Copa and Cogeca is calling for credible targets to be included in Review of EU Air Quality Policy

Ahead of European Parliaments crucial vote tomorrow, Copa and Cogeca sent a letter to MEPs calling for credible and affordable targets to be included in the Review of EU Air quality Policy, stressing that the proposed emission reduction targets for methane and ammonia are unrealistic and will hit the EU livestock sector hard.

Copa-Cogeca Secretary-General Pekka Pesonen said “The EU agriculture sector is prepared to contribute to tackling climate change but some of the emission reduction targets proposed in the National Emission Ceilings Directive (NEC) are unacceptable”.

“We must make sure that when it comes to science based numbers, they are feasible to implement. We have seen that some of the emission reduction targets included in the National Emission Ceilings Directive (NEC) are unacceptable, jeopardising food production which is critical with world food demand set to rise by 60% by 2050. In particular, we believe that the methane reduction targets should be dealt with under separate legislation. If the methane emission reductions were implemented,  the European farming sector would have to cut production in a number of sectors such as beef by 29.1%, milk by 9.1%, pork by 8,7%.  We have strong environmental and animal welfare production standards and we cannot afford to cut production and shift it to non-EU countries which could have lower environmental regimes. It does not make sense for the economy, the environment and society as a whole. On ammonia emission reductions, farmers have already made a lot of progress here which should be taken into account. We urge the European Commission to come up by the end of 2016 with a proposal for ammonia targets for 2030 that will create a level playing field within Europe and that will be science based and cost-efficient. This should help to kick-start things”, he insisted.