Clean air from agriculture

Agriculture is responsible for more than 90% of ammonia and more than 50% of methane emissions in the EU. Cutting this pollution will make people and animals healthier, save farmers money and help prevent damage to ecosystems.

Sustainable agriculture can provide good, healthy food while ensuring clean air and thriving natural ecosystems.

Clean Air Farming promotes knowledge and techniques that can reduce ammonia and methane emissions while encouraging the appreciation of quality food. Meat and dairy should be consumed with the same care they are produced, and not thrown away as food waste. There is enormous potential to reduce emissions from food production. 

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The hidden source of air pollution

What do you think of when you think about air pollution? Probably cars, planes or industry, but there is another source of air pollution. Agriculture.

In this video we talk about the causes of this pollution and about the solutions. To find out more about the topic: https://www.clean-air-farming.eu/en/start

 

News

 

Memorandum to the Croatian Presidency

EEB calls upon the Croatian Presidency of the European Union to...

23 Dec 2019
  • Recognise the health impacts of air pollution and the need for a progress clean industrial policy
  • Raise the political profile on the need to address harmful sources of air pollution such, inter alia, domestic heating, agriculture and transport, including shipping
  • Ensure an ambitious response to the outcome of the Ambient Air Quality Directives fitness check and work to align EU air quality standards to the latest WHO guidelines (expected soon), while supporting full implementation at the national level
  • Support the rapid implementation of the National Emission Ceilings Directive and encourage policy measures to cut national emissions which go beyond its minimum requirements
  • Support a revision of the Gothenburg Protocol to include methane, black carbon and mercury emissions
  • Ensure an ambitious CAP post 2020 which includes coherent, clear and measurable air quality objectives that effectively contributes to achieve WHO guidelines


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Six things our governments (and the EU) can do to improve air quality

28 Nov 2019

This week European air quality experts are meeting in Bratislava for the European Commission’s second Clean Air Forum. While air quality in Europe is slowly improving, 90% of people living in urban areas in the EU are breathing illegal levels of air pollution, and campaigners warn national governments are doing to little, too slow.

 

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Nature groups call for dialogue as Dutch farmers protests turn violent

17 Oct 2019

Farm protests have turned violent in the Netherlands after the Dutch government announced plans to cut harmful emissions from agriculture. Environmental groups have called for cooperation.

 

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Too good to go - Meet the booming app that's cutting food waste one meal at a time

14 Oct 2019

According to the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), food waste has a global carbon footprint of about 8% of all global greenhouse gas emissions caused by humans. If food waste was a country, it would be the third biggest carbon emitter after the US and China. The waste of milk and meat products is particularly problematic: in Germany, the meat and dairy which end up in the garbage every year account for over 6% of the country’s methane emissions.

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Reducing Methane Emissions - For cleaner air and climate

Conference by Clean Air Farming at Science14, Brussels, 7 Nov 2019

The European Union is facing a period full of challenges and opportunities in relation to fighting climate change and protecting our environment.
President-elect Ursula von der Leyen committed to both make Europe a climate-neutral continent and to deliver environmental and health protection. A necessary step to take in order to achieve both objectives is to tackle methane emissions, which are not only accelerating climate change but are also responsible for the formation of ground-level ozone. The conference brings together policy makers, scientists and civil society representatives to exchange knowledge, explore solutions and identify opportunities to reduce methane emissions from all sources. 

>> Download agenda here <<

Please register as soon as possible and by 31 October 2019 at the latest.

REGISTration

 

8th Global Nitrogen Conference of the International Nitrogen Initiative (INI2020) in Berlin from 3 – 7 May 2020

„Nitrogen and the UN Sustainable Development Goals“

The 8th conference of the International Nitrogen Initiative (INI 2020) will be the meeting point for scientists from all over the world who are dealing with reactive nitrogen compounds in agriculture, industry, traffic, soil, water and air. It will be the place to exchange results, ideas and visions to improve future holistic management of reactive nitrogen in order to further reduce hunger and poverty and at the same time avoid further hazards for human health, biodiversity and environmental media. It will be a perfect opportunity to engage with important policy makers and other relevant stakeholders to stimulate further policy measures for effective integrated nitrogen management.

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Ammonia emissions from agriculture may hinder governments’ action on air pollution

29 Jun 2019

While emissions of most air pollutants are decreasing across the European Union, ammonia emissions from the agricultural sector continue to rise, and may hinder governments from meeting EU air pollution limits, warns the European Environment Agency. 

Ammonia emissions can also lead to increased acid depositions and excessive levels of nutrients in soil, rivers or lakes, which can harm aquatic ecosystems and cause damage to forests, crops and other vegetation.

 

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Most EU governments failed to file air pollution plans by April deadline

30 April 2019

EU officials are still waiting to receive crucial air pollution reduction programmes from fourteen EU governments, including France, Germany, Poland and Spain.

National governments were supposed to detail how they planned to reduce emissions of harmful air pollution in ‘National Air Pollution Control Programmes’, which should have been sent to the European Commission this month. However, only 13 of the EU’s 28 Member States had filed their plans by the end of April.

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Expectations on a revised Gothenburg Protocol

12 Dec 2019

The European Environmental Bureau (EEB) calls on the Parties to the amended Gothenburg Protocol to initiate the review with the explicit objective to quickly revise and strengthen the Protocol.

 

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EU Commission to get tougher on air quality laggards – Fitness Check concludes

EEB press release

29 Nov 2019

The European Commission has published its conclusions on the Fitness Check of the EU Ambient Air Quality Directive, at the Clean Air Forum in Bratislava today. The Commission backs the importance of the Directive as a major driver for improving air quality across Europe and has urged Member States to step up implementation to protect people’s health.

 

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Six necessary steps for cleaner air

Flyer

28 Nov 2019

EU laws are vital to achieve good air quality in all member states. Here are 6 steps that the European Commission and our government should take to guarantee cleaner air.

 

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Air pollution: New figures reveal extent of problem, but ten governments failing to plan

EEB press release

16 Oct 2019

Poor air quality is putting our health at stake, reveals the European Environment Agency in a new report released today – but campaigners warn national action is still too little and too slow. Czechia, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Luxemburg, Malta, Romania and Slovakia are failing to deliver crucial air pollution control plans.

 

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Fields of pollution: agriculture’s surprising impact on urban air quality

10 Oct 2019

If you live in a European city, you probably feel the air gets too thick at times – and not without reason: 9 out of 10 Europeans living in cities breathe air which is harmful for their health. Urban air pollution can be suffocating, and as city dwellers we often find ourselves dreaming of a countryside escape, to take a breath of fresh air away from traffic fumes. What we don’t know is that a big share of the pollution that makes our air hard to breathe originates right there, in the fields.

 

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International treaty takes off towards cleaner air

7 Oct 2019

The amended Gothenburg Protocol enters into force today, marking an important step towards protecting human health, ecosystems and the climate from dangerous pollutants.  

The protocol sets binding emission reduction targets for five air pollutants – sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, volatile organic compounds, ammonia and fine particulate matter – to be achieved by 2020. Promoted by the United Nations, the protocol has been accepted by 19 parties, including the European Union, and 15 EU member states. 

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Farming’s devastating impact on air pollution

The Bristol cable reveals lack of monitoring of dangerous ammonia emissions

15 July 2019

Ammonia emissions from farming are one of the most significant but least addressed sources of air pollution. Almost half of the ambient PM2.5 (the smallest and more dangerous type of particulate pollution) originates from farms, whose emissions are not monitored or regulated by the government. 

Adequate information and financial assistance are key to help farmers implement much needed measures to dramatically cut ammonia emissions and keep them under control.

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Memorandum to the Finnish Presidency

EEB calls upon the Finnish Presidency of the European Union to...

28 Jun 2019
  • Encourage Member States to finalise their National Air Pollution Control Programmes
  • Encourage Member States to implement ambitious policy measures to reduce national emissions, which go beyond the minimum requirements established by the NEC Directive such as the establishment of a reduction target for methane emissions
  • Ensure an ambitious CAP (Common Agricultural Policy) post 2020 which includes coherent, clear and measurable air quality objectives that effectively contributes to achieve WHO standards, so to reduce the sector’s impact on air quality which result from ammonia and methane emissions in particular, but also primary PM through agricultural burning).

 

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Technical measures

Numerous technical and organisational ways to prevent nitrogen losses from ammonia emissions.


 

Politics

Political framework conditions set limits and economic incentives to protect people and the environment.


 

Background information

 

 

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