EU could boost demand for high-emitting fertilizers

In order to deal with the effects of climate change and minimize their own greenhouse gas emissions, poor nations will be hurt most by the European Union’s plans to expand reliance on expensive, emissions-intensive fertilizers, The Energy Mix reports.

The EU is putting forth a program to raise public funding to maintain a consistent supply of highly-emitting fertilizers, with subsidies for producers. The EU is also pushing for sustained and unrestricted access to natural gas for fertilizer production companies, in the midst of an existential crisis brought on by hyper-addiction to fossil fuels.

Nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas produced as a byproduct of nitrogen fertilizers, has a global warming potential of 285 times that of carbon dioxide. Earlier this year, there was a chance that demand for nitrous oxide would decline as a result of sharp price increases brought on by Russia’s conflict in Ukraine.

Project Drawdown estimated that nutrient management would prevent 1.81 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions by 2050 in its initial list of the top 100 climate solutions. Additionally, a separate field study found that U.S. fertilizer producers were actually emitting 100 times more methane than they were disclosing.

Global hunger and inflation are being driven up by record-high chemical fertilizer prices, according to the Institute for Agriculture & Trade Policy and GRAIN. According to the report, a number of variables, including the high cost of natural gas, the conflict in Ukraine, and the oligopoly dominance of fertilizer manufacturers are to blame for the high pricing.

According to IATP and GRAIN, governments should concentrate on lowering fertilizer usage and controlling corporate profits rather than attempting to increase fertilizer supply, as several G20 nations are doing.

“Building new factories and ramping up production will take time and is unlikely to have an immediate impact on supply or prices,” IATP and GRAIN say.

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