The EU Green Deal's ambition for a toxic-free environment: filling the gap for science-based policymaking in integrated environmental assessment and management

van Dijk, J., Leopold, A., Flerlage, H., van Wezel, A., Seiler, T.‐B., Enrici, M.‐H. and Bloor, M. C. (2021) The EU Green Deal's ambition for a toxic-free environment: filling the gap for science-based policymaking in integrated environmental assessment and management. Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management, (doi: 10.1002/ieam.4429) (PMID:33860613) (Early Online Publication)

[img] Text
243161.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial.

631kB

Abstract

Around the world, many ambitious environmental conventions and regulations have been implemented over recent decades. Despite this, the environment is still deteriorating. An increase in the volume and diversity of chemicals is one of the main drivers of this deterioration, of which biodiversity loss is a telling indicator. In response to this situation, in October 2020, a chemicals strategy for sustainability (CSS) was published in the EU. The CSS is the first regional framework aiming to address chemical pollution in a holistic manner. The CSS covers the complete lifecycle of a chemical, including the design of better substances and remediation options, to remove chemicals from the environment. The strategy contains terms, such as a “toxic-free environment,” for which no clear definition exists, potentially hampering the implementation of the CSS. In this paper, a definition for a “toxic-free environment” is proposed on the basis of a survey and a discussion held at the 2020 SETAC Europe Annual Meeting. In addition, key issues that are absent from the CSS but are considered to be key for the realization of a toxic-free environment are identified. To achieve the policy goals, it is recommended to align the definition of risk across the different chemical legislations, to establish a platform for open data and data sharing, and to increase the utility and use of novel scientific findings in policymaking, through the development of a strong science to regulation feedback mechanism and vice versa. The paper concludes that environmental scientists have the tools to address the key challenges presented in the CSS. However, an extra step is needed by both policymakers and scientists to develop methods, processes and tools, to increase the robustness and transparency of deliberation processes, and the utility of science.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This work is part of the Innovative Training Network ECORISK2050 and was supported by the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska‐Curie grant agreement no. 813124.
Status:Early Online Publication
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Bloor, Dr Michelle
Authors: van Dijk, J., Leopold, A., Flerlage, H., van Wezel, A., Seiler, T.‐B., Enrici, M.‐H., and Bloor, M. C.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Interdisciplinary Studies
Journal Name:Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management
Publisher:Wiley
ISSN:1551-3777
ISSN (Online):1551-3793
Published Online:16 April 2021
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2021 The Authors
First Published:First published in Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management 2021
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record