Following the news of a European Commission’s upcoming fertiliser communication, a letter headed by the European Environmental Bureau and co-signed by ECN and other organisations was addressed to EU Vice-President and Commissioner for the European Green Deal Frans Timmermans.
The document pleads with the Commissioner to focus the attention on the swift development of an Integrated Nutrients Management Action Plan (INMAP), which was announced in the Circular Economy Action Plan, the Farm to Fork Strategy and the Biodiversity Strategy and is expected to be launched by the end of 2022, but, according to the latest news, is delayed. The signatories highlight the importance of tackling nutrients flow, loss and recycling by means of a systemic and holistic approach, designating the INMAP as the best strategy to enact. Organisations stressed the inefficient management of nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus, whose surplus is largely exceeding planetary boundaries, calling for a reduction in synthetic fertilisers input by fostering their sustainable management and recycling to close the nutrient loop. Criticism on how the forthcoming Commission’s Fertiliser Strategy is facing the ongoing energy crisis was also raised, questioning its narrow framing and the lack of public and expert participation to the process.
All in all, the clear message of this letter is for the EU to steer clear from short-term and near-sighted solutions, underpinning a long-term vision to reach climate neutrality and to fully implement circularity.