Tuesday, July 28, 2015

How is Europe Dealing with Air Pollution from Agriculture?

Clean Air from our Farms (4 page pdf, European Environmental Bureau Position Paper, Apr. 28, 2015)

Also discussed here : Infographic: How agricultural emissions affect our health (European Environmental Bureau, Apr. 28, 2015)

Today we review a note from the European Environmental Bureau which focuses on emissions and pollutants from agriculture which makes up 10% of all greenhouse gas emissions and 40% of the methane from the EU, and impacts both the air(acid rain), soil and human health. A National Emissions Ceilings Directive, issued in 2013, set new targets for ammonia, PM2.5 and methane among other pollutants, with a focus on livestock and manure management as well as croplands and the use of fertilizers and pesticides.


Key Quotes :

 « Agricultural emissions in Europe contribute to several environmental problems such as plant damage, eutrophication, acidification, acid rains(that damage plants, lakes and biodiversity), greenhouse gas emissions and ozone formation. However, these emissions also lead to health issues, such as respiratory diseases and result in a shorter life expectancy for humans.”

 “more than 90% of EU ammonia emissions (2011) come from Agriculture and around 40% of the total EU emissions from agriculture in 2012 are methane emissions. The agricultural sector was responsible for over 10% of EU total greenhouse gas emissions in 2012”

“The NECD revision [National Emissions Ceilings Directive, 2013] proposal sets new targets for the four initial pollutants, including ammonia (NH3). And it also for the first time includes limits for PM2.5 and methane (CH4)”

 “the new measures should focus on livestock, soils (50% of EU total agricultural emissions) and manure management(one sixth of the EU total agricultural emissions). In addition, croplands, which occupy more than half the territory of the EU, emit large amounts of volatile pollutants due to fertilizers and pesticides’ use"

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