EU Countries Seek to Weaken Livestock Emission Limits

Image copyright: Kate Abnett/Reuters

The Facts

  • Member states of the European Union agreed on Thursday to attempt to curb the number of farms covered by proposed rules to slash pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from livestock, despite criticism from some countries.

  • The EU has failed to significantly reduce the methane emissions produced by livestock for more than a decade. EU member states and the European Parliament plan to negotiate more stringent limits on farms and factories for waste disposal and other polluting gases like sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides.


The Spin

Pro-establishment narrative

The EU's Industrial Emissions Directive aims at reducing pollution from cattle, pigs, and poultry factory farms and is essential to tackling the climate and biodiversity crises. Requiring these giants of industrial livestock farming to obtain a pollution permit would be a step toward more sustainable food systems.

Establishment-critical narrative

Curbing nitrogen emissions on farms by limiting the use of nitrogen fertilizers and slashing livestock numbers will put 5K jobs at risk in agriculture and 15K indirect jobs. This nitrogen plan, which follows EU legislation, will create a socio-economic bloodbath. The proposed cuts will put many farmers out of business. That is why farmers need to protest this proposed legislation before it's too late.


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