Vice President Frans Timmermans, EU Commissioner for Health Stella Kyriakides and EU Commissioner for Environment and Oceans Virginijus Sinkevicius hold a press conference at the EU headquarters in Brussels on June 22, 2022. Credit: John Thys / AFP / Getty

The European Commission has proposed a new law that would cut pesticide use in half by 2030 and completely ban the use of these chemicals near schools, playgrounds and hospitals. The proposal is part of a larger set of goals to reverse biodiversity loss and restore 20% of land and seas by the end of the decade.

The legislation provides €100 billion ($105 billion) for biodiversity-focused projects to ward off what European Commission Executive Vice President Frans Timmermans calls a “looming ecocide.”

According to the Pesticide Action Network of Europe, nearly 350,000 metric tons of pesticides were sold in Europe in 2019, primarily for agriculture. A 2017 report from the European Commission noted that pesticides cause pollution that directly impacts biodiversity and ecosystems.

“We need to reduce the use of chemical pesticides to protect our soil, air and food, and ultimately the health […]

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