8th December 2020 | Climate Change, Environment, EU, Press Releases

Green MEP Grace O’Sullivan to be European Parliament Lead-Negotiator on Far-Reaching Environment Legislation

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Green Party MEP Grace O’Sullivan has been appointed as Rapporteur on the 8th Environment Action Programme,  a report from the ENVI Committee (Environment, Public Health and Food Safety) of which she is a member.

“It’s a report on a far-reaching legislative proposal from the European Commission, and is an overarching policy tool that will span 10 years to 2030. It’s one which I am honoured and excited to take on at this most crucial time for the environment.”

The 8th Environment Action Programme, with its long-term vision and the environmental priority objectives it shares with the Green Deal, will support the EU’s common commitment to a green recovery.

“As Rapporteur, it’s my job to lead the European Parliament’s response to the Commission’s legislative proposal, to analyse the project, consult with specialists and stakeholders, lead discussions on it with other members of the ENVI Committee and recommend the political ‘line’ to be followed.”

Environment action programmes have guided the development of EU environment policy since the early 1970s. The ten-year time span allows for the consideration of long-term, systemic change, with particular focus on six thematic priority objectives around: climate neutrality by 2050; resilience; circular economy: zero-pollution; biodiversity and consumption.

The 8th EAP includes a monitoring framework, crucial, says MEP O’Sullivan, in terms of implementation around targets. It will provide the environment and climate input to the EU’s overall efforts to measure progress towards sustainability, wellbeing and resilience and should inform policy makers and stakeholders if the Union and the Member States are on track to achieving a systemic transformation.

The legislative proposal comes at a time when the European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, who took up her position late last year, has started her term by launching the ambitious, overarching European Green Deal, which included the adoption of a number of new strategic initiatives, notably a new Circular Economy Action Plan for a clean and competitive Europe, a Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 and a Farm to Fork Strategy.

Included in the Programme are aspirations around the measurement of progress towards environment and climate objectives in the wider context of sustainability, wellbeing and resilience. Measuring the EU and Member State’s progress towards achieving the crucial UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, requires measuring economic performance and societal progress “beyond GDP” and shifting towards using ‘wellbeing’ as a compass for policy, a move also supported by the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

“Against the backdrop and scaffolding of the collective strategies and commitments mentioned above, along with the urgency inherent in the precarious state of a planet in the depths of a climate and biodiversity emergency, the Environment Action Programme to 2030 has the potential to have a meaningful and binding impact on the European Union’s environmental strategies over the next 10 years.”