Zero pollution ambition: take part in the European Commission's public consultation

This year, the European Commission will present its action plan “Towards zero pollution ambition for water, air and soil”. To tailor it as well as possible to needs, a public consultation which is accessible to all stakeholders and European citizens is open until February 10. As an environmental NGO, Surfrider Foundation Europe sees this as a unique opportunity to transmit its requests to the European Commission. The association therefore invites the Surfrider community to support it by also answering the Commission’s online questionnaire: the more responses we give, the better our chances of guiding European decisions towards practices that are healthier for the environment and our health! 

An action plan that is part of the European Green Deal 

Adopted in 2019, the Green Deal is presented as a road map aiming at reducing greenhouse gas emissions as much as possible before 2050, by integrating, among other things, environmental challenges into European policies. In this context, the European Commission, by drawing up a new action plan, seeks to set an ambition of zero pollution for air, water and soils.

Although improvements have taken place in the EU, pollution remains a major concern and causes many premature deaths and illnesses every year, often affecting the most vulnerable populations. Besides affecting our health, it also alters our lifestyles by contributing significantly to the extinction of species, the loss of biodiversity, the decline in agricultural yields and the increase in soil and water remediation costs.

A public consultation to determine citizens' perceptions  

This action plan, which will be presented during Green Week in June 2021, is very ambitious as it concerns a considerable part of European legislation. In order to best develop it, the Commission has therefore organized a public consultation to gather the opinion of citizens on broad issues: types of pollution and effects on daily life, the environments affected, polluting activities and so on. It is a unique opportunity to make our demands heard by the European Union!  

Let us all be the voice of the ocean by responding to this consultation  

Surfrider Foundation Europe, as an environmental NGO, has responded to this consultation. While we welcome the European Commission’s ambition to tackle all sources of pollution in order to reduce it globally, we nevertheless deplore the lack of attention paid to the Ocean. Do we still need to point out that by producing 50% of global oxygen, the Ocean ensures our survival? We therefore regret that certain types of pollution are completely absent from the consultation despite the fact that they have serious consequences on marine and coastal life, such as underwater noise or coastal urbanization and tourism.

Stronger and more concrete action has to be taken against pollution. Among our demands in order to better elaborate the action plan, we insist on the importance of strengthening the implementation of the Marine Framework Directive and of the Water Framework Directive. We also believe it is necessary to harmonize the existing pieces of legislation in a same sector to reinforce them before creating new ones. Surfrider Europe also supports the development of digital solutions, at the image of our Plastic Origins application.

We have developed our position on the consultation and our demands to the Commission for its action plan in each of our areas of expertise (shipping, offshore fuel exploration and exploitation, water quality, marine litter and plastic) in a more complete document that you can download here

To influence European decisions, let us respond massively to the consultation

In order to relay our ideas and maximize their influence, we encourage you, as members of the Surfrider community, to respond to this public consultation, which is open until February 10. To guide you in this process, we have prepared a document detailing our responses to the questionnaire. Please take a look at it while answering the consultation. Note that, although these documents are in English, it is possible for you to write your answers in your native language. We still have a few days to act!

Similar articles


Spain denounced for its inaction in waste management

On February 11, in a press release sent to the European Commission, sixteen organizations denounced Spain...

read more

Isn't it about time French law recognized the crime of ecocide?

The Climate Bill, which is soon to be put before French institutions, is already sparking debate. Initial...

read more

our values


The passion for the oceans, the coastline and the pleasures animate everyone who supports Surfrider and guides the organization's action.


Surfrider is rooted in the value of sharing and participation through inclusion and diversity.


Surfrider seeks a harmonious relationship between humans and nature.