Ottawa Begins Public Consultation on Reducing Fertilizer Emissions

The Canadian government has warned the average Canadian about climate change policies aimed at drastically reducing chemical fertilizer emissions, which farmers say hurt food production amid global food shortages. We are initiating time-limited consultations to seek input.

consultation survey Canadians may submit comments online until August 31, 2022. Additional comments can be sent to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) at [email protected]

The consultation aims to facilitate discussions related to Canada’s fertilizer emissions reduction target of reducing emissions by 30% from 2020 levels by 2030, the AAFC said. statement.

The target objective is achieved by controlling “direct (post-fertilizer application) and indirect (from nitrogen leaching from the field and volatilizing to the atmosphere as ammonia) emissions from fertilizer application,” it said. AAFC said. discussion documentThis target does not address emissions from fertilizer production.

But a mere 20% reduction in fertilizer use could cost Canadian farmers more than $48 billion in lost yields by 2030. 2021 Survey Commissioned by Fertilizer Canada, an industry association.

The AAFC document also notes that agriculture accounted for about 10% (73 megatons of CO2) of Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions in 2019. Synthetic fertilizers contributed about 12.75 megatonnes that year, less than his 2% of the country’s total emissions.

push back

This latest consultation is the second phase of the public engagement process for liberal governments since the introduction of the Intensity Climate Plan in December 2020. The previous consultation, which began in March 2021, covered the agricultural sector, including commodity and producer associations, states and trade associations. .

Feedback collected has highlighted sector concerns on several fronts, including negative impacts on crop yields.

“Several agricultural commodity and producer associations have noted concerns that fertilizer emission reduction targets may lead to reduced crop yields,” the AAFC said in a discussion document.

“They question the setting of targets based on absolute emissions and intensity, which appear to be in direct conflict with the Government of Canada’s export growth target of $75 billion worth of agricultural and agrifood products by 2025. Did.”

Several state agriculture ministers have also criticized the federal government’s plan to cut fertilizer emissions.

After a recent meeting between federal, state and territory agriculture ministers last month, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario expressed their disappointment with the Liberal Party’s plans and said in a press conference that cuts in fertilizer emissions would not be enough for Canadian farmers. said it would have a devastating effect on

“We have a real interest in this arbitrary target,” said Saskatchewan Agriculture Minister David Maritt. Joint statementwas released alongside his Alberta counterpart Nate Horner.

“After a very difficult year on the prairie, this was the most expensive crop anyone put in,” Horner said. We hope it will be a solution to food shortages, and the federal government needs to show that it understands this.”

Ontario Agriculture Minister Lisa Thompson has also expressed her disappointment with the federal government. Tweet July 22.

“As our farmers work to feed Canada and the world, we must work with them and support their continued efforts to grow and produce the food we need. .

Several Conservative MPs also oppose the plan, including MP John Barlow of Foothills, Alberta. video Farmers are also rising up against similar climate change policies introduced in several European countries.

“Farmers and consumers around the world are protesting. They are against the European Union From farm to table The agenda is making agriculture unsustainable, fueling food prices and making food insecurity even more dangerous,” he said.

On July 23, multiple motorcades of protests were launched across Canada in solidarity with Dutch and other European farmers who have protested against climate change policies over the past few months. At least 55 convoys were deployed in eight provinces: Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Quebec and Saskatchewan.

Isaac Teo and Petr Svab contributed to this article.

Andrew Chen


Andrew Chen is a reporter for the Epoch Times based in Toronto.