NOTE: below is ESPP’s understanding to date and may not be fully accurate. Please verify with cited source documents.
European Commission proposes regulatory package to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by -55% to 2030, including actions on agriculture and land use, and a Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) for nitrogen fertilisers. The Green Deal “Fit for 55” published (14th July 2021) is a detailed regulatory package, intending to “transform the economy”” to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, including proposals on transports, including road and aviation fuel taxes and banning sales of greenhouse gas (GHG) emitting cars by 2035, energy efficiency and changes to the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS). The package includes a proposal to avoid ‘carbon leakage’ by putting a carbon price on imports of certain goods (Cross Border Adjustment Mechanism CBAM), starting with cement, iron and steel, aluminium, electricity and (nitrogen) fertilisers. The proposed CBAM Regulation (Com(2021)564) proposes the border carbon tax on N, N+P, N+K and NPK mineral/chemical fertilisers, noting that the “difference in emission intensities of EU and non-EU producers is particularly high for fertilisers”. Mineral phosphorus fertilisers are not concerned if not containing nitrogen. Fertilizers Europe has expressed support in principle for the CBAM on fertilisers: Jacob Hansen, Director General, 11th March 2021 “Fertilizers Europe … recognises that to raise EU’s ambition on climate while avoiding carbon leakage, the EU must put a carbon border measure in place to ensure an international level playing field”.
The proposed Regulation on Climate-Neutral Land Use, Forestry and Agriculture (COM(2021)504) proposes to implement binding targets for Member States for net carbon removal in land use and aims to make food and biomass production climate neutral by 2035, in particular citing livestock and fertiliser use. The proposal indicates inclusion of greenhouse emissions related to “nitrogen leaching and run-off” but does not specify how such nitrogen losses are calculated to relate to greenhouse emissions.
Raw materials and nutrients are otherwise absent from the “Fit for 55” package, which addresses principally energy. This is coherent in that nutrients are strongly addressed elsewhere under the Green Deal Farm-to-Fork and Biodiversity packages, see SCOPE Newsletter n°139.
NGOs are critical of the “Fit for 55” package, suggesting that it is insufficiently ambitious, criticising the absence of sector-specific emissions reduction targets, exclusion of heavy industry and agriculture from ETS and continuing subsidies to fossil fuels.
European Commission press release, 14th July 2021 IP_21_3541) “European Green Deal: Commission proposes transformation of EU economy and society to meet climate ambitions” https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/ip_21_3541