Land is a valuable and limited resource. Therefore environmental concerns of land used for building new roads, houses or energy grids have to be addressed. According to a report released in May 2016 by the European Environment Agency the environmental impact of land takes should be better integrated into European Union policies.
The report looks at key aspects of land use, including land take, which is when land is ‘taken’ or developed for infrastructure such as roads, or rail networks. The report presents a methodology for the assessment of European Union policies in terms of their land-related implications in Europe.
Land take can for instance lead to land degradation and have a negative impact on the natural functioning of soils. This involves soil sealing, which can lead to soil biodiversity loss. These have a knock-on effect on ecosystems, food production and the regulation of water. It has been found that the policies would be more effective if they better balance environmental concerns with other priorities. The evaluation highlights the need to further integrate EU land objectives in the four policy areas - the Cohesion Policy, Transport Policy, Energy Policy and the Common Agricultural Policy.
Further policy making recommandations and findings can be found in the report.
Source: Source: European Environment Agency (EEA) (2016). Report No 8/2016: ‘The direct and indirect impacts of EU policies on land’. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union. www.eea.europa.eu