- Canada is moving forward with cuts to emissions resulting from fertilizer application without considering whether the targets are achievable, a similar policy as the one that sparked mass farmer protests in Europe.
- Reduction in fertilizer use could devastate Canada’s economy and contribute to the global food crisis, according to experts and industry leaders.
- “This latest wave of social engineering in the name of climate change is no longer an innocuous exercise in virtue signaling. Interfering with the global food supply chain is something every individual on Earth should be very concerned about,” economist Pete Earle told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government Friday introduced a plan to reduce nitrogen emissions from fertilizer use, similar to the Dutch government’s directives to limit nitrogen pollution that sparked protests among thousands of European farmers.
The Canadian government’s plan to reduce fertilizer-related emissions 30% from 2020 levels by 2030 was part of a meeting among federal, provincial and territorial ministers of agriculture to discuss the new Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership, a five-year agricultural policy framework. Some provincial leaders urged the federal government to reconsider the “shortsighted” fertilizer emissions goals they argue would slash incomes and exacerbate worldwide food scarcity, according to a joint press release from the governments of Saskatchewan and Alberta.
“Western Canadian farmers already produce the most sustainable agri-food products in the world, and they’re continually being asked to do more with less. We cannot feed the growing world population with a reduction in fertilizer,” the press release stated.
Removing nitrogen-based fertilizers can have a severe impact on agricultural production, as Sri Lanka demonstrated when a ban on organic fertilizers cut crop yields in half.
“The fact that Trudeau is pushing forward with these plans mere weeks after the economic collapse of Sri Lanka proves what many of us already suspected. These Green plans and this ESG craze are … all about rigid adherence to political dogma, regardless of the consequences or tradeoffs,” Pete Earle, an economist at the American Institute for Economic Research, told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
In 2020, the Government of Canada issued a Strengthened Climate Plan originally calling for the 30% reduction in emissions associated with fertilizer use, according to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.
“We’re really concerned with this arbitrary goal,” Saskatchewan Minister of Agriculture David Marit said.
The goal does not require absolute reduction in fertilizers, but local industry leaders argue that in practice it will require farmers to cut fertilizer application, the Toronto Sun reported.
“The potential economic impact of reduced fertilizer use would be devastating to Canadian farmers,” Fertilizer Canada, an industry representative, said in a 2021 statement. A 20% reduction in fertilizer use for canola, corn and spring wheat crops could cause Canadian farmers to lose up to $48 billion between 2023 and 2030, according to a MNP report commissioned by the Fertilizer Institute.
Canada’s proposed policy mirrors the Dutch government’s decision earlier in June to halve emissions of nitrogen oxide from manure and ammonia from fertilizer by 2030. The policy could force roughly a third of the Netherlands’ livestock farmers out of business.
Farmers blocked roads and orchestrated tractor convoys in protest, and Canadian farmers demonstrated in front of the Dutch embassy in solidarity with the Dutch farmers Saturday, Global News reported. (RELATED: Here Are Just Some Of The Uprisings Over Government Incompetence Happening Around The World)
Scaling back fertilizer use could also make global food shortages worse, according to Earle.
“This latest wave of social engineering in the name of climate change is no longer an innocuous exercise in virtue signaling. Interfering with the global food supply chain is something every individual on Earth should be very concerned about,” he said.
Canada is the world’s 4th largest wheat exporter, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. USDA forecasts an improved yield in 2023 that could increase in export quantities, offsetting a decline in Ukrainian production due to the ongoing war.
The Canadian government wants to decrease emissions “while finding ways to increase yields and economic growth–all while feeding a growing global population,” the agricultural ministry stated.
The decision by Canandian and Dutch elites to restrict nitrogen usage is nothing less than a death sentence to millions globally to die of starvation. This self-righteous posturing by Canadian and Dutch politicians will create untold human suffering. 8/n
— Nathan Carson (@ndcarson) July 24, 2022
Agriculture contributes to 10% of Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions, according to the agricultural ministry. Canadian cereal production also has one of the highest levels of emissions intensity, or amount of greenhouse gasses emitted relative to production quantity, among major exporters.
The Government of Canada developed initiatives to incentivize farmers to reduce fertilizer use, including organic alternatives and more efficient application methods, and announced an additional $500 million for the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership program Friday.
“With the experience of fertilizer industry representatives, farmers and other pertinent groups, we can work together to identify concrete and innovative steps to help meet our targets,” said Canadian Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Marie-Claude Bibeau.
Meanwhile, Canadian officials indicated Saturday they would consider extending emissions reductions targets for the oil and gas industry, according to AFP.
The Office of the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food did not respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.
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