Photo credit: Karwai Tang / UK Government

Brussels opposes 3rd world food plan due to climate goals

The European Commission is opposing the building of fertiliser plants in Africa and the Middle East on environmental grounds, even in the face of mass global food shortages.

Since the start of Russia’s war in Ukraine, there has been a significant rise in the price of chemical fertilisers internationally, which has brought the global food supply under threat. Large amounts of these fertilisers are produced in Russia and Belarus, which has caused supply issues for agri-food industries around the world.

Even in Western countries like Ireland there have been warnings of potential food shortages. However, already impoverished countries are most at risk, with the UN warning that 276 million people worldwide are facing food insecurity amid the current crisis.

While the EU has offered financial support to the Middle East and Africa, last week the European Commission opposed a plan to help develop fertiliser plants in these poor countries, citing the negative impact this would reportedly have on the climate.

According to Reuters, “the EU Commission explicitly opposed the text, warning that supporting fertiliser production in developing nations would be inconsistent with the EU energy and environment policies, officials said.”

Reportely, chemical fertiliser plants require large amounts of energy, leading the Commission to conclude this would be incompatible with the bloc’s climate goals.

However, the food shortages threaten to lead to a mass refugee crisis, with the UN refugee chief warning that millions are already on the move globally, and many more will follow if food shortages continue.

“If you have a food crisis on top of everything I have described – war, human rights, climate – it will just accelerate the trends I’ve described in this report,” Filippo Grandi said, describing the figures as “staggering”.

“Clearly the impact if this is not resolved quickly will be pretty devastating.”

Without a solution, Europe could face a refugee crisis bigger than that seen in 2016 during the rise of ISIS.



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