EU ‘Green Deal’ plans to ‘significantly reduce’ fertiliser and antibiotic use

The European Green Deal – launched today, Wednesday, December 11 – contains a number of measures that could bring about significant changes for farming practices in Ireland.

The ‘Green Deal’ sets out ambitions to make Europe the first ‘climate neutral continent’ by 2050.

In doing this, it aims to boost the economy, improve people’s health and quality of life while caring for nature and “leave no one behind”.

The European Green Deal outlined that its strategic plans “will need to reflect an increased level of ambition to reduce significantly the use and risk of chemical pesticides, as well as the use of fertilisers and antibiotics”.

The commission will identify the measures, including legislative, needed to bring about these reductions.

The deal also notes that the area under organic farming will need to increase in Europe.

The EU needs to develop ways to protect harvests from pests and diseases and consider the potential role of new techniques to improve food-system sustainability.

Commission president

Commenting on the green deal, President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen said: “The European Green Deal is our new growth strategy for a growth that gives back more than it takes away.

It shows how to transform our way of living and working, of producing and consuming so that we live healthier and make our businesses innovative.

“We can all be involved in the transition and we can all benefit from the opportunities.

“We will help our economy to be a global leader by moving first and moving fast. We are determined to succeed for the sake of this planet and life on it – for Europe’s natural heritage, for biodiversity, for our forests and our seas.

“By showing the rest of the world how to be sustainable and competitive, we can convince other countries to move with us.’

Commission vice president

Executive Vice President-Designate of the European Commission Frans Timmermans added: “We are in a climate and environmental emergency.

“The European Green Deal is an opportunity to improve the health and well-being of our people by transforming our economic model.

Our plan sets out how to cut emissions, restore the health of our natural environment, protect our wildlife, create new economic opportunities, and improve the quality of life of our citizens.

“We all have an important part to play and every industry and country will be part of this transformation.”

Concluding, he outlined: “The European Green Deal provides a roadmap with actions to boost the efficient use of resources by moving to a clean, circular economy and stop climate change, revert biodiversity loss and cut pollution.”