The food and drink industry welcomes the Commission’s ‘Fit for 55’ package. The proposed set of measures will help cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by at least 55% by 2030 and ultimately reach climate neutrality in the EU by 2050.
Discussions held during COP 26 reinforced the importance of this goal through several key actions1. It is urgent to reduce GHG emissions significantly, and rapidly, to prevent a rise in global temperatures with devastating impacts on people, biodiversity, the environment, and our food production.
Food production from farm-to-fork represents 30% of total carbon emissions within the EU, with the manufacturing process accounting for 11% of this share, and 3% of the total. The European food and drink industry can thus play a key role in the fight against climate change. Our sector is committed to helping the EU become the first climate-neutral continent by 2050, and to achieve the Paris Agreement objective to keep the global temperature increase below 2°C above 1990 levels.
Over the years, our companies have been integrating climate change in their business strategies and are continuously working to minimise the environmental impacts of their products based on a life-cycle approach. Food and drink manufacturers have increased the uptake of renewable energy, reduced food waste and are moving towards a circular economy, including making the use of more sustainable packaging.
While we are on the right path, we need to accelerate efforts but we can only do this if there are cooperation and partnerships between public and private actors across the EU. As shown in the new ‘Code of Conduct on Responsible Food Business and Marketing Practices’4 adopted earlier this year, we also need supportive measures to play our part in the path to climate neutrality and to deliver on its own commitment (i.e. 55% reduction of GHG emissions by 2030).