The relevance of sustainable soil management within the European Green Deal

The new European Green Deal has the ambition to make the European Union the first climate-neutral continent by 2050. The European Commission presented an ambitious package of measures within the Biodiversity Strategy 2030, the Farm to Fork and the European Climate Law including actions to protect our soils. The Farm to Fork strategy addresses soil pollution with 50 % reduction in use of chemical pesticides by 2030 and aims 20 % reduction in fertilizer use plus a decrease of nutrient losses by at least 50%. The Biodiversity Strategy has the ambition to set a minimum of 30 % of the EU’s land area as protected areas, limit urban sprawl, reduce the pesticides risk, bring back at least 10 % of agricultural area under high-diversity landscape features, put forward the 25 % of the EU’s agricultural land as organically farmed, progress in the remediation of contaminated sites, reduce land degradation and plant more than three billion new trees. The maintenance of wetlands and the enhancement of soil organic carbon are also addressed in the European Climate Law. The new EU Soil Observatory will be collecting policy relevant data and developing indicators for the regular assessment and progress towards the ambitious targets of the Green Deal.