On May 12, 2021, the EU Commission presented its zero pollution action plan for air, water and soil as part of the European Green Deal. According to this, an environment free of pollutants – up to a certain extent – should be achieved by 2050.
To this end, the plan defines various interim goals in various environmental policy areas up to 2030. These include reducing air pollution, plastic waste in the sea and the total amount of waste generated by at least 50 percent. In the medium term, companies could therefore face necessary changes, for example in production processes, and increased controls to ensure effective enforcement.
The EU Commission wants to achieve these goals by pursuing previously announced projects, multinational cooperation and increased focus on the implementation and enforcement of the existing rules. The action plan repeatedly points out that existing gaps in the polluter pays principle must be closed. Well-known pricing instruments should therefore be revised. In addition, the EU Commission is planning a ban on products containing mercury and is reviewing the need for further regulation regarding the use of ammonia.
The action plan points out that the implementation of existing EU environmental protection regulations has so far only been patchy. Here the EU Commission wants to work towards better cooperation with the member states. One of the main focuses of the action plan is digitization.
With the aim of reducing pollutants, the action plan will be supplemented by the EU Commission’s chemicals strategy from October 2020. The communication from the EU Commission and the action plan in the form of a communication can be found here.
Source: Article published on May 17, 2021, DIHK website.
Author: Sarah Müller