European Green Deal Gets an Upgrade by MEPs | WWF
European Green Deal Gets an Upgrade by MEPs

Posted on 17 January 2020

The demand for legally binding targets on a number of policies from the Green Deal package are crucial for achieving the level of ambition that the Green Deal is set out to achieve.
15 January 2020 - With a large majority and cross-party support, the EU Parliament today backed the European Green Deal proposed by the Commission in December, and demanded higher ambition. On several key issues, such as biodiversity, deforestation, oceans and agriculture, Parliament called on the Commission to go beyond the commitments currently set out in its Communication

With this resolution, MEPs have raised the bar for the European Commission to urgently present a whole range of concrete proposals that should amount to genuine transformational change,” said Ester Asin, Director of the WWF European Policy Office.
It is now up to Member States to take forward the suggested Green Deal improvements from the European Parliament Resolution in their Council negotiations. For CEE countries, the upgrades brought forward by the Parliament are an opportunity to secure the protection and restoration of the valuable natural resources of the region, ensuring that the same adequate funding is available.” – WWF Central and Eastern Europe

In particular, WWF welcomes Parliament’s calls for ambitious and enforceable legal measures and binding targets on protection and restoration in the upcoming 2030 Biodiversity Strategy, including a binding target to expand the network of Marine Protected Areas to at least 30%, and for infringement procedures against Member States failing to not respect EU nature laws.

With agriculture continuing to be the key driver for biodiversity loss in the EU, WWF also supports Parliament’s call to ensure full alignment of the current Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reform proposals with the EU’s increased environmental, climate, and biodiversity commitments set out in the European Green Deal.

“The demand for legally binding targets on a number of policies from the Green Deal package are crucial for achieving the level of ambition that the Green Deal is set out to achieve. WWF-CEE supports the call for such legally binding targets in order to ensure we have the necessary measures in place to bend the curve on nature loss and protect the Greed Heart of Europe.” – WWF Central and Eastern Europe
Parliament also once again confirmed its support for a climate law with a legally binding target for reaching climate neutrality at the latest by 2050. It called for the law to include intermediate EU targets, including the previously endorsed 55% target for 2030, and to be complemented by a rapid phase-out of fossil fuel subsidies by 2020 at EU and national levels.

WWF also welcomes Parliament’s calls for:
  • A comprehensive financing plan which well exceeds the conservative figure of EUR 260 billion annually stated by the Commission, which does not consider the investment needs for climate adaptation and for other environmental challenges such as biodiversity, or the public investment needed to address social costs;
  • The full integration of the "blue" dimension as a key element of the Green Deal, fully recognising the ecosystem services oceans provide by developing an "Oceans and Aquaculture Action Plan;"
  • The establishment of ambitious and binding biodiversity spending and climate mainstreaming targets in the 2021-2027 EU budget which go beyond the levels of targeted spending shares as set out in Parliament’s Interim Report (i.e. going beyond 30%);
  • The role of nature-based solutions in helping Member States to reach their GHG emission reductions and biodiversity objectives.
  • The placement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals at the centre of the EU’s policy-making process and implementation, and the fulfilment of Scenario 1 of the Reflection Paper Towards a Sustainable Europe by 2030 requiring, inter alia, that a sustainability first principle is integrated into the Better Regulation Agendas of the EU and its Member States;
  • An ambitious new circular economy action plan, which must aim to reduce the total environmental and resource footprint of EU production and consumption, as well as the establishment of an EU-level target for resource-efficiency; and
  • Designated binding national targets for each Member State set through revised Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Directives.