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on August 1, 2016

EU action on climate change mostly backed by feed sector

Concerns remain over proposed phasing-out of crop-based biofuels

The European Compound Feed Manufacturers’ Federation (FEFAC) has generally welcomed the package of measures recently announced by the European Commission, which aims to drive the EU toward a low-carbon economy.

Emission reduction strategies at the farm level will help tackle climate change, says FEFAC, and the sector has been involved in key European and global initiatives with that goal.

However, the organization has expressed concerns about the proposed phasing-out of crop-based biofuels after 2020. This, it says, will hamper the ability of the animal feed sector to use proteins produced in the EU. Co-products of biodiesel production, these vegetable protein meals – such as distillers dried grains – make a significant contribution to the protein supply for European livestock.

FEFAC is calling on the Commission to consider the impact of this proposal would have on the overall protein balance sheet in the EU.

Europe’s transition to a low-carbon economy

On July 20, the European Commission presented a package of measures to accelerate the transition to low-carbon emissions in all European economic sectors. The Commission stated that the measures are the next step in working to keep the EU competitive as the global social economic model changes following the impetus to move toward a modern and low-carbon economy set by the Paris Agreement on climate change.

In October 2014, the Heads of State or Government of the EU committed collectively to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40 percent by 2030 compared with 1990 levels across all sectors of the economy.

The latest proposals present binding annual targets on greenhouse gas emissions for Member States the period 2021-30 for the transport, buildings, agriculture, waste, land use and forestry sectors. For agriculture, the overall emission reduction target is 30 percent by 2030, compared to the level in 2005.

The Member States will decide how to implement the measures to meet the 2030 target.

“The EU has an ambitious emissions reduction target, one I am convinced we can achieve through the collective efforts of all Member States,” commented EU Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, Miguel Arias Cañete. “The national binding targets we are proposing are fair, flexible and realistic. They set the right incentives to unleash investments in sectors like transport, agriculture, buildings and waste management. With these proposals, we are showing that we have done our homework and that we keep our promises.”

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