The European farmers’ organisation, Copa-Cogeca, has written to the European Commission (EC) to protest about planned ammonia reduction targets which it says would be “almost impossible” for the livestock sector to meet.
In line with each EU member state being given a proposed national emissions ceiling, the UK would face an ammonia reduction target of 21% by 2030. That’s if the latest EC emissions directive is allowed to progress.
In an attempt to block the move at an early stage, however, Copa-Cogeca, has written to EC President, Jean Claude Juncker, stating that the proposed emissions ceilings, as they stand at present, would be very challenging to meet.
“As livestock and arable are the main sources of ammonia emissions, reductions of this magnitude would be almost impossible without significant changes to farming practices and a reduction in livestock numbers,” said the National Farmers’ Union, commenting on the protest in its latest Brussels briefing report.
The union also said that the limited technological alternatives currently available for reducing emissions were simply “not affordable to most farmers”.
The Copa-Cogeca letter urges the EC to revisit its calculation on the cost to the livestock sector. It also invites President Juncker to consider the fact that the agricultural sector actually needs to grow during the period to 2030, both to feed a growing population and to help the EU recover from Europe’s financial crisis.