Yara calls for urgent action to reduce Europe’s food dependency on Russia
Oslo, October 6, 2022: Yara calls on the European Union and national governments to act urgently and decisively to ensure Europe reduces, and not strengthens, its dependency on Russia for food and fertilizers. A strong European fertilizer industry is crucial not only for ensuring food security in Europe and globally but also for ensuring that Europe can continue to take the lead in the green transition.
“It is imperative that the war on Ukraine does not destroy the work towards a net-zero future. It is unthinkable that we will reach the climate targets without a strong, green European industry. Instead of weakening the position of the European fertilizer industry, which is a frontrunner in decarbonization, we need massive, coordinated efforts to reach zero emissions, while at the same time reducing our dependencies on Russia,” says Svein Tore Holsether, President and Chief Executive Officer of Yara.
Curtailed production in Europe reduces worldwide availability of fertilizers and has direct, negative consequences for the global food system and global food security. The European fertilizer sector is also crucial for a sustainable, resilient food system, both In Europe and globally. Fertilizers produced in Europe have a carbon footprint that is only half of global averages, also in comparison to Russian fertilizers.
Yara therefore joins the European Parliament and other stakeholders in calling for an EU strategy for fertilizers. The essential plant nutrients provided by mineral fertilizers are estimated to produce 50 percent of the food grown today. A strategy for the European fertilizer industry is therefore a crucial step towards securing Europe’s strategic autonomy in food and agriculture. The EU’s package of solutions for the European fertilizer industry should include measures to:
- Secure continued access to natural gas. Natural gas is key for producing fertilizers and is also crucial for lowering the environmental impact of other sectors. For example, AdBlue, which is essentially made from natural gas, is a diesel exhaust fluid used in vehicles to reduce the release of harmful gases into the atmosphere. Virtually all modern diesel vehicles and machinery require AdBlue to function and around 95% of the AdBlue consumed in Europe is produced in Europe.
- Accelerate the use of renewable energy. The transition to more sustainable and resilient fertilizer production by using renewable energy and recovered nutrients requires large-scale investments. Innovation and investment support should be earmarked for the fertilizer sector to meet the three objectives of accelerating decarbonization; reducing our reliance on fossil fuels; and reducing our dependency on Russia.
- Reinforce Europe's strategic autonomy in fertilizers. European authorities should prioritize the supply of raw materials for European fertilizer production to avoid new dependencies rather than lowering barriers or imports of finished fertilizers from Russia or elsewhere. The Commission should also monitor and control the volumes of fertilizer products coming into Europe from Russia and Belarus, especially as Russian fertilizers have roughly twice the greenhouse emissions of fertilizers produced in Europe.
Yara looks forward to contributing to the debate within the European Parliament and with national governments on the EU fertilizer strategy to ensure food security in Europe.
Yara grows knowledge to responsibly feed the world and protect the planet. Supporting our vision of a world without hunger and a planet respected, we pursue a strategy of sustainable value growth, promoting climate-friendly crop nutrition and zero-emission energy solutions. Yara’s ambition is focused on growing a nature positive food future that creates value for our customers, shareholders and society at large and delivers a more sustainable food value chain.
To achieve our ambition, we have taken the lead in developing digital farming tools for precision farming and work closely with partners throughout the food value chain to improve the efficiency and sustainability of food production. Through our focus on clean ammonia production, we aim to enable the hydrogen economy, driving a green transition of shipping, fertilizer production and other energy intensive industries.
Founded in 1905 to solve the emerging famine in Europe, Yara has established a unique position as the industry’s only global crop nutrition company. We operate an integrated business model with around 17,000 employees and operations in over 60 countries, with a proven track record of strong returns. In 2021, Yara reported revenues of USD 16.6 billion.
For more information about the company, please visit www.yara.com
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