ECN e.V.

Network for Organic Resources and Biological Treatment
19 APRIL 2022
Platform on Sustainable Finance I Final report I 30 March 2022

EU Taxonomie: Recommendations on technical screening criteria for composting and AD included

The Platform on Sustainable Finance has published its final report with recommendations to the Commission regarding technical screening criteria for the remaining four environmental objectives defined in Regulation (EU) 2020/852 (Taxonomy Regulation).
The Platform on Sustainable Finance, which is tasked with advising the Commission on the technical screening criteria in the expected Delegated Regulation, has published its final report prepared by its relevant subgroup, the Technical Working Group (TWG).
The report is divided into two parts. Part A sets out the platform’s recommendations to the Commission. The main body of the report lays out recommendations relating to technical screening criteria for objectives 3 – 6 of the Taxonomy Regulation. The four (3-6) objectives are:
  • Sustainable use and protection of water and marine resources;
  • Transition to a circular economy;
  • Pollution prevention and control;
  • Protection and restoration of biodiversity and ecosystems.
Part A of the report also includes suggestions to optimise the design of the Taxonomy and the Taxonomy criteria.
Part B of the report represents a Technical Annex that contains the technical screening criteria for economic activities contributing to all six environmental objectives of the Taxonomy Regulation, including the rationale for those criteria.
The Annex to Part B of the report contains the Platform’s proposals for technical screening criteria for the following economic activities:
  1. Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing
  2. Manufacturing
  3. Energy
  4. Civil engineering
  5. Buildings
  6. Disaster risk management
  7. Transport
  8. Restoration, Remediation
  9. Water supply
  10. Sewerage
  11. Waste management, including (iv) Recovery of bio-waste by anaerobic digestion and/or composting
Bildschirmfoto 2022-04-14 um 15.02.59 Kopie
According to Articles 12, 13, 14 and 15 of the Regulation (EU) 2020/852, the Commission should adopt a delegated act establishing technical screening criteria for determining the conditions under which a specific economic activity qualifies as contributing substantially to: (a) sustainable use and protection of water and marine resources; (b) the transition to a circular economy; (c) pollution prevention and control; and (d) the protection and restoration of biodiversity and ecosystems.
The Commission will consider the recommendations of the Platform on Sustainable Finance when drafting the expected Delegated Regulation, which is currently expected to be adopted in the first half of 2022.
EESC I Soil Health Law I 23 March 2022

The European Economic and Social Committee published its opinion on the new Soil Health Law

The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) welcomes the communication of the European Commission on a Soil Strategy for 2030 and published its opinion on 23 March 2022.
Bildschirmfoto 2022-04-14 um 14.54.29
Soil is a strategic and threatened economic and environmental asset and it deserves a framework of targets, programmes and regulations. The Committee urges the Commission to promote a European legal framework that is effective at preventing soil degradation, supporting restoration programmes and fixing the road map towards a good soil health status. The Committee also calls for the necessary allocation of resources from the European budget for the implementation of the Soil Strategy.
For the implementation of the strategy, the Commission foresees the adoption of a Soil Health Law. However, the EESC recommends to carry out the planned impact assessment and then to decide upon the most appropriate instruments. The EESC also recommends for the framework to build on the following principles, so as to ensure a level playing-field for all stakeholders operating in the economic sectors linked with soil and its use:
  • providing a clear definition of "healthy soils", indicators and threshold values developed on a scientifically sound basis;
  • setting clear targets for 2030 based on the definition of "healthy soils";
  • guaranting an adequate level of environmental protection and climate action;
  • fully respecting the principle of subsidiarity, given the heterogeneity of soils, the variety of uses and demands for use, the different geological, climatic and landscape conditions as well as the differentiated hazards and national rules already in place;
  • prioritizing of measures on education, advice, knowledge transfer and incentives for soil protection over additional legal obligations;
  • keeping the administrative burden for all actors to a reasonable level while ensuring its affordability.
There is a great diversity of soils in Europe, reflecting differences in climate, geology and land use; the threats to which soils are exposed also differ in type and intensity, therefore the policies developed in order to prevent soil degradation requires adaptation to different geographical and cultural contexts. Legislation for soil protection in Member States (MSs) is heterogeneous and fragmented, and many soil threats are not addressed by the policy and legislative frameworks of several MSs.
The Committee also points out the crucial and urgent need to address the human caused impacts on soils due to climate change. Therefore, the Committee strongly recommends to integrate in the new EU Soil Strategy actions against erosion and desertification linked to extreme floods, droughts and fires.
The Committee considers a priority, consistent with the challenge of a circular and resource-efficient economy, safeguarding the ecological productivity of European soils, thus reducing the footprint of EU demand towards third countries. It considers an absolute priority the finalisation of the initiatives for deforestation-free guarantees in international trade.
The EESC opinion on the new soil health law can be accessed here:
EU Commission I Revision of IED and E-PRTR I 5 April 2021

Commission adopted legislative proposals for the revision of the Industry Emission Directive

On the 5 April 2022, the Commission adopted the legislative proposals for the revision of the Industrial Emissions Directive (IED) and the European Pollutant Release and Transfer Register Regulation (E-PRTR).
This is a culmination of several years’ intensive work to evaluate and impact assess the two acts. The two legal proposals will now enter the normal legislative procedure.
For the text of the two proposals please see the following links:
IED legislative proposal:
Industrial Emissions Portal legislative proposal
Further information (Staff Working Document on the impact assessment and a Factsheet and memo with key Q&As regarding the proposals) will be made available here:
ECN Job Vacancy I Deadline for application: 29 April 2022

ECN is looking for a Policy Officer for Environmental and Agricultural Affairs

Are you interested to bring Europe forward towards a circular bioeconomy and a more sustainable agricultural policy? Then please join us. We are looking for a new Policy Officer for Environmental and Agricutural Affairs.
The ECN wishes to strengthen its advocacy activities at the European level and their expertise on political topics around nutrient recycling and circular bio-economy. The ECN is looking for a Policy Officer that will take a leading role in furthering this cause. They should be interested in environmental issues and bring forward Europe towards a circular bioeconomy and a more sustainable agriculture.
The position provides the opportunity to work within a large network across Europe playing a key role in the circular bioeconomy and fostering sustainable and environmental agricultural practices. You will be able to work on a variety of topics related to the environment and the bio-waste management sector. You will profit from building up contacts to policy makers and stakeholders across Europe.
We are looking for a full-time candidate, situated in Brussels.
Deadline for application: 29 April 2022
Please access the full job description here.

EU Public Consultations

Nutrient Management Plan I Deadline 26 April 2022

The European Green Deal, the circular economy action plan, the biodiversity strategy and the farm to fork strategy announced that the Commission would draw up an integrated nutrient management action plan to help reduce nutrient losses by at least 50%, while ensuring that there is no deterioration in soil fertility.
The integrated nutrient management action plan will look at the entire nitrogen and phosphorus cycles. It will cover all environmental media (air, water, marine and soil) and all relevant sources of pollution (e.g. agriculture, industry, urban, waste, energy, transport). It will identify policy gaps for a more coherent and integrated approach to reducing pollution throughout the nutrient cycles. The initiative will develop a framework for action needed at all levels (EU, national, regional) in order to achieve the objectives set in EU law and the climate and environmental commitments under the Green Deal.
The action plan will complement the zero pollution action plan for air, water and soil. It will build on recent, ongoing and planned evaluations (such as the evaluation of the Sewage Sludge Directive) and revisions of the related legislation (such as the Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive and the Industrial Emissions Directive).
The call on the initiative can be accessed here: blob:
The public consultation can be accessed here.

Certification of Carbon Removals I Deadline 2 May 2022

Responding to the urgency of climate action highlighted in the successive assessments of the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC), the European Union has set in law its objective of economy-wide climate neutrality by 2050. The European Climate Law requires greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and removals to be balanced within the European Union at the latest by 2050, with the aim of achieving negative emissions thereafter. Each single tonne of CO2eq emitted into the atmosphere will have to be neutralised by a tonne of CO2 removed from the atmosphere. To scale up carbon farming and industrial solutions for removing carbon from the atmosphere, the European Commission is working towards a legislative proposal in 2022 on a regulatory framework for the certification of carbon removals.
As underlined in the Communication on Sustainable Carbon Cycles, the establishment of the certification framework will be an essential stepping stone towards the transparent recognition of activities that remove carbon from the atmosphere in an environmentally sound manner. The certification rules should therefore set scientifically robust requirements for quality of measurement, monitoring, reporting and verification of the carbon removed from the atmosphere, the duration of the storage, the risk of reversal and the risk of carbon leakage increasing GHG emissions elsewhere. Requirements should also be set for the amount and type of energy used for the carbon removal process. The certification rules should put in place robust safeguards to make sure that carbon removal activities do no harm to biodiversity and other sustainability objectives. This is important to ensure that the EU can claim domestic climate neutrality while helping to achieve other objectives of the European Green Deal.
Link to the consultation:

Food Waste Reduction Targets I Deadline 6 June 2022

The aim of this survey is to collect quantitative information on both ongoing and completed food waste prevention initiatives, excluding those carried out at national level by national authorities, which are addressed through a separate survey sent to all Member State representatives.
The present survey will inform a modelling exercise developed in the context of the Impact Assessment to set food waste reduction targets. The modelling exercise will help compare the expected environmental, economic and social costs and benefits of the baseline scenario and the different policy options. The survey collects information on any type of initiative regardless of its scope and size, as long as it qualifies as a food waste prevention initiative.

News from International Partner Associations

Canada’s Soil Conservation and Compost Council of Canada I Soil report I 05 April 2022

Recruit Soil to Tackle Climate Change, declare Canada’s Soil Conservation and Compost Councils

Report identifies great opportunity for carbon sequestration to offset GHG emissions from agriculture
There is an unsung hero waiting in the wings to tackle climate change. It's our soil. A new report calls on Canada to recruit the enormous potential of soil to help combat the climate crisis. The report includes detailed, science-based soil- health information, and recommendations.
“Recruiting Soil to Tackle Climate Change: A Roadmap for Canada” was released on 05 of April 2022 by the Soil Conservation Council of Canada and the Compost Council of Canada, with the backing of the Metcalf Foundation. The report includes input from soil health researchers and practitioners from across the nation.
Canada boasts approximately 71 million hectares of managed agricultural and urban soils. The “Roadmap” identifies methods of promoting healthy soils to increase and retain more carbon.
The report identifies that our soils have the potential to completely offset agriculture’s greenhouse gas emissions footprint, currently estimated at 73 mega tonnes (Mt) annually. But that is not all. A focus on soil health will also deliver many fundamental co-benefits. These co-benefits include increases in crop productivity and profitability.
The Roadmap is a valuable source of information on:
  • the basics of soil-carbon science;
  • the ways in which that science translates into principles of soil management; and
  • the actual practices that manifest these principles on the ground.
It outlines the current soil organic carbon (SOC) status of Canada’s soils on a regional basis. As well, it provides projections for the potential to increase these levels. The report also includes case studies of five innovative Canadian farmers. They are seeing substantial SOC increases, while also enjoying greater productivity and profitability.
Finally, the report summarizes the challenges in adopting these practices. It also offers recommendations on how to reduce those challenges going forward.
“Enlisting our soils is a ‘no regrets’ strategy to tackle climate change. The wins are huge,” said Glenn Munroe, Soil Health Manager, Compost Council of Canada and co-author of the Roadmap.
“Soils can effectively store carbon. At the same time, they provide increased fertility, cleaner water, and enhanced biodiversity. For our farmers, they also create greater resiliency and profitability.”
The Roadmap is a call to action. More than that, though, it is a plan for Canada to create a partnership. It's a partnership with soil and with soil managers. And it's one that will deliver significant benefits – for generations to come.
Download a copy of “Recruiting Soil to Tackle Climate Change: A Roadmap
for Canada” here.
The Compost Council of Canada

Canada’s Emissions Reduction Plan confirms commitment to peatlands

Canada’s federal environment agency, Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) revealed on March 29th 2022 their new 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan. Intended as a transparent, step-by-step roadmap towards Canada’s Paris commitment of reducing its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 40-45% below 2005 levels by 2030 and reaching net zero by 2050, the Plan dedicates $9.1 billion in new investments to the effort. The Plan forms the first step in Canada’s Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act, intended to help Canada improve its record on meeting its climate commitments – including periodic progress reviews in 2023, 2025 and 2027.
The plan includes direct emissions-reduction actions for all major sources, including buildings, transportation, heavy industry, and the oil and gas sector, incentivizes the uptake of electric vehicles and strengthens carbon pricing. Most notably for the Global Peatlands Initiative, the Plan reaffirms a commitment to “Investing in nature and natural climate solutions” through a $780 million fund to “conserve, restore and enhance Canada’s vast and globally significant endowment of wetlands, peatlands and grasslands to store and capture carbon.
Justina Ray, President and Senior Scientist of Wildlife Conservation Society Canada, said: “Peatlands are one of the greatest carbon capture systems on Earth. If we want to fight climate change, keeping Canada’s iconic peaty muskeg landscapes intact is essential, for all our futures.”
About 25% of the world’s peatlands are in Canada, with 12% of its surface covered in these carbon- and biodiversity-rich ecosystems, some 1.1 million km2. The Hudson Bay Lowland, the biggest expanse of peatlands in Canada, is believed to store 30 gigatonnesof carbon, more than in all of Canada’s “managed” boreal forest. Unlike in Europe, most of Canada’s “vast and globally significant endowment” of peatlands is still intact, continuing to provide their essential ecosystem services. However, many are currently facing threats from mining for rare earth elements, oil and gas exploration, hydroelectric dams and peat extraction, while permafrost peatlands in the Canadian Arctic battle temperatures rising at over two times the global average rate. This Plan is a robust acknowledgement by the Canadian government of the value of peatlands and provides a potential keystone on which to pin efforts to protect peatlands from these threats and continue to manage them sustainably.
Susan Antler, Executive Director of The Compost Council of Canada, noted: “As Canada focuses on the value of conserving and protecting its peatlands, horticultural alternatives to peat, such as compost, will need to be available. We need to harness the advances in organics recycling to build capacity at the national scale to produce locally-made, renewable organic matter – compost – to substitute the use of peat in horticulture. As well as preventing peatland degradation, this also has the co-benefits of reducing methane emissions from food waste in landfill and the positive value of returning organic matter back to the soil not only to sequester carbon, but also to create healthy soils for increased fertility, cleaner water and enhanced biodiversity.”


EU Green Week I 30 May – 5 June 2022

Sustainable Transformation towards a resource-efficient and climate-neutral Europe by 2050

EU Green Week will take place from 30 May to 5 June 2022. The main hybrid event on 31 May puts three important aspects of the transformation in the spotlight – circular economy, zero pollution, and biodiversity. Throughout the week, partner events will be taking place across Europe and beyond.
The programme of the EU Green Week 2022 can be accessed here.
EIP-AGRI I 8-9 June 2022

Get involved in the EU Mission: A Soil Deal for Europe

The European Commission's Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development (DG AGRI) and the Support Facility 'Innovation & Knowledge exchange | EIP-AGRI' are organising an EIP-AGRI brokerage event ‘Get involved in the EU Mission: A Soil Deal for Europe’.
This event will take place in Brussels, Belgium from Wednesday 8 to Thursday 9 June 2022.
This event will offer matchmaking sessions through face-to-face meetings and networking amongst farmers, advisors, researchers, and other relevant stakeholders, aiming at supporting the preparation of proposals for the EU Mission: A Soil Deal for Europe Call.
Additionally, the event will create conditions for exchanging knowledge and innovative ideas and practices (living labs and lighthouses), that may inspire potential applicants to take part in the next EU Mission Call. You can find all information on the event webpage.
If you would like to participate in the EIP-AGRI brokerage event, please apply before 22 April 2022, 23:59 CET. Click here to submit your application.
European Soil Observatory I 20-22 June 2022

Workshop on “Soil erosion for Europe – Emerging challenges”

The European Soil Observatory Working Group on Soil Erosion organises a 3-days workshop “Workshop on soil erosion for Europe – Emerging challenges”, on 20-22 June 2022.
One session will focus on Soil organic carbon and erosion integration. The event will be online.
Save the date: 29-30 June in Brussels

ECN's 20th Anniversary and Policy Event on Healthy Soils for Healthy Life

The ECN will celebrate its 20th Anniversary in 2022. We plan to celebrate the Anniversary in conjunction with the ECN Annual meeting and a joint policy event on 'Healthy soils for Healthy life' in Brussels. Invitation and further Information will follow soon.
Global Soil Partnership I 26-29 July 2022 I 12:00-15:00 CEST I Virtual

Soils for Nutrition Symposium: Call for abstracts

What is the state of soil fertility? What kind of data is available for practitioners? What is the relation between soil fertility and human nutrition? The Global Symposium on Soils for Nutrition will answer this and other questions!
The Organizing Committee of the Global Symposium on Soils for Nutrition (GSOIL4N) is currently accepting abstracts that will compete for oral and poster presentations during this symposium. The abstracts should be submitted in English, maximum 3.000 characters (without spaces).
The deadline for submission of abstracts is 30 April 2022.
Website and registration link available soon!

S.O.S Save Organics in Soil

This international initiative S.O.S. SOIL – Save Organics in Soil, led by the European Compost Network (ECN) and the Italian Composting and Biogas Association (CIC), aims to highlight the importance of soil organic matter to encourage policy makers to develop instruments to move Europe towards implementing sustainable, climate proof soil management practices.
Sign the manifesto 'Save Organigs in Soil' here.

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