The European Parliament calls for a law to preserve 30% of the EU’s land and sea areas
From being on the brink of extinction with 94 specimens in 2002 to more than 1,110 current throughout the peninsula,
the history of the Iberian lynx is that of the triumph of the long-awaited fight for the biodiversity of one of the most threatened felines in the world. But the success story of the Iberian lynx does not hide that, despite the efforts of the member countries,
the EU suffers, in addition to a climate crisis, a biodiversity crisis. On a global scale, one million species are already in danger of extinction, according to a report by the IPBES, a group of UN experts on Biodiversity.
The Environment Committee of the European Parliament (ENVI) has just approved, with 62 votes in favor, 4 against and 12 abstentions, the own-initiative report -which warns of the alarming decrease in pollinators- that reinforces the EU Strategy on biodiversity by 2030 presented in 2020 by the European Commission as one of the key policies of the European Green Deal.
«Just as there is already a European climate law, we want
a European law on biodiversity that establishes a governance framework for biodiversity until 2050 and includes legally binding targets for 2030. We support the establishment of a plan that restores 30% of the land and sea areas of the EU “, says the rapporteur for the report on Biodiversity of the European Parliament (EP), César Luena (PSOE).
The new strategy, which asks
mobilize 20,000 million euros annually, wants to contain the factors causing the loss of biodiversity: changes in the use of land and sea; direct exploitation of organisms; climate change; pollution and invasive alien species.
In addition, ENVI MEPs ask the Commission to achieve a “favorable conservation status” for all protected species and habitats, also hoping that at least 30% of those that are now not in a favorable status will be or show a positive trend in this direction. “Biodiversity protects us in some way from infectious diseases.
70% of emerging infections come from zoonoses, which (today) is the main thesis that would explain the covid“, Says Luena, who advocates conceiving” a single health: human, animal and environmental. ”
“Lack of flexibility”
Betting on organic farming – at least 25% – and reducing the most dangerous pesticides by around 50% by 2030 are two of the star commitments Of the report. For this, the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is key: the current agricultural model is the main cause of the loss of biodiversity, according to the EU Court of Auditors. “The Council’s lack of flexibility threatens the safety of EU farmers,” warned the chairman of the EP’s Agriculture Committee (AGRI), Norbert Lins.
Despite the disagreements,
The European Union managed to end last Friday with an agreement between the Council and the European Parliament to three years of negotiations to reform the CAP, which will have a new regulation from 2023.
The CAP, which
will absorb a third of the European budgets 2021-2027 (380,000 million euros, about 45,000 million for Spanish farmers and ranchers), faces in the midst of a pandemic the historical winds of change that demand that it be greener and better protect small and medium-sized farms, as well as improve the working conditions of much of the 10 million farm workers in the EU.
To date, 20% of farms receive 8 out of 10 euros from direct payments (the bulk of the CAP).
Among those large landowners are visible heads of the most mediatic Euroscepticism such as the former adviser to Boris Johnson Dominic Cummings and leaders of the stature of the Czech ‘premier’ Andrej Babis, the second richest man in the country. Thus,
one of the red lines of the EP from the beginning was the minimum endowment for small and medium farmers of a percentage of 10%.
The main stumbling block, however, was the percentage for eco-schemes: direct annual payments (given per hectare or head of cattle) to farmers to accept environmental commitments. The revelation of the principle of agreement that will be ratified this week is that
MEPs, which started from a requirement of 30%,
and the Member States (20%) agreed halfway,
that 25% of direct payments go to green plans.
fixed commitment of a two-year ‘learning’ or transition period in the application of the eco-schemes, in which only 20% may be allocated. “The reform of the CAP, as it stands, is unlikely to meet the climate and biodiversity objectives of the Green Deal”, describe Europe Hoy Geneviève Pons and Pascal Lamy, director general and vice president of the Jacques Delors Europe institute.
This new cap -underline-
seems to return a certain responsibility to the States, which have to comply with the objectives of climate neutrality and biodiversity by designing national ecological plans. “This includes restoring soils that have the potential to be carbon storage pools,” they add. More pessimistic is Greenpeace, which denounces that the “model of intensive agriculture and industrial livestock has led to the loss of biodiversity in recent decades.”