EU adopts crucial biodiversity plan

EU environment ministers on Friday adopted a biodiversity strategy aimed at protecting ecosystems, a move deemed essential to tackling climate change and reducing the risk of future pandemics. 

Meeting in Luxembourg, the 27 national ministers backed the EU Commission’s strategy of placing at least 30 percent of the EU’s land maritime areas under special protection.

The European governments now expect the EU commission — the bloc’s executive arm — to integrate the biodiversity policy objectives in relevant future legislative proposals.

A Monday report by the European Environment Agency (EEA) warned that more than 80 percent of the European Union’s natural habitats were in poor or bad condition.

The European Parliament also easily passed a massive farm subsidy bill on Friday, to the fury of environmental activists who say it fell well short of EU commitments to fight climate change.

“It’s five minutes to midnight on the climate emergency clock, but our governments are stalling,” said Greenpeace EU climate policy adviser Sebastian Mang. “Meanwhile, the gas industry, the industrial farming lobby, airlines and carmakers are shooting holes in the EU Green Deal, and our chance of a safe climate for people and nature is fading.” 

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