Presentation of Michael Hamell from the European Commission at Food, Fertilizers and Natural Resources Conference by Fertilizers Europe
The great global challenges Climate Change Biodiversity loss Energy supply Natural resources depletion Feeding 9 billion people Successfully addressing them is essential to a stable world. Solving one without the others, solves none.
Roadmap to a Resource Efficient EuropeKey Messages: Huge increase in resource use in 20th century. Business as usual will bring rapid depletion and scarcity. We need 4-10 fold increase in RE by 2050 which implies all resources are sustainably managed.
Roadmap to a Resource Efficient EuropeSteps: developing approaches to transform the economy in areas such as: Consumption and production Waste Ecosystem servicesOf major interest here: Green paper on phosphorus in 2012 Communication on land use in 2014
Why is phosphorus a policy issue? P is limited and P demand rises continuously globally. P is easily lost throughout the production, use and waste chains. P supplies are essential to long term food production. They are concentrated in a few regions. In the long term, we will need to use P sources which may contain greater amounts of cadmium and eventually even uranium.
Cadmium levels in phosphate rockincluding the relative size of the reserve
Why act now? Major education process to be undertaken Opportunity cost of inaction - sooner we start, the more gradual action can be Need to insert some of the solutions into the cycle of intellectual reflections and infrastructure planning - expensive otherwise
Why act now? Synergies with resource efficiency agenda in particular Innovation benefit to EU biotech companies – enzymes in feed and fertilizer for example Experience on biodiversity decline and climate change shows knowledge itself is not enough to change behaviour. We must start early.
What could be done (examples) Improve efficiency of extraction processes and use of by-products Traditional agricultural efficiency techniques – catch crops, avoiding soil erosion etc – And new ones, manure processing and transfer Innovative techniques – microbial inoculation, phytase, etc Sewage sludge, biowaste? Getting more recycling and opening up the possibilities for the organic fertilizer market Food chain, food waste, food choices...
Work on green paper to dateSeveral studies P use in EU agriculture 2005 Sustainability of P resources 2010 Manure Processing activities in Europe (end 2011 publication) NPK study (JRC, completion in early 2012) Expert seminar spring 2011Some results Resources and reserves bigger then previously thought Some regions including EU very import dependent Considerable inefficiencies in P use Manure processing gaining in importance
Work on green paper to dateOpportunities for efficiencies? Agriculture IndustryAreas for reflection Animal production concentration Pathways to P loss: erosion, run off leaching from saturated soil Do our production/consumption patterns contribute to “problems” What recycling possibilities/what barriers?
Next steps A green paper opens discussion We hope to publish GP in spring/summer 2012 Reaction of all stakeholders as well as EU institutions will guide future work We invite you to contribute