A major report for the United Nations has put forward solutions to halve nitrogen pollution from agriculture and the food system in Europe, including reducing meat and dairy consumption, fertiliser use and food waste.

Nitrogen, which is vital for plant growth, is present in animal excreta and synthetic fertilisers that are applied to land to boost crop production. But excessive and inefficient use of this nutrient means up to 80% of it leaks into the environment, mostly in various polluting forms of nitrogen: ammonia and nitrogen oxides, which are harmful air pollutants; nitrous oxide, a potent greenhouse gas; and nitrate, which affects water quality (see Notes).

The new report, Appetite for Change, has been produced by a group of researchers coordinated by the UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (UKCEH), the European Commission, Copenhagen Business School and the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) of The Netherlands. Read more at: UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology

Source: ENN

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