EU: stricter criteria against emissions from livestock farming only affects major polluters

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European Climate Commissioner Frans Timmermans says that the new emission standards against air pollution will have hardly any consequences for most livestock farms.

In five years' time, the stricter requirements will also apply to large livestock farms with more than 150 animals. They are then obliged to use the most modern technology against air pollution.

Timmermans said last week that the new scheme only affects the most polluting companies. According to him, these are 10% from the livestock farms, 18% from the pig farms and 15% from the poultry farms, which respectively account for 41%, 80% and 87% of all pollutant emissions in their sectors. 

The European agricultural umbrella organization Copa-Cogeca has strongly criticized the plans. The umbrella does not consider the proposals to be in line with food independence as it has been since the outbreak of the war in Ukraine. advocated by EU politicians.

According to Timmermans, the stricter requirements are not a proposal that 'goes after farmers'. "On the contrary. The farmers receive a lighter permit procedure than the large companies and can also receive financial support from the Common Agricultural Policy', says Timmermans.

According to EU politicians, the Netherlands already adheres well to the current guideline. According to saylieden, the Netherlands is at the forefront of low-emission stables within the EU. The 2150 pig and chicken farms in the Netherlands that will fall under the stricter directive are expected to be little affected by the new directive, it is said.

The new directive sets stricter limits for more than 80 pollutants. The previous directive resulted in the emission of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen and particulate matter in the EU from large combustion plants being reduced by 77%, 49% and 81% respectively since 2004.

According to the European Commission, the proposal puts the 'polluter pays' principle into practice. The total extra costs amount to several hundred million, but those costs pale in comparison to the benefits for human health: 5.5 billion euros per year, according to the European Commission.