Fine Gael MEP Colm Markey has secured the tabling of a number of ‘crucial’ amendments to tomorrow’s (Wednesday October 19th) vote in the European Parliament on the EU Strategy to Reduce Methane Emissions (Spyraki report). The amendments are intended to add to the text agreed in the Environment Committee by recognising ways in which methane reduction can be achieved in agriculture through the development of new technologies and techniques that will ensure a sustainable agricultural model in which the industry deals effectively with its own greenhouse gas responsibilities. The seven amendments – put forward jointly by Mr. Markey, Norbert Lins MEP and Alexander Bernhuber MEP – received cross-party support from 71 MEPs and have been tabled ahead of tomorrow’s plenary vote in Strasbourg.
Mr. Markey said, “These amendments offer a pathway as to how agriculture can aim to address its significant methane responsibilities. As the EPP rapporteur for the Agricultural Committee’s opinion on the strategy, I was keen to include the recommendations put forward by AGRI and build on the Environmental Committee’s report. The amendments recognise the role that new technologies can play in methane mitigation such as dietary supplements, advances in breeding and manure management. They also call for the establishment of a baseline year by which any reduction in methane emissions can be measured against. In addition, the amendments recognise the importance of biogas, which is an industry I believe we need to build on, and pasture based systems as well as the role of livestock in the production of edible proteins, maintaining biodiversity and utilising non-arable lands. Critically, they identify the principle of the cyclical nature of biogenic methane and how its life cycle is fundamentally different to carbon and fossil methane.
“Overall, these measures offer practical, workable solutions that allows agriculture address its considerable environmental responsibility in a way that’s good for both the climate and food security. I believe farmers want to take responsibility and these amendments put them in the driving seat and give them the tools to enact change rather than listening to lectures, which offer no real solutions. I want to thank all 71 MEPs who supported these amendments but it’s important to point out that they’re worth nothing unless we get them through plenary tomorrow.”