What European liberals have achieved over the past five years – the environment (part 2)

Environmental protection is one of those fields where international collaboration is key, and so it shouldn’t come as a surprise to see so much being done at a European level…

Tackling single use plastics

ALDE successfully steered legislation through the European Parliament to limit the negative effects of single-use plastics, in particular marine litter. Single-use plastic products for which alternatives are readily available, such as cutlery, cotton bud sticks, plates, straws and beverage stirrers, will be banned from the EU market from 2021 so that they can be replaced by more sustainable alternatives. The consumption of several other items, for which no alternative exists, will have to be reduced by Member States by 2025. At the same time, the separate collection of plastic waste such as bottles will have to improve across the EU. ALDE also took the initiative to the first binding European standard for the use of recycled materials, which will ensure that plastic waste that we throw into recycle bins actually finds its way into new products.

In parallel to the single use plastics legislation ALDE also succeeded in improving the way waste from ships is dealt with at EU ports. Tackling deliberately or accidentally released waste and sewage from ships plays an important role in achieving a plastic free and healthy ocean. The new regime does not provide any financial incentive anymore for ships to dump waste at sea and requires ports to provide the necessary infrastructure to receive all kinds of waste.

Cleaning Europe’s air

ALDE successfully pushed back against strong attempts by Member States to lower their national air pollution emission targets for 2030 and beyond. Air pollution is a major health risk that causes more than 400,000 premature deaths in the EU each year. It is a cross-border threat that must be tackled at the European level. Through new standards in the new National Emission Ceilings Directive, tens of thousands of lives will be saved every year. Without a coalition of political groups in the EP including ALDE these standards would have been significantly weaker. ALDE also successfully stood up for tighter emissions standards for medium-sized power plants, which will also improve the quality of air.

A sustainable fisheries policy

The reform of the Common Fisheries Policy in 2013 entailed a radical change in the manner the EU decided how to manage fisheries activities. ALDE has focussed on the implementing of this new Common Fisheries Policy. The new rules aim at restoring fish stocks at sustainable levels (MSY principle), protecting the marine environment and ensuring long-term employment and socio-economic benefits. The ALDE Group has remained committed in defending a genuine implementation of the new rules, being an important player against the attempts of watering it down and in the achievement of political agreements with the Council in difficult negotiations.

Reform of the Common Agricultural Policy post 2020

ALDE have laid out a positive vision for reform of the CAP, securing competitiveness while delivering on climate and environmental protection. We want a CAP policy that better meets the demands of farmers and consumers. We support the idea of more result-based payments, delivering when it comes to climate and the environmental protection, and that it focusses on a more modernised and simplified future CAP that will help to secure the sector’s competitiveness.

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This entry was posted in Europe / International and News.
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