COP27 – Decarbonisation Day – Food and Fertiliser

Forging ahead with any and all ways to decarbonise the environment is on everyone’s mind. This is an urgent aim for individuals, companies, industries, forums and global summits like COP27. If the world could decarbonise in a day, all our environmental problems would practically be over. As lovely as this dream is, it has to turn into a reality. The pathways to a zero-carbon policy for Africa and other developing countries have to be created. Only then, will countries be able to lessen the carbon footprint, if not diminish it altogether. The main idea to achieve this is to get the establishment of proper infrastructure going in these countries.

High in Carbon, Low on Life

Carbon is a killer. There is no doubt about it. In the areas of power access, health, sanitation, housing, industry and transportation, traditional carbon-centric resources have, so far, been used. In developing nations, the use of steel, hydrocarbons, and concrete have been majorly used for key aspects of the development of infrastructure. They also lead to poor health and an even worse quality of life for people, especially those riddled in poverty in Africa and Asia. In the industry of food and fertiliser use, carbon plays a major role in the generation and delivery of food to people who need it most.

In the effort to feed the world, the food and fertiliser industry faces a double-edged sword. On the one hand, fertilisers go towards the protection of crops and feed millions. On the other, they are so carbon-intensive in their creation, they do more harm than good in the manufacturing process. Furthermore, during their use, nitrous oxide is released, a huge benefactor of climate change. The need of the hour at COP27 is to get on the bandwagon to produce green fertilisers, with less chemical use.

Fertiliser Autonomy

The potential of the EU to produce green fertilisers is large and promising. It has been central to spearheading the green transition and leads the rest of the world. It has thought of and implemented effective methods and strategies to decarbonising the food and fertiliser sector in terms of energy value chains. Consequently, this transition, which has so far been successful, should not face any interruptions by curbing Europe’s gas-dependent position. COP27 is against the import of fertilisers, largely made by other countries, into Europe. In fact, the technology that Europe is using should be adopted by other nations, especially developing ones, to make and use green fertilisers.

In the interest of decarbonising the world, any curbs that threaten Europe’s autonomy in making green fertilisers should be prevented. In case it is not, the fertiliser industry could see carbon emissions increase exponentially the world over. Europe produces mineral-based fertilisers that have a low carbon content. This is nearly 50% to 60% lower than fertilisers made in any other countries. It is especially crucial that events like the Ukraine war do not put Europe’s fertiliser industry in jeopardy.

Decreasing Dependency

The main aim of the world is to reduce the dependency on Russia for the production of food. This would automatically see decreases in fertiliser use in Russia. The European system of fertiliser production and use is witnessing a change toward green energy in action, and this could impact the world on a larger scale. Consequently, constant operations in this must continue, and increase. Besides the efficient manufacture and use of fertilisers in the EU, there is also an effective way to indulge in farming best practices. European farmers take the lead here too, increasing the crop yield by almost 7%, using 20% lower carbon in their farming activities.