GREEN AGENDA FINALE🏁

What a week! Yesterday saw Portugal and Italy honouring their respective democracy celebration days 🌹 Portugal, in particular, was enveloped in festivities as it commemorated 50 years of democracy. Having undergone national elections earlier this year, the country will host more soon – as all EU Member States are preparing to elect their EU representatives. Scheduled to take place between 6th and 9th June, the EU elections loom on the horizon, yet in the meantime, there’s a lot of housekeeping to attend to. This week, our attention was fixed on the final EU Parliament plenary session of the term, as policymakers were busy finalising the remaining Green Deal laws.  

GREEN WRAP-UP

OVER THE FINISH LINE: The EU Parliament adopted the new Ecodesign and Right to Repair laws – a significant step forward in the EU’s efforts to promote environmental sustainability, even if some loopholes remain. The EU also turned off the tap on packaging waste and united around a packaging regulation that prioritises prevention and champions reuse systems. The overwhelming support to exit the Energy Charter Treaty is also a major win for climate action that waves goodbye to outdated fossil fuel protections. 

FAIR PLAY: Policymakers said yes to the CSDDD – the new due diligence rules requiring businesses to take active steps to protect human rights and the environment. This battle has been lo(ooo)ng and has led to a weaker law than many hoped, but the decision should be cause for celebration. 

AND BREATHE: We can breathe a collective sigh of relief – and one of fresh air at that. The EU Parliament also adopted the Ambient Air Quality Directive, a fundamental step for clean air that is aligned with science and people’s health.  


NOT SO NEAT

RAIN ON THE PARADE: It’s not just Brussels that is constantly under grey skies – European policy can be too. The EU Parliament’s decision on EU fiscal rules is a step back into harmful austerity. We know austerity does not work – and the most vulnerable will pay the highest price. Expensive and ineffective also aptly describe the result of the adopted Net-Zero Industry Act. Although a step forward to develop clean technologies, the lack of focus on proven and available solutions jeopardises its environmental and strategic autonomy objectives. In any case, at least we can bid farewell to that interesting NZIA acronym…  

FAST AND L(O)OSE: For some reason, the majority of policymakers voted through the fastest CAP reform ever. For a policy that took years of effort and negotiation to be unravelled without transparency, public participation, or evidence-based decision-making raises serious concerns about the future of EU policymaking. Despite claims that the reform supports farmers, policymakers were against capping payments which could provide a level of fairness to a law where 80% of the money goes to just 20% of beneficiaries. Scientists and farmers have consistently pleaded policymakers to accelerate climate action in agriculture that will genuinely support farmers.  

SEE YOU IN COURT. Hugues Falys, a Belgian farmer, is taking TotalEnergies, a company worth $170 billion, to court. He contends that Total, one of the biggest greenhouse gas-emitting entities, is responsible for much of the harm caused to his farm and livelihood. This case joins a growing movement of climate litigation actions demanding justice, reparations and protection from climate-related damage. A true David v. Goliath scenario and we stand behind him in his legal activism!


ALL’S WELL THAT ENDS WELL?

LOOSE ENDS: Not all Green Deal news has been tied-up in pretty bows. The Nature Restauration Law hit – or, rather, was hit with – a roadblock. The Belgian EU Council presidency postponed a crucial vote on the law, creating yet more uncertainty around its future. Belgian and Spanish ministers for environment called this move “dangerous” and a “huge mistake.” Sadly, there is a strong likelihood that anti-science and ultra-conservative voices will deal further blows on green laws. With the Biodiversity COP approaching, the EU risks showing up without a clear plan or ambitious commitments.  

1 OUT OF 13: The EU is only meeting one (!) out of 13 goals of the Chemical Sustainability Strategy. Our new report confirms that the EU is lagging behind its commitment to reduce people’s exposure to harmful chemicals. In the meantime, the slow poisoning of our health and environment continues. 

ALL TOO WELL: How to know more about how well the current policymakers did to protect the Green Deal? Who were the protectors, the procrastinators, and the pre-historic thinkers? We know it, as a certain pop star that loves private jets would sing, all too well. Our recent EU scoreboard is designed to help you know who is committed to tackling the climate, biodiversity and pollution crises, and who – hum, well – did not… 


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