Following today’s presentation of the 2030 Biodiversity Strategy by the European Commission and in view of the upcoming biodiversity day, the 22 of May, the S&D Group strongly welcomes this new initiative.
S&D rapporteur for the Biodiversity Strategy, César Luena, said:
“Following our successful efforts to declare a climate and environmental emergency by the Parliament and in view of the alarming loss of biodiversity and degradation of ecosystems, there is an urgent need to reverse the current trends by addressing all drivers of biodiversity loss with concrete actions and ambitious binding objectives. The EU is not set to meet its biodiversity objectives for 2020.
“The 2030 Biodiversity Strategy is a good starting point, but we must make sure that this time we will meet our goals.“We are glad to see that a number of our S&D demands are included in the strategy; such as the protection of at least 30% of EU land and marine ecosystems, the setting of a binding reduction target on the use of pesticides and protection of primary forests. We have also been calling for a binding restoration target of at least 30%.
“It is crucial that the protection of biodiversity is fully mainstreamed across policy areas. In this regard we will also be looking closely into the farm to fork strategy. To make a difference, we do not only need binding targets and proper implementation, but also necessary funding. In the new MFF, we want to see a specific spending target of at least 10% on biodiversity.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that our health and welfare closely depend on the health of our environment. We have to protect our ecosystems and biodiversity if we want to reduce similar threats in the future. We need transformative changes to face the so-called sixth mass extinction. As the rapporteur for the Parliament’s report on the Biodiversity Strategy, I will do my utmost to achieve this.”
S&D spokesperson in the environment committee, Jytte Guteland, added:
“Science has made it painstakingly clear that ecosystems both worldwide and in Europe are under extreme pressure. The rapid loss of biological diversity is a grave threat, not only for nature but also for our societies and ultimately for all life on our planet. Europe must do everything it can to change this and reinstate strong and healthy ecosystems. The presentation of the new Biodiversity Strategy is an important step towards this. The strategy should now also serve to pave our way towards a sustainable recovery from the pandemic, with our climate and biodiversity objectives at the core.
“While the focus is on the COVID-19 pandemic, it is crucial to keep in mind that the climate and environmental crises will not disappear. Climate and biodiversity crises are two sides of the same coin, and joint solutions that can address both should be sought. On the basis of this strategy, the EU should lead by example and push for an ambitious agreement in the upcoming discussions on the post-2020 global framework on biodiversity that is similar to the Paris Agreement for Climate.”