Good air quality and near-natural ecosystems are common goods that the project partners have set themselves the goal of protecting. We draw attention to the fact that current policies are not sufficient to protect ecosystems, climate and health. Particularly in the case of emissions from agriculture, there are major deficits in the implementation of European directives. National emission ceilings for ammonia have been exceeded for years. For methane, there are currently no targets or limits, despite the importance of gas for climate protection and air pollution control. Consideration of both pollutants is important. In general, all activities to reduce methane and ammonia that have proven themselves in practice offer important starting points for the development of low-emission agriculture in the future.
The DUH, together with the project partners EEB, FNE and LCF, will discuss the obstacles on the way to low-emission agriculture with representatives from the research and agricultural sector, and also with decision-makers. Together, ecologically sensible measures for a pollution-free and sustainable agriculture are identified and promoted. A change in the relevant legislation will require the engagement of and efforts by the farmers, who will have to reduce emissions in the short and medium term, while supporting a system change (less animal with a fair income for farmers). The aim is to help reduce methane and ammonia emissions beyond the minimum legal requirements.
As part of the project, we are strengthening the role of civil society in European member states. Together with our partners and supporters in France, Sweden, Denmark and the Czech Republic, we are working to achieve the reduction of ammonia and methane emissions from agriculture. We will in particular look at these processes:: the implementation of the National Emission Ceilings (NEC) Directive, the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and the revision of Gothenburg Protocol. Specifically, the European Environmental Bureau (EEB) supports the participation of NGOs in the implementation of the NEC Directive in the National Air Pollution Control Programmes. The EEB also participates in meetings of the Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution (LRTAP Convention). As observers, they follow the revision of the Gothenburg Protocol and represent the position of the environmental associations in discussions. France Nature Environnement and the DUH observe and comment on legislative processes and the implementation of the National Air Pollution Control Programmes in France and Germany respectively. To this end, we take part in hearings, do media work and publish position papers supported by interest groups.
Every year, the EU spends 60 billion euros in taxpayers' money on subsidies under the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). This is also used to finance intensive animal husbandry instead of investing these public funds in nature, the environment and the climate. The contribution of environmental organisations to the reform of the CAP is important to promote sound requirements to reduce ammonia and methane as well as a change in supporting policies. Air quality and climate change objectives must be included in the discussion process and in the reformed policy. This project supports the NGO community in the fight for sustainable agriculture by providing the information that can be used to underline the need for enhanced coherence of the CAP with air quality and climate goals and the need for developing a different production system.
Read here the position paper on the Common Agricultural Policy by EEB.