MEP questions air quality targets

Robert Brunt, NFU Environment Forum member; Kasper Thormod Nielsen, Director Global Trade Policy and Regulatory Affairs, ARLA foods; Julie Girling MEP; Jim Nicholson MEP; Liam MacHale, Irish Farmers' Association; Pekka Pesonen, Secretary General of Copa-Cogeca and Mairead McGuinness MEP
Robert Brunt, NFU Environment Forum member; Kasper Thormod Nielsen, Director Global Trade Policy and Regulatory Affairs, ARLA foods; Julie Girling MEP; Jim Nicholson MEP; Liam MacHale, Irish Farmers' Association; Pekka Pesonen, Secretary General of Copa-Cogeca and Mairead McGuinness MEP

Ulster Unionist MEP Jim Nicholson has called for realistic and achievable targets to be included in the review of EU air quality policy.

Speaking at an event which he hosted this week in conjunction with EU farm lobby Copa-Cogeca, Mr Nicholson warned that the European Commission’s current proposals regarding emission reduction targets for methane and ammonia are unrealistic and would have a negative impact on the agri-food industry.

Commenting Mr Nicholson said: “The big challenge for farmers in coming times will be to find ways to continue to produce high quality food and protect the environment. We can, and should, do both.

“However, I fear that the Commission’s proposed revisions to the National Emissions Ceilings directive go too far. For example, I have to question the value in the Commission’s proposal for reducing methane emissions, given that it is a greenhouse gas and as such is already covered by existing legislative measures.

“Evidence based policy making should be at the heart of what we do.”