Biodiversity and Farm to Fork strategies: positive push for biogas development
Last week, the European Commission presented the Biodiversity and the Farm to Fork Strategy. These strategies are key pilars of the EU Green Deal and are essential to recognise the contribution of biogas and biomethane to sustainable farming and the protection of biodiversity.
Key highlights for the biogas industry:
- New Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) will support biogas deployment by increasing support to anaerobic digestion capacity. This will enable farmers to diversify their activities by producing bio-fertilisers, protein feed, bioenergy and bio-chemicals.
- The Farm to Fork strategy acknowledges the role of biorefineries in the path towards a climate-neutral economy.
Besides, the European Commission sets new targets on land, pesticides and fertilisers to green the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). Member States will define how to achieve the targets in their national CAP Strategic Plans. The sustainability agenda of the CAP turns national, as the European Commission delegates Member States to design, plan and implement actions on their own. This will give them flexibility to allocate resources depending on their specific priorities.
Member States will define the measures to achieve 2030 targets, which are:
- 50% reduction of chemical pesticides;
- At least 10% of agricultural area under high-diversity landscape features;
- At least 25% of agricultural land under organic farming management;
- 50% reduction on nurient losses from fertilisers, resulting in (at least) 20% fertilisers reduction.
The legislative process is not completed and other changes may follow. The regulation that revises the Common Agricultural Policy is not adopted yet and it is unlikely that a compromise will be reached before the end of next year. Member States will nevertheless prepare their plans, which will be evaluated by the Commission before adoption.
EBA is actively advocating for full recognition of the role of biogas and other renewable gasses in making agriculture more sustainable.