European Green Deal: Commission launches public consultation on new EU Soil Strategy

The Commission launched today an online public consultation on the development of a new EU Soil Strategy. Healthy soils are essential for achieving the objectives of the  European Green Deal such as climate neutrality, biodiversity restoration, zero pollution, healthy and sustainable food systems and a resilient environment. Yet our soils are degrading due to unsustainable management, overexploitation, climate change and pollution. For that reason, the EU Biodiversity Strategy 2030 announced the adoption of a new Soil Strategy in 2021. Commissioner for the Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, Virginijus Sinkevičius, said: “A quarter of our planet’s biodiversity is present in soil. This is literally a treasure under our feet, and our food and our future depend on it. We must equip the European Union with a robust soil policy that will allow us to reach our ambitious climate, biodiversity and food security goals, and step up our efforts to manage soil in a way that it can deliver for people, nature and climate.”  The aim of the new EU Soil Strategy will be to address soil- and land-related issues in a comprehensive way and to help achieve land degradation neutrality by 2030 – i.e. restoring to a ‘healthy status’ same amount of soil as has been degraded by human activity. This is one of the key targets of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Healthy soils produce our food and raw materials, clean our drinking water, reduce flood risks and store huge amounts of carbon. The Strategy will therefore look into how to protect soil fertility, reduce erosion and increase soil organic matter and take into account the EU’s international commitments. Citizens, organisations and relevant actors are invited to participate in the public consultation which will remain open for feedback for 12 weeks until 27 April 2021. More information is in the news release.