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O-000023/2021 (B9-0010/2021)

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Segunda-feira, 26 de Abril de 2021 - Bruxelas Edição revista

26. Proteção dos solos (debate)
Vídeo das intervenções
PV
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  President. – The next item is the debate on

– the oral question to the Council on soil protection by Pernille Weiss, Maria Arena, Martin Hojsík, Manuela Ripa, Alexandr Vondra, Idoia Villanueva Ruiz, on behalf of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (O-000024/2021 - B9-0011/21), and

– the oral question to the Commission on soil protection by Pernille Weiss, Maria Arena, Martin Hojsík, Manuela Ripa, Alexandr Vondra, Idoia Villanueva Ruiz, on behalf of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (O-000023/2021 - B9-0010/21).

 
  
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  Martin Hojsík, author. – Mr President,‘Es gibt in der ganzen Natur keinen wichtigeren, keinen der Betrachtung würdigeren Gegenstand als den Boden’. These are words of Friedrich Albert Fallou, the founder of modern soil science, 150 years ago. And sadly, it looks like we again haven’t listened to the scientists.

Our own European Environmental Agency very clearly says that: ‘The absence of suitable EU soil legislation contributes to the soil degradation within Europe. (…) The lack of a comprehensive and coherent soil policy framework for protecting Europe’s land and soil resources is the key gap that reduces the effectiveness of the existing incentives and measures’ and limits the ability to achieve our goals including the European Green Deal and climate neutrality.

So again, Europe is not on track to protect its limited soil resources based on the existing strategies. And, what’s more, a number of threats to the soil like compaction, like salinisation, like soil sealing are not even addressed in the EU legislation at all. And due to that, we are failing to meet our international obligations, for example with the sustainable development goals. We hear a lot about chemicals and about biodiversity, but I want to point out one particular problem with the soil and that is that we are losing carbon from the soil.

We are losing carbon and adding to greenhouse gas emissions where soil could be an amazing carbon sink, a natural carbon sink, just when we do things right and change our agricultural policies. And there is no soil without life; they are inseparable. The living beings make the soil alive. They make the difference between just a mass of mineral particles. Yet we are destroying this life. We are destroying this life with overuse of hazardous pesticides, with overuse of nitrates or other synthetic fertilisers. Protecting soil means protecting life.

As a result of the political squabbling in the past we have lost the chance to have the legal framework for soil so far, but I hope that the times are changing. The planned revision of the Soil Thematic Strategy from 2006 is a great and welcome step from the Commission but it is not enough. It is our responsibility to correct the past mistakes and conserve the soil for future generations.

We therefore call on the Commission to work with the Members States on closing the gaps in soil protection by proposing an EU-wide common legal framework, of course with the full respect of the subsidiarity principle, for the protection and suitable use of soil. A legal framework that will address all main soil threats, include criteria for its good status and measurable targets, clarify the responsibilities of stakeholders and last, but not least, ensure policy coherence, so the left hand knows what the right hand is doing. And often that is not happening.

We believe that the overarching policy at EU level with clear definitions will not only bring many opportunities for landowners and ensure a well-functioning internal market, but most importantly it will ensure that there is life on the planet and there is food on our tables.

So I would really like to ask the Council if, in the context of the objectives of the EU on climate change and biodiversity, does the Council overall support a common EU legal framework for soil protection at EU level and commit to prevent further degradation and to treating soil as a common resource and an ecosystem? And what actions is the Council considering in order to facilitate a future EU legal framework for soil protection?

And to the Commission, what are the main challenges you see to adequate soil protection within the EU, and how would the challenges benefit from a common approach, noting also the private ownership of land? How do you plan to battle the loss of organic matter in soil, the degradation and desertification? Will the Commission propose new legislation on soil protection and its sustainable use? What elements would such legislation include? And is the Commission planning to include financial instruments and technical support as part of its proposal? Because it’s not only about telling the farmers, for example, but landowners in general, what to do, it’s also about giving them the proper tools and the means to deliver.

 
  
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  Ana Paula Zacarias, President-in-Office of the Council. – Mr President, I would like to thank the European Parliament for its interest in this issue of soil protection and for the question put forward by the honourable Members. As you rightly pointed out, honourable Members, in your question, soil is the source of all life and it carries out a range of functions and services without which human life would not be possible. So it is important to be here today.

Soil provides nutrients that sustain plants for food and energy. It purifies most of the water on the Earth, thereby supplying us with drinking water. It also regulates rainfall, prevents floods and acts as a buffer against pollutants. Soil is critical in helping to reduce the pace of climate change and it is the largest store of carbon on land. Much of the planet’s biodiversity resides in the soil. And yet, as you pointed out, soil is a fragile commodity that can easily erode. We are acutely aware that soil degradation continues to increase within the EU and that currently almost 13% of land in Europe suffers from a moderate to high level of erosion.

We have read attentively the main conclusions of the European Environment Agency’s 2020 State of the Environment report and we have duly taken note of the warning it provides. Unless Member States reduce annual rates of land take and increase land recycling, the target zero net land take by 2050 is unlikely to be met. This is the reason why – and it is in the most recent conclusions on biodiversity adopted by the Council last October – we express support for stepping up efforts to better protect soil and soil biodiversity. In its conclusions, the Council reaffirmed its commitment to addressing desertification and land degradation in the EU and to reach land degradation neutrality by 2030. The Council also reiterated its will to make progress towards the objective of zero net land take by 2050.

It is also important to take this opportunity to recall that the recent agreement reached between the Council and Parliament on the LIFE Regulation foresees in its Article 3 that the general objective of the LIFE programme will be to contribute to the shift towards a sustainable economy with a view to protecting, restoring and improving the quality of the environment, including that of soil, to halt and reverse biodiversity loss and to tackle the degradation of ecosystems.

In addition, similar attention is given to soil in the Council’s mandate agreed on the 8th environment action programme. The Council mandate establishes the pursuit of a zero pollution ambition for a toxin—free environment, including for air, water and soil, and the enhancement of European natural capital, notably air, water, soil and forests, as well as the fight against desertification and soil degradation.

Allow me to mention as well that the Council remains fully committed to the fulfilment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and, in this regard, let me emphasise SDG 15.3, which aims to combat desertification, restore degraded land and soil, including land affected by desertification, droughts and floods, and strives to achieve a land degradation neutral world by 2030.

In view of the above, the Council welcomes the planned update of the 2006 EU soil thematic strategy, which aims to address soil and land degradation within the EU in a comprehensive way, and we look forward to the adoption of this strategy by the Commission.

Finally, let me reassure you that the Presidency is fully committed and determined to work with Parliament and the Commission on soil protection once this updated strategy has been put forward. We will also work with you on any emerging initiatives that are proposed in this regard.

 
  
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  Virginijus Sinkevičius, Member of the Commission. – Mr President, let me first of all start by thanking you for your strong support for soil protection and for putting this very important matter on this week’s plenary agenda. I’m very happy to reply tonight on behalf of the Commission to the main questions you raise in your oral question and to be able to bring you good news on how our work is advancing.

As you know, our soil and the biodiversity it contains is a vast biological engine driving a multitude of processes that underpin our well-being and our survival. Soil is one of the earth’s biggest carbon sinks and holds one quarter of terrestrial biodiversity. Fertile soils provide us with healthy food, clean drinking water and potential medicines.

But land and soil degradation is getting worse. It is estimated to now cost Europeans around 38 billion per year. The Commission has been advocating a common approach since many years and for joint action by the EU and its Member States to reverse these trends. Yet today, and although degradation advances relentlessly, the EU is still not equipped with a legal framework that would give the same protection to soil as to water, air, the marine environment and nature.

In the context of the Green Deal, we have therefore decided to come back to the issue. When we look at soil legislation in the Member States, the picture is uneven. In Member States where pressures on soil are high, there are often fewer policy instruments to protect those soils. But strong measures pay dividends.

Member States with targets and strong legislation have made faster progress in managing soils contaminated by the industrial action of the past. Today, very few Member States have a comprehensive framework covering soil protection, restoration, sustainable use and monitoring, and the playing field is not level. The question of who pays for remediation varies considerably. In some Member States, these costs are fully covered by the public sector. In others, up to 70% of soil remediation costs have to be paid by the private sector.

This House has been calling for a new strategy, and in the coming months the Commission will deliver. In line with what we announced in the European Green Deal and in the biodiversity strategy, the framework we will propose in autumn will give a renewed impetus to soil protection with tangible steps to strengthen existing protection and reduce threats.

We are also working on a legislative proposal for binding nature restoration targets later on this year. This will help restore degraded ecosystems, including soil, and we are stepping up protection in a number of ways. As part of the farm-to-fork strategy, the Commission will take additional actions to reduce by 2030 the overall risk and use of chemical pesticides by 50%, the use of more hazardous pesticides by 50%, and the sale of antimicrobials by 50%. We will also act to reduce nutrient losses by at least 50% while ensuring that there is no deterioration in soil fertility.

The current legislation that addresses change in soil organic carbon, the land use, the land use change and forestry regulation is being reviewed, and proposals for related targets under the Green Deal and climate target plan are expected in the summer in the so-called ‘Fit for 55’ package.

Finally, the zero pollution action plan for air, water and soil due in May will cover the issue of contaminated sites. Progress will be monitored through the EU Soil Observatory, hosted by the Joint Research Centre and by the EU Copernicus Earth Observation and Monitoring programme.

Honourable Members, the importance of soil protection and political expectations to act are high. This is why the Commission is convinced that common rules and a clearer policy framework are needed, as they will also help Member States, regions and stakeholders to use the available EU funds more effectively.

And let me close by stressing that these new initiatives for soil protection will, of course, take full account of the principle of subsidiarity. They will complement national actions and address policy gaps identified at EU level.

 
  
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  Pernille Weiss, for PPE-Gruppen. – Hr. formand! Man kan have jord i hovedet. Det er ikke så godt. Man skal helst have jord under fødderne, for så står mennesket allerbedst. Jord former landskabet og føder maden, jord renser vandet. Og så bliver den stort set liggende, hvor vi har bestemt, at den skal. Jord er en af de mest basale ingredienser for liv. Derfor skylder vi vores børn og børnebørn at passe godt på den. Af samme årsag, så giver det god mening, at EU nærmer sig et sæt af fundamentale aftaler for, hvordan vi gør det fremover. Det er EPP helt med på. Derfor er vi også meget tilfredse med den tekst, der nu er aftalt mellem de fleste af Parlamentets partigrupper, hvorfor jeg også anbefaler, at vi stemmer for alle de indgåede kompromiser. I den forbindelse stor tak til Martin Hojsík for din vilje til demokratiets fornemste opgave, nemlig at sikre bred opbakning til det muliges kunst. Det, som vi i EPP er særligt glade for, er selvfølgelig, at medlemsstaternes ansvar markeres tydeligt, ligesom respekten for, at for det meste jord i EU er privatejet, og det er understreget. Der er således sat nogle tydelige hegnspæle i det politiske landskab, som Kommissionen skal måle den kommende aktionsplan for vand, luft og jord ud efter. Det sikrer forhåbentligt et fornuftigt og realistisk udspil, som ikke efterlader nogen som helst med indtrykket af, at nede i EU, der har de stadigvæk jord i hovedet.

 
  
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  Maria Arena, au nom du groupe S&D. – Monsieur le Président, la dernière résolution que ce Parlement a votée sur la protection des sols date de 2007 et depuis, nous assistons à un manque de volonté politique des États membres qui, pendant quatorze années, ont bloqué toute initiative visant une approche coordonnée et harmonisée de la protection des sols européens.

Cette inaction signifie, on l’a dit, une pollution diffuse des sols toujours plus importante, des risques de désertification, de salinisation et d’érosion, une pression sur notre climat et notre alimentation, ou encore une perte importante de la biodiversité dommageable pour tous. Des années perdues qui rendent ces tendances difficiles et parfois impossibles à inverser, alors que nos connaissances scientifiques nous démontrent que des sols en bonne santé sont tout simplement indispensables pour la vie des écosystèmes.

Je salue donc l’initiative de la Commission européenne de venir effectivement avec une stratégie sur la protection des sols. Notre rapport donne des lignes politiques fortes dont la Commission pourra s’inspirer et insiste sur la création d’un cadre européen législatif qui devra, à mon sens, tenir compte de toutes les menaces qui pèsent aujourd’hui sur les sols.

Par ailleurs, nous espérons cette fois que le Conseil réalise l’intérêt commun que nous avons à protéger les sols – et si certains n’étaient pas convaincus, je vais juste lire une partie du rapport de la FAO, qui date de 2018 et qui dit: «la pollution des sols provoque une réaction en chaîne. Elle altère la biodiversité des sols, réduit la matière organique du sol et la capacité des sols à agir comme un filtre. Elle contamine l’eau stockée dans les sols et les eaux souterraines et provoque un déséquilibre des éléments nutritifs présents dans le sol [...]. La pollution des sols a des effets dévastateurs sur l’environnement et a des répercussions sur toutes les formes de vie», y compris sur les vies humaines, en créant de nouveaux cancers. «Outre l’impact sur l’environnement, la pollution des sols a également un coût économique élevé en raison de la réduction des rendements et de la qualité des récoltes. La prévention de la pollution des sols devrait être une priorité absolue à l’échelle de la planète.» Et de conclure: «polluer les sols, c’est polluer notre avenir.» Nous avons perdu quatorze années; nous n’avons plus le temps d’attendre.

 
  
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  Jérémy Decerle, au nom du groupe Renew. – Monsieur le Président, Monsieur le Commissaire, chers collègues, je m’associe tout à fait à la volonté exprimée par ce Parlement de vouloir que l’Union européenne appréhende pleinement, dans sa globalité, la préservation des sols et de leur qualité. Je pense que pour y parvenir, nous devrons collectivement, avec toutes les institutions, être capables de définir des lignes prioritaires et claires. À mon sens, trois principes doivent nous guider.

Premièrement, pour préserver nos sols, il faut déjà s’assurer qu’il nous en reste assez. Si l’érosion est un enjeu mondial réel qui n’épargne pas notre continent, l’artificialisation et l’urbanisation incontrôlées sont la première menace à laquelle nous devons faire face. L’extension galopante des surfaces artificialisées est tout le contraire de la durabilité. C’est une compétence nationale aujourd’hui, mais c’est indéniablement un enjeu commun.

Deuxièmement, aussi bien pour nos forêts que pour notre agriculture, notre premier objectif doit être de garder et de retrouver des sols vivants, tant pour des raisons de biodiversité que de climat, de productivité et de durabilité. En somme, c’est ça le résultat premier que nous devons viser.

Troisièmement, il faut que les pratiques agricoles favorables – prairies permanentes, couverture du sol ou stockage de carbone – qui sont bien connues et déjà appliquées sur beaucoup de territoires soient identifiées, encouragées et rémunérées, que ce soit par le marché ou par les politiques agricoles publiques. La politique agricole commune contribue déjà et peut le faire davantage. Les acteurs économiques ont tout leur rôle à jouer en valorisant ces pratiques dans leur stockage.

Si nous ne nous dispersons pas, cette approche est réaliste; elle est plus facile à mettre en œuvre aujourd’hui qu’elle ne l’était hier, parce que nous avons fait des progrès dans les outils d’évaluation de la qualité des sols qui sont aujourd’hui plus simples à utiliser. Pour atteindre ces objectifs ambitieux, nous avons la responsabilité de reconnaître le travail déjà fait par les agricultrices et les agriculteurs qui mesurent parfaitement ces enjeux. Le sol est le support de travail de ceux qui cultivent et soignent nos terres, et qui sont bien les premiers intéressés par leur durabilité.

 
  
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  Manuela Ripa, im Namen der Verts/ALE-Fraktion. – Herr Präsident, lieber Herr Kommissar Sinkevičius! Rund 70 % unserer Böden sind in einem schlechten Zustand: Versiegelung, Wüstenbildung, Erosion, Überdüngung, Pestizidbelastung und, und, und. Unsere lebensnotwendige Ressource Boden darf nicht weiter achtlos mit Füßen getreten werden. Boden ist eine endliche Ressource. Ist der Boden erst einmal beeinträchtigt oder zerstört, werden die kommenden Generationen seine Wiederherstellung nicht erleben.

Wir haben europäische Regelungen für den Schutz von Wasser und von Luft, aber eben leider immer noch nicht für Boden. Dabei ist er genauso wichtig für unser Überleben. Deswegen, Herr Kommissar, brauchen wir eine starke EU-Gesetzgebung. Ein erster Versuch hierzu ist an einer jahrelangen Sperrminorität im Rat gescheitert. Wie viel wertvolle Zeit wurde damit verspielt! Jetzt haben wir die Zeit nicht mehr. Jetzt müssen wir handeln. Es ist fünf nach zwölf.

Artensterben, Klimakrise, Verlust unserer Ressourcen – und die Mitgliedstaaten denken leider nur an kurzfristige Gewinne und setzen langfristiges Denken aus. Das tragen viele Abgeordnete hier im Europäischen Parlament mit. Was muss noch alles passieren, damit das aufhört?

Und noch etwas an alle, die eine einheitliche Regelung verhindern wollen: Die Folgen zerstörten Bodens machen vor keiner Landesgrenze halt. Deshalb: Der Bodenschutz muss europäisch angegangen werden; er muss zudem umfassend in die Gesetzgebung des European Green Deal eingebracht werden. Keine nationalen Alleingänge mehr! Das hat uns nicht weitergebracht, das ist sogar wissenschaftlich erwiesen. Daher: Stimmen Sie für diese Entschließung, die eine gute Grundlage bietet!

 
  
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  Idoia Villanueva Ruiz, en nombre del Grupo The Left. – Señor presidente, en primer lugar, quiero agradecer a mis compañeros y compañeras parlamentarias la colaboración en esta Resolución tan importante. A diferencia del aire o del agua, el suelo no cuenta con regulación alguna por parte de la Unión Europea. Y no es una cuestión baladí: el suelo es un elemento fundamental para la acción climática y para la vida en nuestros territorios. Su protección hoy no puede esperar.

Empiezo con un recuerdo al trabajo incansable de la sociedad civil. En 2016, la iniciativa ciudadana «People4Soil» unió los esfuerzos de cientos de organizaciones. Señalaban el estado crítico del suelo y clamaban por una acción decidida para protegerlo. Cinco años después, la situación es aún más alarmante. El agotamiento de nuestros suelos a nivel mundial es una de las crisis más preocupantes y menos conocidas de la actual emergencia climática. El 33 % de los suelos de la Tierra ya están dañados y más del 90 % podrían degradarse para 2050. El deterioro avanza a pasos agigantados, ya que entre el 60 % y el 70 % de los suelos de Europa se encuentran hoy en un estado de insalubridad.

Hasta la fecha, las medidas de protección del suelo han sido lamentablemente insuficientes, por lo que necesitamos de manera urgente un marco legal vinculante que brinde protección al suelo y garantice un uso sostenible del mismo. El suelo —la tierra— es mucho más que un recurso natural: es un ecosistema, vivo y complejo, que tiene un papel esencial en la regulación del clima. Es una de las mejores herramientas para hacer frente al cambio climático, para la adaptación y la mitigación del mismo.

Pero es que del suelo también depende nuestra agricultura, nuestra ganadería: un bien imprescindible para nuestro sustento y básico para nuestra soberanía alimentaria. Los modelos de producción y explotación del mismo tienen un impacto directo en su conservación. No son lo mismo las grandes explotaciones —las macrogranjas— que apostar, como lo hacen muchos agricultores y ganaderos, por la explotación sostenible sanitaria, medioambiental y socialmente. En este sentido, también es un factor esencial para la vertebración y la cohesión territorial. Al igual que el suelo es un elemento diverso, lo son también las actividades que de él se nutren y los entornos que acoge y lo habitan.

El vínculo entre el suelo —la tierra— y el mundo rural es estrecho, y debemos ser capaces de garantizar su cuidado. Las raíces, el patrimonio que de él mana, son diversos, y este acervo es el que hace del suelo un bien público común. Es el eslabón entre la lucha climática y el desarrollo territorial y económico sostenible.

Hoy, el Parlamento envía un mensaje firme a la Comisión y al Consejo. Esperamos una propuesta de marco legal que proteja al suelo, que lo defina como lo que es: un bien común, fuente de vida de nuestros pueblos, nuestra agricultura y ganadería, y herramienta imprescindible de la lucha contra el cambio climático. Aprovecho este momento para recordar a esta Cámara lo que la ciudadanía nos está diciendo en las calles: la Ley del Clima, hoy, no está a la altura de la historia. No podemos esperar treinta años para alcanzar la neutralidad climática. ¿Por qué se empeñan en proteger los grandes intereses económicos de unos pocos frente a la tierra de todos? Parafraseando a Antonio Machado: la tierra, «la tarde está muriendo como un hogar humilde que se apaga».

 
  
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  Alexander Bernhuber (PPE). – Herr Präsident, sehr geehrter Herr Kommissar! Ich komme selbst von einem Bauernhof, bin heute Vormittag noch auf dem Traktor gesessen und habe unser Feld bearbeitet, habe den Boden bearbeitet und habe vielleicht noch etwas Erde unter meinen Fingernägeln. Heute debattieren wir hier im Europäischen Parlament über Boden, über Bodenschutz, und das passt, glaube ich, gut zusammen. Es ist sehr schön, über solch ein wichtiges Thema zu reden, wo wir gemeinsam wirklich große Herausforderungen haben, wie die Bodenversiegelung oder wie wir gemeinsam Kohlenstoff im Boden speichern können.

Jedes Mitgliedsland hat hier seine eigenen Herausforderungen. Den Schwarzen Peter – wie so oft – hier aber der Landwirtschaft zuzuschieben und unsere Bäuerinnen und Bauern als Verursacher darzustellen – sie sind schuld, den Boden zu verseuchen –, halte ich aber nicht für richtig und brauchen wir uns als Landwirtschaft nicht gefallen zu lassen.

Glauben Sie mir eines: Wenn ich heute Vormittag noch selbst auf dem Traktor gesessen bin, dann ist es mein größtes Anliegen, die Böden zu schützen. Wir wissen, was die Grundlage ist, und gerade Böden sind unsere Grundlage, um die europäische Bevölkerung mit besten Lebensmitteln zu versorgen. Darum ist es mir wichtig, dass wir gemeinsame Lösungen finden, gemeinsam etwas schaffen und hier nicht Vorschriften haben, von denen keiner etwas hat.

 
  
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  Deirdre Clune (PPE). – Mr President, I thank the Commissioner for his comments and for commitment to prepare a strategy on this very important topic. Protection of our soil, like air and water, we need to approach the protection of our soil to the same level, give it the same attention. Healthy soils, as we all know, are essential in achieving the objectives of our European Green Deal: climate neutrality, biodiversity restoration, healthy and sustainable food systems, and a resilient soil environment. It’s actually imperative that we protect, sustainably manage, restore and preserve our soil to its capacity to fulfil the multiple roles that it has as a sink, a sieve, a filter, source of nutrients and a source of food.

And I think data protection, data collection is going to be really important in this. Data is probably more important than sentiment. We need a comprehensive monitoring system, an exchange of best practices on soil protection, and we need to engage in the challenges of technology, in communications that we do have that can hinder consistency and interoperability at EU level in this area. So I’m looking forward to working with my colleagues as we move forward in this area to protect another vital resource on our planet. That’s our soil.

 
  
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  Peter Liese (PPE). – Herr Präsident, Herr Kommissar, liebe Kolleginnen und Kollegen! Am vergangenen Mittwochmorgen um 5.05 Uhr haben wir gemeinsam mit den Vertretern des Rates und der Kommission das neue Klimaschutzgesetz der Europäischen Union endgültig vereinbart. Es ist noch nicht so weit durchgedrungen in der Öffentlichkeit, deswegen sage ich es jetzt nochmal.

Die Art und Weise, wie wir Boden nutzen, war die wichtigste Änderung gegenüber dem Kommissions- und dem Ratsvorschlag. Wir haben im Bereich LULUCF die Zusage von der Kommission bekommen, dass die Anstrengungen erhöht werden und dass wir damit rechnen können, dass 300 Millionen Tonnen CO2 eingespart werden – das entspricht 2 % Steigerung des europäischen Klimaziels, und das sollte man nicht kleinreden. Wir als EVP setzen auf Anreize für Landwirte und Waldbauern, um diese zusätzlichen Leistungen zu erreichen.

Wir glauben darüber hinaus, dass viele andere Punkte im Rahmen der Subsidiarität geregelt werden müssen. Also anders als bei Wasser und Luft haben wir hier nicht in allen Bereichen europäischen Regelungsbedarf, sondern nur dort, wo es – wie zum Beispiel beim Klima – grenzüberschreitende Auswirkungen gibt.

Ich denke, da hat die Entschließung eine gute Balance gefunden. Wir werden an einzelnen Stellen einzelne Formulierungen nicht mittragen, aber im Wesentlichen stimmen wir der Entschließung zu. Vielen Dank an Pernille Weiss und alle, die geholfen haben. Ich glaube, wir werden da morgen ein gutes Ergebnis erzielen.

 
  
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  Virginijus Sinkevičius, Member of the Commission. – Mr President, I would like to thank the honourable Members once again for their support in putting soil protection so high on their policy agenda. It is one of the most important environmental challenges of our times, and success is essential for us to achieve our objectives on climate, biodiversity and zero pollution. We will take the resolution which you will vote on tomorrow fully into account.

Soil is also the only environmental medium which so far is not covered by a comprehensive and coherent policy framework. This gap reduces the effectiveness of the existing incentives and measures and would limit Europe’s ability to achieve future Green Deal objectives. So I’m therefore convinced that we need a holistic policy framework on soil. Without it, soil and land degradation will continue to accelerate, further aggravating the climate and biodiversity crisis. The EU will risk failing to achieve its Green Deal targets on climate change, biodiversity and food security and safety. Lastly, there will be no level playing field for EU economic operators that use the soil, which creates distortion in the common market.

With a common framework, in full respect of subsidiarity and proportionality, we will be able to avoid those traps. The new framework should protect our soils and give legal certainty across the EU about what we mean by sustainable use of soil. This will be of crucial importance for the many economic operators that use soil.

Honourable Members, let me now touch very briefly on a couple of concrete comments and questions that you have mentioned: first of all on funding and financial instruments. Providing financial support for the sustainable use and restoration of soils is very important, and it would help soil users to embrace more sustainable practices that allow soil to perform all its key functions. EU funds to protect soil have existed for many years, including the common agricultural policy, LIFE, Horizon Europe, cohesion policy and the Recovery and Resilience Facility. The Horizon Europe mission on soil health and food will also earmark significant EU budget to raise awareness on the importance of soil, to improve the knowledge base and to develop research solutions for restoring soil health and functions. The overall approach for the funding of soil restoration and soil research will be explained in more detail in the upcoming soil strategy.

On the common agricultural policy, it is clear that no soil protection regime could ever work without landowners on board. We need to jointly determine what we consider to be sustainable soil management in the EU to prevent further degradation, and their expertise is, of course, essential. We also need to highlight the medium and long-term perspectives to their practices. The CAP is an indispensable tool to support farmers in embracing soil stewardship. Yet, as concluded by the recent evaluation of the contribution of the CAP to soil protection, the CAP is not being used to its full potential, largely due to the absence of an EU framework that establishes what we want our soils to look like and deliver to all.

To conclude, let me recall that in the EU, most soil is privately owned – but it is also a common good that needs to be protected for future generations. Soil protection is a key component in environmental policy, and we can only curb its degradation by acting together. When I say together, I mean by being as inclusive as possible and working with the Member States, with the landowners and land users, with the scientists and local authorities to take better care of the soil and preserve it for future generations.

Thank you again for your attention, and I look forward to working very closely with you to reverse soil degradation and to tackle the huge challenges linked to it.

 
  
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  Ana Paula Zacarias, Presidente em exercício do Conselho. – Senhor Presidente, Senhoras e Senhores Deputados, Senhor Comissário, gostaria de agradecer este debate. A Presidência continuará a envidar esforços para que a União Europeia e os seus Estados-Membros alcancem os objetivos e ambições estabelecidos no domínio da proteção dos solos. Contamos trabalhar com o Parlamento, com a Comissão, na proteção dos solos e aguardamos com expetativa a adoção pela Comissão da estratégia atualizada para os solos.

Como todos sabem, em 2006 foi apresentada pela Comissão uma proposta de diretiva que estabelecia um quadro para a proteção dos solos. As negociações foram difíceis e, apesar dos melhores esforços de várias presidências, nomeadamente a nossa, a Presidência portuguesa de 2007, mantiveram-se significativas diferenças entre as posições dos Estados—Membros numa série de questões essenciais que conduziram à falta de acordo e, consequentemente, a Comissão retirou a sua proposta.

Mais de 14 anos depois, como aqui foi dito, é-me grato dizer que, caso a Comissão proponha um novo quadro legislativo para a proteção dos solos, o Conselho irá naturalmente examiná-lo e encetar negociações com vista a obter resultados frutíferos.

Queria terminar sublinhando o firme empenho do Conselho e dos Estados—Membros em desenvolver uma política de gestão sustentável dos solos que respeite os objetivos ambientais e climáticos e que contribua para combater os principais fatores da desertificação e degradação dos solos, assim como para alcançar o objetivo da expansão territorial urbana zero até 2050.

 
  
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  President. – The debate is closed.

The vote on the amendments will take place on Tuesday, 27 April and the final vote will take place on Wednesday, 28 April.

Written statements (Rule 171)

 
  
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  Dan-Ştefan Motreanu (PPE), în scris. – Fără un cadru legal ferm și finanțare adecvată pentru dezvoltarea sistemelor de irigații în statele membre, UE riscă să nu își atingă obiectivul asumat în ceea ce privește combaterea deșertificării, fenomen în continuă creștere ce afectează peste 13 state membre. Măsurile existente atât la nivel comunitar, cât și la nivelul statelor membre s-au dovedit a fi insuficiente pentru protejarea solurilor în ultimii ani, iar în ciuda faptului că există o Strategie tematică a UE pentru soluri, degradarea terenurilor a continuat în întreaga UE, pierderile fiind estimate la 50 de miliarde de euro pe an.

Este așadar crucial ca, parte a Green Deal, să venim cu un cadru legislativ ambițios pentru protecția și promovarea utilizării durabile a solului în UE. Noua legislație va trebui să țină cont de amenințările importante la adresa solului, precum deșertificarea și salinizarea, practicile agricole nesustenabile, gestionarea defectuoasă, abandonarea terenurilor, precum și contaminarea și pierderea biodiversității.

Totodată, noua legislație va trebui să respecte principiul subsidiarității și drepturile de proprietate și să includă criterii pentru evaluarea calității solului, obiective de refacere, măsuri de monitorizare și raportare, schimbul de bune practici și formare pentru agricultori, precum și măsuri de sprijin și stimulente financiare suplimentare pentru ca proprietarii să protejeze solurile și terenurile.

 
Última actualização: 15 de Julho de 2021Aviso legal - Política de privacidade