Yesterday CHEM Trust sent a letter to the President of the EU Commission calling on her to support the rapid publication of the revision of the EU’s chemical safety law, REACH.
This is the text of the letter we sent:
The EU needs new chemical safety rules to promote innovation towards safer chemicals, protecting people and the environment: REACH revision now!
Dear President von der Leyen,
Under your leadership the European Green Deal has already delivered promising results for people and business on the way towards climate neutrality.
But we are still waiting for your proposal for the REACH revision to deliver the promises set out in the EU Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability.
These will better protect us from the most harmful chemicals; chemicals which accumulate in our bodies and cause irreversible and long-term damage; chemicals which destroy the basis of life for future generations: clean soil, air, water and food.
Other countries around the globe are watching how the EU will move forward and continue on the path towards cleaner production and the zero-pollution goal.
Not acting is not an option.
The EU’s REACH chemicals law was world-leading when it came into force over 15 years ago, but it badly needs updating due to well-understood flaws; extensively described in reports done for the Commission over the last five years. Crucially, it is only the European Commission that can solve these flaws and ensure that the EU continues to lead the world in developing and using safer chemicals.
One example of the failure of REACH is the unprecedented pollution of people and nature with the PFAS forever chemicals, that has occurred while REACH is in force. EU chemicals regulations should encourage innovation towards safer chemicals, not permit these huge pollution scandals.
A revised REACH is essential to give industry regulatory clarity about which chemicals we want and which we don’t. This will promote innovation and ensure that new chemical industry investments are focused on chemicals that will stand the test of time, not just substitute one problem for another.
If the forces of inaction win this battle, then there’s a real risk that the EU will lose another innovation race. The Commission must ignore the lobbies that focus their energy on blocking improved green regulation and instead listen to those that are creating the products needed in the transition to a zero-pollution future.
We understand that the Commission services have made substantial progress in preparing a revision of REACH. We call on you to support a rapid publication of the REACH revision. This will be a major element of the European Green Deal and deliver for people, business and the global environment.
The original letter is available here.
- In March CHEM Trust and EEB highlighted the problems created by delaying REACH in our report “Waiting for REACH: The negative impacts of delaying reform of EU chemical laws”.