European Green Deal: Commission seeks views on better management of nutrients

©European Union,2015 Source: EC Audiovisual Service Photo: Lieven-Creemers©European Union,2015 Source: EC Audiovisual Service Photo: Lieven-Creemers

Today, the Commission is launching a public consultation in all EU languages on the development of an Integrated Nutrient Management Action Plan. The Action Plan, announced in the EU Biodiversity and Farm to Fork strategies, will help achieve the European Green Deal‘s 2030 target of reducing nutrient losses by 50%, while ensuring no deterioration in soil fertility. The objective of the two Strategies is to reduce fertiliser use by at least 20%, while enhancing the resilience of the food systems. In addition, closing the loop of the nutrient cycles is part of the concept of circular economy and the Integrated Nutrient Management Action Plan will aim to stimulate the markets for recovered nutrients. Virginijus Sinkevičius, Commissioner for the Environment, Fisheries and Oceans, said: Nutrients are essential for life, yet the presence of excess nutrients in air, water and soil significantly affects public health, climate and the environment. And reducing the use of fertilisers will make Europe less dependent on imports, including from Russia. This public consultation will help us draw on the experience of farmers, industries, civil society organisations and citizens how to identify the main drivers of nutrient pollution and ways to address it, as well as to stimulate markets for recovered nutrients.” Nutrients continue to be lost along the entire food chain, in air and water with negative impacts on human health, environment and economy. In Europe, surplus nitrogen and phosphorus in the environment is already exceeding safe planetary boundaries. The overall environmental costs of all nutrient pollution in Europe are estimated at €70–€320 billion per year. The Integrated Nutrient Management Action Plan is a unique opportunity to consider nutrient cycles globally and provide a holistic and sustainable approach to nutrient management. Farmers, industries, NGOs, citizens and other interested parties are invited to share their views on this action plan via an online consultation that runs until 26 August 2022. More information is in the news item.