EU Zero Pollution Action Plan and Water Europe’s opinion on it

The European Commission adopted on 12th May 2021 the EU Action Plan: “Towards Zero Pollution for Air, Water, and Soil” – a key deliverable of the European Green Deal. This action plan sets out an integrated vision for 2050:” Air, water and soil pollution reduced to levels no longer considered harmful to health and natural ecosystems and that respect the boundaries our planet can cope with, thus creating a toxic-free environment.” In particular, it sets out key 2030 targets and outlines a number of flagship initiatives and actions. Regarding water protection goals, Zero Pollution Action Plan states that under EU law, Green Deal ambitions and in synergy with other initiatives, the EU should reduce:

  • by 50% nutrient losses, the use and risk of chemical pesticides, the use of the more hazardous ones, and the sale of antimicrobials for farmed animals and in aquaculture
  • by 50% plastic litter at sea and by 30% microplastics released into the environment

Water Europe, as a recognized promoter of water-related innovations toward the European-Smart Water Society, delivered a position paper as an answer to the newest EU Action Plan. The paper supports the objectives of this Action Plan, in particular, the ‘zero pollution hierarchy’ which refers to the EU Treaties, and makes it clear that “EU environmental policies should be based on the precautionary, preventive, control-at-source, and polluter pays principles”.

The position paper also puts special emphasis on the use of digital water solutions as important tools to tackle pollution. WATERAGRI most certainly fits into the objectives of both the European Commission and Water Europe, given that the project aims to re-introduce and enhance sustainable solutions for water retention and nutrient recycling to enable agricultural production that can sustain growing populations and cope with present and future climate change challenges.

To read the Zero Pollution Action Plan, click here

To read Water Europe’s position paper, click here

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