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European agriculture ready to do its part to combat climate change


10 Dec 2008


Climate & Environment
Agriculture & Food

9 December 2008

On the occasion of the United Nations’ Climate Change Conference in Poznan, Copa and Cogeca highlighted their commitment to contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. To this end, they presented a declaration on the role of agriculture in the fight against climate change.

The President of Copa, Jean-Michel Lemétayer, said, “We farmers are particularly aware of the need to further combat climate change, because we are those most directly under threat, especially from the increase in extreme weather events. We welcome the international commitment to draw up a post-Kyoto agreement and are committed to doing our part too.
However, the fight against climate change in rural areas needs a strong, economically-viable farming policy. It must be incorporated into our main obligation to European society: to produce safe and healthy food. ”

The President of Cogeca, Gert van Dijk, stressed that farmer cooperatives play an important role too. “European agriculture has already reduced its emissions by 20% over the last 16 years. Cooperative agribusiness in the EU can contribute, for example, by delivering alternatives to fossil fuels, methods to enhance the soil’s capacity to act as carbon sink and by contributing to a more efficient animal sector.”

Both Presidents highlighted the fact that European farmers and agri-cooperatives assure the provision of high-quality food which is produced to high environmental and safety standards, but that the same could often not be said of imports into the EU. European citizens should be aware that buying food from non-EU countries can amount to exporting greenhouse gas emissions.

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Tania Runge
Policy Advisor
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Simon Michel-Berger
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