EU Commission adopts Farm to Fork & Biodiversity strategies, intended to promote sustainable economy as part of Green Deal

On 20 May 2020, the EU Commission announced the adoption of two policy packages as part of the European Green New Dealthe Biodiversity and Farm to Fork Strategy strategies. The initiatives are intended to promote a sustainable and competitive European economy, and tackle the food, farming and climate crises.

As part of this, and to ensure environmental and social concerns are embedded into business strategies, the Commission is preparing an initiative to improve the corporate governance framework, which may take the form of a legislative proposal and will address human rights and environmental due diligence obligations for companies across supply chains. Indeed, on 29 April 2020 EU Justice Commissioner Reynders committed to putting forward such a proposal in 2021.

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Article
10 June 2020

CEO Action Group will support European Commission on advancing European Green Deal

Author: Modern Diplomacy

16 May 2020

The World Economic Forum brought together leaders from the European Commission with chief executives and top-level representatives from the private sector to discuss the path to a green and sustainable post-COVID-19 recovery. The Forum’s new CEO Action Group for the European Green Deal, chaired by Thomas Buberl, CEO of AXA, agreed to advance the dialogue on the critical challenges facing Europe’s post-pandemic recovery and to work together to build a plan of action for mobilizing business to contribute in advancing the European Green Deal agenda.

“We must all join forces in the fight against the virus and the climate crisis. No government or business can handle this alone – strong partnerships and deepened cooperation are needed. I, therefore, welcome the launch of the CEO Action Group to support the European Green Deal, which must be the compass for our recovery and for building a resilient and climate-neutral future for Europe,” said Svenja Schulze, Federal Minister of the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety of Germany.

[also refers SONAE, Snam, Adtelligence, Merck, Ingka Group (IKEA), Royal Schiphol Group, Koç Holding, SUEZ,  LEGO Group, Bayer, Unilever, Bank of America, Constellium, Yara International, Heathrow Airport, Sanofi, HSBC Holdings, Natixis, Bank Julius Baer, Swiss Re Management, Canica, Royal DSM, Schneider Electric, Covington & Burling]

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Article
20 May 2020

A Farm to Fork Strategy for a fair, healthy and environmentally-friendly food system

Author: European Commission

The Farm to Fork Strategy is at the heart of the Green Deal. It addresses comprehensively the challenges of sustainable food systems... The strategy is also central to the Commission’s agenda to achieve the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). All citizens and operators across value chains, in the EU and elsewhere, should benefit from a just transition, especially in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic downturn... 

The Climate Law sets out the objective for a climate neutral Union in 2050. The Commission will come forward by September 2020 with a 2030 climate target plan... The Farm to Fork Strategy lays down a new approach to ensure that agriculture, fisheries and aquaculture, and the food value chain contribute appropriately to this process...

The Commission will seek commitments from food companies and organisations to take concrete actions on health and sustainability... The Commission will monitor these commitments and consider legislative measures if progress is insufficient. The Commission is also preparing an initiative to improve the corporate governance framework, including a requirement for the food industry to integrate sustainability into corporate strategies...

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Article
20 May 2020

EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030

Author: European Commission

The European Green Deal – the EU’s growth strategy – will be the compass for our recovery...

As a milestone, it aims to ensure that Europe's biodiversity will be on the path to recovery by 2030.., in line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and with the objectives of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. It ... sets out an enhanced governance framework to fill remaining gaps, ensures the full implementation of EU legislation, and pulls together all existing efforts...

To ensure environmental and social interests are fully embedded into business strategies, the Commission will put forward a new initiative in 2021 on sustainable corporate governance. This initiative, which may take the form of a legislative proposal, will address human rights and environmental duty of care and due diligence across economic value chains in a proportionate way according to different sizes of entreprises. This will help ensure that shareholder and stakeholder interests are fully aligned with the objectives set out in this strategy. In addition, in 2020, the Commission launched a review of the reporting obligations of businesses under the Non-Financial Reporting Directive, with a view to improving the quality and scope of non-financial disclosures, including on environmental aspects such as biodiversity...

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Article
20 May 2020

Farm to Fork and Biodiversity Strategies: small steps forward instead of a giant leap

Author: Friends of the Earth Europe

The European Commission today launched two packages of policies as part of the European Green Deal - the Farm to Fork and Biodiversity Strategies...

This is the first time the Commission has presented a coherent set of policies to tackle the food, farming and ecological crises. They contain a number of positive measures, but stop short of stimulating the systemic change needed, according to Friends of the Earth Europe...

Friends of the Earth Europe considers the lack of coherent and specific legislation ... and inadequate pesticide reduction targets to undermine the Strategy's commitment to "fair, healthy and environmentally-friendly" food systems...

The Biodiversity Strategy includes some more positive commitments...

For the first time, the strategy includes ideas for how to regulate trade with respect to biodiversity. It integrates reporting obligations for biodiversity under the non-financial reporting directive, and promote tax systems and pricing to reflect real environmental costs and consider due diligence approaches. However, the proposals will be voluntary rather than binding - meaning their impact is likely to be minimal...

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