23 Mar EU Commission uses Ukraine war as pretext for dragging out European Green Deal
MEP Manuela Ripa (ÖDP): “We need more sustainability now, not less”.
(Brussels/23.03.2022) The European Commission has announced that it intends to suspend parts of the “European Green Deal” because of the war of aggression Russia is currently waging against Ukraine. The reason given by the Commission is the expected crop failures in Ukraine, which could also affect food security in the EU. Therefore, the Commission has postponed indefinitely two pillars of the “Farm-to-Fork Strategy” which should have been presented today.
Manuela Ripa, MEP for the Ecological Democratic Party (ÖDP), is outraged by the Commission’s announcement: “The fact that the representatives of industrial agriculture are now sensing morning air and are using the war in Ukraine, along with the associated suffering of the civilian population, as a pretext to rail against the ‘European Green Deal’ is as shabby as it is transparent. Yet a more ecological agriculture and the climate protection that goes with it are no contradiction to a safe and affordable food supply,” said the ÖDP politician.
Specifically, two laws that are part of the “farm-to-fork strategy” should have been presented today, namely on the use of pesticides and on renaturation. For example, it was planned that from 2023 onwards, four percent of European arable land would be set aside to protect biodiversity. The use of pesticides was to be reduced by 50 percent and organic farming increased to 25 percent. This has now all been called into question.
However, Manuela Ripa is convinced that sticking to the “farm-to-fork strategy” will not jeopardise the supply of affordable food if other measures are taken. That is why she, together with other MEPs, has written a letter to the European Commission to urge it not to delay important legislative projects such as the renaturation law or the reduction of pesticide use. “What we need now is not less sustainability, but more. For example, 20 percent of the food produced in the EU still ends up in the rubbish. This figure must now be massively reduced as a matter of urgency. In addition, we need a temporary suspension of the production and blending of plant-based biofuels. In Germany alone, 3.4 million tons of cereal and oil plants are used for agrofuels every year. However, filling food into car tanks is not justifiable in the current situation. Moreover, we need to reduce meat consumption in the short term, as animal feed is grown on more than 50 percent of arable land. With a more plant-based diet, we could feed significantly more people and do something for our health,” said the MEP.
The ÖDP politician goes on to say that we are dependent on healthy ecosystems if we want to secure food production in the future. Therefore, the implementation of the “European Green Deal” and the “farm-to-fork strategy” contained therein must not be delayed. Manuela Ripa therefore calls on the EU Commission not to give in to pressure from the agrochemical industry.
Furthermore, she asks all supporters to sign the petition of “Restore nature” to increase the pressure on the EU Commission. The petition can be found at the following link: https://www.restorenature.eu/en