communication on ‘EU Law: better results through better application’ and duly reviewing the cases of possible breaches of EU environmental legislation exposed by citizens and organisations;

82. Stresses the importance of agreeing on a new international legally binding instrument under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction, by the end of 2020, and calls on the Commission and the Member States to increase efforts to come to an agreement on an ambitious global treaty at the forthcoming fourth Intergovernmental Committee in New York in March 2020;

83. Asks for a legal status to be given to terrestrial and marine ecosystems and for the Commission and the Member States to promote an international status for global commons at the Convention on Biodiversity COP15 meeting in Kunming;

84. Recalls the planetary boundaries with regard to the Blue Growth agenda that should only develop within ecological limits;

A zero pollution ambition for a toxic-free environment

85. Welcomes the zero-pollution ambition for a toxic-free environment and the recognition that this requires more action to prevent pollution as well as measures to clean and remedy it; expects the Commission to align the forthcoming industrial strategy and the Circular Economy Action Plan with its zero pollution ambition;

86. Calls on the Commission to properly apply REACH in line with the judgment in Case T-837/16 (Sweden v European Commission);

87. Calls for action to close all regulatory gaps in EU chemicals legislation and to deliver consistency across all sectors, to accelerate the substitution of toxic chemicals with non-toxic alternatives, using wherever possible a group approach, to deliver on all four elements of the overdue non-toxic environment strategy, in particular with regard to endocrine disrupters and nanomaterials, and to take action against very persistent chemicals;

88. Calls for comprehensive action against all relevant pollutants to restore the natural functions of ground, coastal, marine and surface water;

89. Urges the Commission to revise the Air Quality Directive so as to align the target values to the latest WHO recommendations, and to introduce a short-term value for PM2.5;

90. Calls for a revision of the Seveso Directive in order to ensure environmental health, for the zero pollution/toxic-free strategy to be applied to all industrial activities and a revision of the Off-Shore Directive to ban off-shore drilling;

Financing the European Green Deal and ensuring a just transition

Pursuing green finance and investment and ensuring a just transition

91. Welcomes the recognition of the considerable financing needs to achieve the goals set out in the EGD Communication and the need for an investment plan; further welcomes the recognition in the Communication that sustainability should be further embedded into the corporate governance framework and sustainable investment framework to ensure that the private sector effectively contributes to and does not lean against the objectives of the Green Deal;

92. Welcomes the recent statements by the newly appointed President of the ECB that the institution, both in its monetary and banking supervisory roles, should contribute to the fight against climate change, notably through targeted bond purchases under its programmes and through ensuring the prudent assessment of climate and other environmental risks in the banking system; points out that it is within the mandate of the ESCB to support the general economic policies in the Union with a view to contributing to the achievement of the objectives of the Union as laid down in Article 3 of the Treaty on European Union, which include a high level of protection and improvement of the quality of the environment as well as social justice and protection; urges the Commission to work with the ECB in this regard to ensure the coherent action promised in the EGD communication;

93. Deeply regrets the fact that the Commission estimates set out in the Communication do not address the necessary expenses for climate adaptation or for other environmental challenges, such as biodiversity, as well as public investment needed to address the social costs of the transition or the costs of inaction;

94. Expects the Commission to present a clear financing plan setting out the attribution of investments, which mobilises funding well above the level of 2 % of EU GDP annually, to ensure that all areas needing investment for the transition have the resources needed to decarbonise and protect biodiversity without leaving anybody behind, and covering the different areas of action, including sustainable transport, renewable energy, energy savings and resource efficiency, and restoration of carbon sinks and biodiversity as well as the social costs of the transition;

95. To ensure the comprehensiveness and coherence of the financing required to meet the objectives set out in the Communication, an adequate financing plan must set out clearly which private and public sources of money will be mobilised at EU, national and local level, on what actions they will be spent and how that expenditure is expected to contribute to meeting the targets;

96. Insists that it is essential for policy coherence to climate- and biodiversity proof all EU investments, the entire EU budget must be 100 % compatible with the Paris Agreement goals and calls for the urgent transformation of the EIB into a fully-fledged climate bank;

97. Regrets the inconsistency with the objectives set out in the Communication of the Commission’s retention of a 25 % target for climate spending in the MFF; insists not only that at least 50 % of MFF be dedicated to climate action, but also that the remainder should be climate and biodiversity proof; insists that there be a legal obligation for the planning of all spending under the new MFF to undergo a profound climate proofing with a specifically introduced instrument on climate proofing proposed by the European Commission and European Parliament;

98. Further insists that the EU budget should be fully consistent with its international commitments and objectives and should no longer directly or indirectly finance demand or supply infrastructure for fossil fuels, either in the EU or abroad;

99. Considers that coherence must be fostered by removing all harmful subsidies, including through state aid and indirect subsidies such as tax exemptions, which contribute to the continuation of harmful practices, undermine climate and biodiversity efforts, and use up valuable resources that are needed for a just transition towards a climate-neutral and biodiversity-rich economy;

100. Is of the strong opinion that the revenue side of the EU budget and not just the expenditure side must be fully compatible with the objectives set out in the communication; stresses that the reform of the own resources should lead to a better alignment with the EU policies and priorities;

101. Welcomes the Commission proposals on own resources, especially on the plastic tax and the ETS-based own resource; stresses the need to urgently consider new taxes to increase the EUs own resources and lower the dependence on national contributions;

102. Stresses the need to shift taxation in accordance with the polluters pay principle beyond the carbon border adjustment mechanism to include environmental taxes at the European level, for example on fossil fuels, flights and plastics whose revenue should be earmarked for meeting the environmental and social goals of the EGD; recognises the benefits of harmonised European taxes that replace national taxes and reduce administrative burdens for businesses and consumers;

103. Insists on the need to build on the successes of the sustainable finance initiative to ensure full transparency about the degree of sustainability of the EU financial system, blacklisting the most harmful investments, come forward with a green label for financial products, and redirect investment flows towards the ecological transition of the economy;

104. Looks forward to the expansion of the scope of the EU taxonomy so as to cover environmentally harmful activities; call for the rapid adoption of EU Green Bond standard and for the diligent integration of ESG factors in the prudential framework of banks and other financial intermediaries and the integration of environmental risks in stress tests frameworks;

Greening national budgets and sending the right price signals

105. Welcomes the recognition by the Commission that national budgets play a key role in the transition and that this role is crucially affected by the existing economic governance framework and the treatment of investments promoting the objectives of the Green Deal within EU fiscal rules;

106. Insists that it essential to take a coherent approach to meeting the considerable investment needs at national level that are required to meet the ambitions outlined in the Communication in order to ensure that the EU fiscal rules and the European Semester process are revised:

  to ensure that climate action, environmental and social targets are treated as equally important and binding as debt and deficit targets in the assessment of Member States’ budgets;

  to remove barriers to investment necessary for climate action by spreading the amount of the investment expenditure over the lifetime of the gross capital formation related to public investments compliant with the requirements for sustainable investment under the Taxonomy Regulation;

107. Insists equally that coherence requires a revision of state aid rules (in particular the General Block Exemption Regulation and the Guidelines on State aid for environmental protection and energy) to be fully consistent with GHG reduction and environmental objectives and to strongly disincentivise fossil fuel subsidies, including disguised aid granted to fossil fuels, such as closure aid for coal mines and compensation for stranded assets or airport expansions;

108. Considers it necessary to establish an audit process for checking the consistency of state aid decisions with the EU’s net zero 2040 target;

Activating education and training

109. Welcomes the proposal for a European competence framework to help develop and assess knowledge, skills and attitudes on climate change and sustainable development as well as the proposed initiative to leverage EUR 3 billion of investments in sustainable school infrastructure;

110. Considers it a matter of coherence with the objectives of the Communication to promote ‘green mobility’ in the Erasmus+ 2021-2027 programme

Ensuring a just transition

111. Welcomes the recognition in the Communication of the need for an inclusive and just transition agenda; deplores the lack of proposals in the Communication to address the social and economic inequalities beyond reskilling and jobs in new economic sectors;

112. Deeply regrets that the investment needs presented in the Communication ignore the social costs of the transition and the costs of climate adaptation, all of which must be met to ensure a just transition;

113. Calls on the Commission to underpin the Just Transition Mechanism with solid social policies, especially as regards poverty eradication and social security; calls on the Commission to present, as part of a Just Transition agenda, a European Framework Directive for a minimum income, as poverty eradication empowers people to adapt to change; calls on the Commission to thoroughly assess the distributional effects of existing and new climate policy instruments and to ensure that its policies are as progressive as possible from a distributional point of view in order to minimise potential adverse social effects;

114. Insists that funds from the Just Transition Mechanism should be provided only when an effective and binding fossil phase-out plan has been legislated at Member State level and that no funds are wasted on providing benefits primarily to large enterprises in the coal mining industry, in particular in subsidising their corporate liabilities such as cleaning-up sites and waters, but that it is ordinary people who are the primary beneficiaries;

115. Insists that, to be coherent with the objectives of the Communication, a key part of a Just Transition should be a major programme aimed at greening the housing stock as well as building new social, nearly zero energy housing. Points out that this would not only contribute significantly to climate action and affordability but would also create long-term green jobs, reduce household indebtedness, and tackle health issues;

116. Insists on a truly transparent process for accessing funds intended to ensure a just transition, so that they can be closely monitored in order to ensure efficiency, consistency and inclusiveness;

117. Insists that opportunities should be provided equally for rural areas as for urban areas, to ensure a just transition throughout society;

118. Strongly disagrees with the Commission’s proposal to rely mainly on financial instruments including InvestEU for the financing of the Just Transition;

119. Calls for a reform of EU merger policies, taking account of the social and environmental impacts of potential mergers;

120. Calls on the European Commission to implement systematic gender impact assessments and allocate specific funds for gender equality in relevant climate actions and policies of the European Green Deal;

Mobilising research and fostering innovation

121. Welcomes the Commission’s emphasis on the need to work across sectors and disciplines as well as giving the EU R&I agenda a systemic approach; deplores the fact that EU R&I climate spending is not commensurate with the scale of the climate and environmental emergency; stresses the need to increase EU R&I spending under Horizon Europe to at least 50 % (from currently 35 %) for responsible innovative technologies, products and businesses and non-technological solutions, with no more public investments in fossil-related R&I activities; stresses the need for a systemic climate mainstreaming and climate proofing for all programmes in the EU R&I agenda;

122. Considers it essential that the Green Deal promotes systemic change and not end-of-pipeline technological fixes that maintain an unsustainable system and input dependency. Warns against the so-called ‘innovation principle’ frequently used by industry to promote innovation of any kind at any cost; notes that there are often existing simpler, cheaper and more effective, scale-appropriate techniques and solutions, such as agro-ecology, that already exist to help tackle the climate and biodiversity crisis; calls on the Commission to support only innovation which is for the public good, is participative, sustainable, does not cause harm and follows the precautionary principle;

123. Promote key industrial projects aimed at emission and resource reduction and make more targeted use of ‘Important projects of Common European Interest’ (IPCEI) for climate-proof projects that have a real added value in reaching a net-zero economy;

124. Deplores that the future SME strategy is not part of the EGD; reiterates that SMEs are the backbone of the European economy; emphasises the need to closely interlink the SME- and industrial strategy as well as the goal of reaching climate neutrality by 2040; launch an ambitious Eco-Innovation/’Green unicorns’ programme, with dedicated measures and funds to support SMEs and start-ups in climate and circular economy sectors, including a one-stop-shop for information and advice, on matters such as financing, operating across the internal market, as well as on how to factor in sustainability and resource efficiency by design and as an integral part of their business plans and operation;

125. Stresses that innovation should be stimulated in technologies important to the transition to sustainable economies, such as photovoltaic cells and batteries aimed at increasing their energy- and resource-efficiency and recyclability;

‘Do no harm’ – Mainstreaming sustainability in all EU policies

126. Welcomes the commitment in the Communication to the principle that all EU actions and policies should pull together to help the EU achieve a successful and just transition towards a sustainable future. Notes that this minimum requirement not only maximises the effectiveness of action but avoids wasting public resources;

127. Welcomes the fact that the Commission will align all future policy initiatives with the objectives of the Green Deal, yet underlines the need to also assess the consistency of existing legislation with the objectives set out in the communication and to take into account the cost of non-action;

128. Welcomes the Commission’s commitment to step up efforts to ensure that legislation and policies are enforced and effectively implemented; calls on the Commission to take swift action where EU law is breached, in particular to close the implementation gaps identified in the 2019 Environmental Implementation Review, and to speed up the infringement processes of environmental legislation;

129. Welcomes the fact that the explanatory memorandum accompanying all legislative proposals and delegated acts will include a specific section explaining how each initiative upholds the principle of ‘do no harm’; calls for this to be extended to include implementing acts and RPS measures;

130. Underlines the essential role of the precautionary principle as the engine of beneficial innovation and sound law‑making and the fact that it has helped to bring new, safer products to market and encouraged innovations that promote environmental, social and economic sustainability;

131. Insists that only innovations that contribute to the sustainable solution of major socio-economic and ecological challenges while protecting consumer rights should receive public support;

The EU as Global Leader

132. Welcomes the Commission’s intention to ensure that respect for the Paris agreement is an essential element behind all future trade agreements and that all chemicals, materials, food and other products placed on the European market fully comply with relevant EU regulations and standards; notes in this regard that respect for the principles and objectives of the Paris Agreement should be a condition for all budgetary assistance for third countries and partnership agreements;

133. Welcomes the fact that the Commission recognises that the global climate and environmental challenges are a significant threat multiplier and a source of instability; notes in this regard that climate security concerns and the willingness to enforce global environmental governance should be integrated into all EU foreign policy actions and that the EU should develop capacities to monitor climate change-related risks, which should include conflict sensitivity, crisis prevention policies and an anticipatory approach to the geopolitical dimensions of decarbonisation by countering its effects through long-term engagement strategies;

134. Underlines that all EU climate adaptation funds should contain human rights safeguards; supports, furthermore, the inclusion of human rights and gender equality safeguards for all Article 6 mechanisms of the Paris Agreement as well as the implementation of a grievance mechanism for communities affected by the implementation of Article 6 mechanisms;

135. Regrets the lack of any mention at all in the mission letter of the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs of the importance of external action consistent with the aims of the EGD; expects this to be corrected with a clear mandate to use all the influence available to the EU in its dealings with global partners in order to ensure the highest level of ambition on climate and biodiversity; calls for the end of shale gas imports from non-­EU members;

136. Notes that a global trade agenda, based on the overconsumption of natural resources far exceeding our planetary boundaries, drives habitat destruction in third countries and promotes the replacement of sustainable production with unsustainable monocultural and chemical‑dependent production, dumping practices, and the totally unjustifiable simultaneous export and importation of the same goods and commodities; calls on the Commission to thoroughly review the EU’s trade policy in order to ensure that it is fully coherent with the ambitions set out in the Communication;

137. Stresses that strengthening transparency, sustainability and accountability in global value chains is an instrumental and necessary condition to make trade work for sustainable development. In order to achieve this, calls on the Commission to swiftly propose an EU legal framework introducing mandatory corporate due diligence for EU companies throughout their supply chains;

138. Calls on the Commission to also revise existing trade agreements in order to more fully incorporate the Sustainable Development Goals, ambitious environmental and climate provisions as well as social and labour standards in these bilateral agreements and thus incentivise partners to adopt climate strategies in accordance with the Paris Agreement;

139. Calls on the Commission to ensure that compliance with the Paris Agreement, the Sustainable Development Goals and ambitious environmental and climate provisions amounts to a mandatory, strictly enforced requirement across all chapters of existing and new trade and investment agreements; considers that the newly created post of Chief Enforcement Officer should be in a position to ensure that compliance is effectively implemented, including by European economic actors abroad and their subcontractors, and that trade agreements can be suspended in case of non-compliance;

140. Considers that the EU-Mercosur Agreement, and in particular its provisions in the chapters on market access, sanitary and phytosanitary rules (SPS), technical barriers to trade (TBT), intellectual property, raw materials and energy, contradict the goals of the European Green Deal and that, therefore, the agreement should be fully renegotiated taking full account of conditions halting climate change and protecting the environment and biodiversity;

141. Calls on the Commission in its efforts to promote the EU as leader of international climate and biodiversity negotiations to design a concrete action plan to deliver on the commitments of the renewed 5-year Gender Action Plan agreed at COP25 (Enhanced Lima work programme), to promote gender equality in the UNFCCC process, and to appoint a permanent EU gender and climate change focal point, with sufficient budget resources, to implement and monitor gender-responsible climate action in the EU and globally;

142. Insists that there should be no Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) mechanisms or any similar privileged treatment for investors in any new trade and investment agreements; calls on the Union and the Member States to quit the Energy Charter Treaty which enables fossil fuel industry to sue for lost revenues;

143. Stresses that the EU has a role to play in ensuring a just and orderly transition in all parts of the world, especially in regions that are heavily dependent on fossil fuel production and whose political instability could have serious global consequences;

144. Stresses the necessity to further step up ecological transformation by pursuing the EGD’s objectives also throughout the EU’s external relations, and in particular with its Eurasian partners in line with the EU’s Connectivity Strategy of 2018, which mentions sustainable connectivity as its first principle;

145. Urges the Commission and the Member States to pursue international fisheries management that is consistent with the requirements of the Common Fisheries Policy and the preservation of a healthy, productive and resilient global ocean; stresses in particular the need for the Union and its Member States to follow the best available scientific advice so as to set fishing opportunities that have a very high probability of maintaining or recovering fish populations above levels capable of producing maximum sustainable yield as soon as possible;

146. Considers it essential to the consistency of the European Green Deal that the export of emissions from importing goods (including agricultural produce) produced to standards lower than the EU’s as well as exporting waste of all kinds should be stopped;


° °

147. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, and the governments and parliaments of the Member States.


Last updated: 14 January 2020
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