European Parliament Plans to Dramatically Reduce Pesticide Use By 80%
European Parliament Plans to Dramatically Reduce Pesticide Use By 80%

European Parliament Plans to Dramatically Reduce Pesticide Use By 80%

  • 10-Feb-2023 11:46 AM
  • Journalist: Peter Schmidt

Europe: The Member of the European Parliament in charge of revising the EU’s Pesticide framework has proposed more ambitious targets and timelines for cuts to Pesticide use in the EU. The European Commission has proposed an overhaul of the Sustainable Use of Pesticides Regulation (SUR) by summer 2022, aiming to reduce both the use and risks associated with hazardous Pesticides by 50% by 2030, as well as a total ban on their usage in certain ‘sensitive’ areas.

MEP Sarah Wiener is pushing for the European Commission to increase its goal of reducing “the use of more hazardous plant protection products” such as carcinogenic, neurotoxic, and toxic for reproduction chemicals by 80% for 2030. This is a sharp rise from the Commission's current 50% reduction target.

The proposed legislation is moving closer to the demands of a citizens' initiative called ‘Save Bees and Farmers’, which advocated for an 80% reduction in synthetic Pesticides. Understandably, this has led to a complete renaming of the regulation from “Plant Protection Products” to “Pesticides”. If finalized, this would be a major step in protecting our environment and ecology.

EU states have recently taken steps to protect regulation against greenwashing claims by introducing a more stringent baseline for measuring the relative reduction of plant protection products. The new proposal sets 2018-2020 as the reference period, rather than 2015-2017, to measure more effectively the reduction achieved by 2030.

There is a heated debate among member states of the European Union over a regulation that could make countries who have already reduced their use of Pesticides in recent years face tougher cuts. Setting the reference period to a later date would mean countries that decreased Pesticide use between 2015 and 2018 now must reduce their usage even more by 2030 - an extremely difficult target to meet. Additionally, there is great contention about the proposed complete ban of chemical Pesticides in sensitive areas.

The draft report proposed by Wiener takes a more amicable approach, suggesting fewer types of areas should be affected by the ban. Areas preserved for reasons not related to Pesticide use, such as historical monuments and landscapes, should be exempt from it. Furthermore, conditions of exemptions must also be adapted accordingly.

A recent draft from the European Commission to establish new climate and environmental ambitions for farming has been met with both praise and critique. As part of their plan, the Commission suggested that existing funds from the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) be used to cover the costs of implementing the new rules as well as supporting farmers in the transition, but this was met with criticism from national ministers who claim that this will not be sufficient. They also point out that it will be difficult to repurpose funds after the CAP already started at the beginning of 2021.

The European Parliament has proposed that, in addition to Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) funds, countries should introduce a risk-based tax on plant protection products. This tax could be implemented either individually by each country or at an EU level and its purpose would be to incentivize farmers to implement integrated pest management measures. The current proposal is subject to potential changes in the process of finding compromises between different political groups and parliamentary committees, however it provides an indication of Parliament's current thinking and the direction the inter-institutional talks with the Commission and member states may take.

The European Parliament are in the final stages of reaching a compromise deal, but they must negotiate with EU ministers before it's complete. This is due to ministers pushing for an additional impact assessment, citing concerns over a lack of data backing up the Commission's proposal. Environmental groups were critical of this move, accusing it of being a delay tactic.

Related News

MoU Inked for Collaborative Development of Ammonia-Powered Bulk Vessels in Japan
  • 12-Apr-2024 12:43 PM
  • Journalist: Francis Stokes
Mitsubishi Shipbuilding's Ammonia Fuel System Receives Approval from ClassNK
  • 12-Apr-2024 11:18 AM
  • Journalist: Bob Duffler
OCI Global Supplies Low-Carbon Ammonia for Compo Expert Fertilizer
  • 11-Apr-2024 3:46 PM
  • Journalist: Jacob Kutchner
Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Secures Contract for Ammonia Fuel Supply System
  • 11-Apr-2024 4:02 PM
  • Journalist: Emilia Jackson