Europe’s commitment to reducing the use of pesticides must continue unabated. Any delays incurred by revisiting the impact of policies would be disastrous for biodiversity. This is the message of a petition from European scientists.
At the centre of the petition is Wageningen public administration expert Jeroen Candel. The focus of this action is the desire of various interest groups and Member States to conduct additional research into the impact of reducing pesticide use. The EU Council of Ministers will decide on this research on Monday.
The European Union wants to cut pesticide use and associated risks by half by 2030. This ambition was first outlined two years ago, but it is yet to be enshrined in legislation. New research lights a fire beneath this ambition, according to Candel. He fears that any postponement will lead cancelling plans altogether.
Opponents of pesticide intervention fear that food security is at stake due to COVID-19 and the war in Ukraine. This is why new research on the impact of sustainable agriculture is necessary. ‘A clever tactic,’ Candel says. And a successful one. ‘There seems to be an emergent majority against intervening.’
The challenges to Europe’s food system and biodiversity have remained the same since the outbreak of war in UkraineJeroen Candel, WUR public administration expert
However, according to Candel, COVID-19 and the war are sophisms. ‘The challenges to Europe’s food system and biodiversity have remained the same since the outbreak of war in Ukraine. He believes opponents want to postpone any legislation until the next European elections in 2024, after which there may be no law at all.
The online petition could be signed until noon this afternoon (Friday). It led to … declarations of support. The package was then sent to key Green Deal commissioners and EU politicians, including Frans Timmermans.