Press release: 17 October 2022

REACH reform delayed – ClientEarth calls out “blatant and inexcusable short-termism”

EU media outlets reported on Friday that the European Commission is delaying the crucially needed reform of the REACH – the EU’s core piece of chemicals regulation – until late next year. The Commission’s proposal was originally expected by March 2023 at the very latest.

Dr Apolline Roger, who leads ClientEarth’s work on chemicals, said: “This delay is one of the biggest regulatory scandals at EU level in recent history. The REACH reform is going to be discussed late enough so that the Parliament and Council will not be able to deliver it before the next elections. Delaying for a year actually means 10 more years of inability to get highly harmful chemicals out of the market while more continue to flow in scuppering the promises made in the Green Deal. This is exactly what the chemicals industry has been lobbying for.

“The new objective of the reform as stated in the draft work programme is to ‘ensure competitiveness’, completely veering away from its original aim of protecting people. The Commission is caving in to the industry in a blatant and inexcusable display of short-termism.  

“Today, shockingly, the vast majority of chemicals are not or not sufficiently assessed for safety before entering the EU market. Most of the chemicals produced and used in the EU are hazardous. We’re in a chemical pollution crisis. Why would the Commission wait to equip chemicals authorities with the tools they need to get the worst offenders off the market?”  


About ClientEarth

ClientEarth is a non-profit organisation that uses the law to create systemic change that protects the Earth for – and with – its inhabitants. We are tackling climate change, protecting nature and stopping pollution, with partners and citizens around the globe. We hold industry and governments to account, and defend everyone’s right to a healthy world. From our offices in Europe, Asia and the USA we shape, implement and enforce the law, to build a future for our planet in which people and nature can thrive together.