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Resource Efficiency

Commission to put forward plans for the sustainable management of phosphorus


The European Commissioner for the Environment, Janez Potočnik, has signalled his intention to present a Green Paper on the sustainable management of phosphorus. Speaking at the sixth Forum for the Future of Agriculture in Brussels, he said the Commission would put forward proposals so that all stakeholders could contribute to a debate on the more efficient use of phosphorus in agriculture. Read more…

Commissioner Potočnik told the conference that agriculture would have a significant role to play in the transition towards sustainable intensification and resource efficiency. He emphasised the increasing strain being placed on agricultural production systems, particularly as the global population continues to grow and raw material supplies diminish.

The use of phosphorus was cited as a prime example of the natural resource challenges that agriculture can expect to face in the future. Although it is not currently a scarce resource, the Commissioner believes that phosphorus will become scarcer in the future and more expensive to mine. Recent large swings in prices indicate that phosphorus use will require attention, not least because farmers will find it increasingly difficult to plan ahead and invest.

Commissioner Potočnik said a positive approach toward phosphorus would be advantageous for resource efficiency, the bio economy, agriculture, energy use and climate change, and for reducing water pollution. For these reasons, and as a follow up to commitments made in the Roadmap to a Resource Efficient Europe, the Commissioner said he hoped to publish a Green Paper on the issue in the coming months.

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Janez Potočnik’s speech


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