We are doing science for policy
The Joint Research Centre (JRC) is the European Commission's science and knowledge service which employs scientists to carry out research in order to provide independent scientific advice and support to EU policy.
A study just published by the Joint Research Centre (JRC) in Nature Climate Change shows that soils can be a net sink of greenhouse gases through increased storage of organic carbon.
However, unless the use of fertilisers is adjusted to balance additional nitrogen inputs, any climate change mitigation benefit may be offset through higher nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions from soil.
Plants absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and stabilise it in the soil.
Soil erosion costs European countries €1.25 billion in annual agricultural productivity loss and €155 million in the gross domestic product (GDP) loss, according to a JRC new study.
Soil erosion is the biggest threat to soil fertility and productivity, but the consequences do not stop there.
A recent JRC study combined biophysical and macroeconomic models to determine direct and macroeconomic costs of soil erosion, and the results are striking.
The Commission unveiled a new plan this week, laying out paths to EU membership for the Western Balkans countries.
Through democratic, political, economic and societal improvements, the Western Balkan partners have a real and credible prospect of joining the EU in the coming years.
The EU is committed to supporting them on that journey. As the European Commission's science and knowledge service, the JRC has a key role in these efforts.