After the Farm to Fork debate, the European Parliament proposes a new binding target that will weigh down its livestock sector

Yesterday, the ENVI Committee of the European Parliament adopted its report on the Commission's Methane Strategy. While Copa and Cogeca support many of the adopted amendments, we regret that once again the debate focused on "binding targets and measures" as the only solution. Recent studies on Farm to Fork have clearly demonstrated that targets neither envisage the necessary means or tools nor capture complex trade-offs. Adding to existing targets, the ENVI Committee's proposal could further damage EU livestock and threaten food security, while unavoidably creating carbon leakage to third countries.

Copa and Cogeca acknowledges that the role of the agricultural sector in the reduction of biogenic methane emissions is of paramount importance. The efforts in agriculture must be continued using a fair, cross-sectorial approach that is in line with the European Green Deal and Europe's commitments under the Paris Agreement. We welcome the fact that the ENVI Committee report acknowledges European farmers' efforts, as shown by the 22% decrease in methane emissions in EU-28 between 1990 and 2018. We also support the call from/to MEPs to increase the uptake of manure management practices, as well as the development of biogas to valorise waste and residues.

We regret that the debate around a binding target has sidestepped several key issues particularly around how to measure methane emissions in the agricultural sector. Copa and Cogeca cannot support the call for mandatory monitoring, public reporting and verification for all methane emitting sectors as the collection and accuracy of data at farm level or of SMEs can be complex and potentially unfair.

Copa and Cogeca members urge the European institutions to further their discussions and reflections on the agricultural sector's potential to reduce its methane emissions, with a clear focus on more concrete solutions, tools and enabling policies.

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