Copa and Cogeca warn European Parliaments Environment Committee vote will hit EU livestock sector badly

Reacting to European Parliament’s Environment Committee vote on Review of EU Air Quality Policy, Copa and Cogeca warned it is unrealistic and it will hit the EU livestock sector hard.

Copa-Cogeca Secretary-General Pekka Pesonen said “We are deeply concerned about the vote and the unrealistic targets called for in the National Emission Ceilings Directive (NEC). We strongly believe that it’s not suitable to fix methane targets in the agriculture sector in the NEC as this greenhouse gas is already being effectively regulated within the Effort Sharing Decision. It is also clear from the Commissions’ impact assessment that it is far from being low or zero cost in its implementation”.

Copa and Cogeca also believe that MEPs must take account of efforts already done by the agricultural sector vis a vis reducing ammonia emissions. For example, in Germany ammonia emissions have dropped by 20% from 1990-2011, 30 % in Denmark, 44 % in Belgium, 67% in the Netherlands, by 58% in Estonia and 22% from the UK perspective, as documented in the NEC Directive status report 2012.These investments are a positive step and at a high cost to the farm sector and in line with the recent reform of European animal welfare standards. They should not be jeopardised”, he said.

He continued “In addition, we need to recognise the important synergies between air policy and other policies like climate change. Measures aiming to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and air pollutant emissions from agriculture could result in a cut in EU production, threatening food security at a time when world food demand is set to rise 60% by 2050. This must be recognised. We consequently urge the full set of MEPs and EU Ministers to take our views on board and to facilitate a realistic outcome”.

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