Time to take gloves off and stop Juncker’s environmental overhaul | WWF

Time to take gloves off and stop Juncker’s environmental overhaul

Posted on 29 September 2014
Transylvania, Carpathian Mountains-Romania
© Wild Wonders of Europe/Cornelia Doerr/WWF
Today at 14.30 Karmenu Vella, Commissioner-Designate for Environment, Fisheries and Maritime Affairs will face his hearing in front of the European Parliament. 
 
In view of the mandate that Vella received by Commission’s President-Elect Jean-Claude Juncker and the recent letters sent by the ENVI Committee and Parliament’s President Martin Schulz, Tony Long, Director of WWF European Policy Office said: 
 
“President Schulz appears to have grasped that the new mandates are lacking in their attention to sustainability.  Persuading President Juncker to give one of the Vice-Presidents that responsibility would clearly be a step forward.  So too would upgrading the Energy Union Vice-President to have a climate change as well as energy responsibility.  
 
But the real test is not only in these position titles. It will be Environment Commissioner-Designate Vella’s environmental agenda for the next 10 years, including the 7th Environmental Action Programme, and how he will be able to put environmental sustainability in the annual work plans of the Commission as a whole. That’s the real test of what will be needed to stop a general backsliding on the environment.
 
What we see so far is a move towards deregulation. The Birds and Habitats directives are in the front line for what is called “merger” and “modernisation”. The circular economy and air quality legislation are not far behind for potential overhaul. This is gloves off time if we are to safeguard Europe’s important environmental legacy built up over 30 years.”