EU commissioner Janez Potočnik hopes to release the green paper on Phosphorus later this month. This was his answer to the urgent message of the European companies and other stakeholders present at the first European Sustainable Phosphorus Conference, held on March 6 and 7, in Brussels.
Europe already has the knowledge and the technology to recycle phosphorus from wastewater, manure and bio waste. During ESPC2013, over 300 participants from businesses, knowledge institutes, NGO's and governments from all over Europe have committed to work together to close the phosphorus value chain. They represented the agricultural, water, chemical, waste and energy sectors.
A European legal framework and the launch of a European Phosphorus Platform are crucial missing links to make Europe more innovative and less dependent on imports. This will create business opportunities, new green jobs, improve Europe's competitive position in the long run, and avoid geopolitical tensions.
Among the speakers were EU commissioner Potočnik, Prime Minister of the Government of Flanders Kris Peeters, DG Helge Wendenburg of the German Federal Ministry BMU, DG Von Meijenfeldt of the Dutch Ministry of the Environment and Mr. Mhamed Ibnabdeljalil of OCP in Morocco, a company that extracts and transforms phosphate.
European Sustainable Phosphorus Platform
At ESPC 2013, the European Phosphorus Platform was launched. Over 150 organizations already signed the joint declaration with the outlines of the platform, that will be directly connected to the European Innovation Partnerships on Raw Materials, Water and Sustainable Agriculture and the research and innovation agendas of Horizon 2020.
The phosphorus challenge
Phosphorus is essential for life on earth. Phosphorus is needed for fertilizers, we use for feed and food. For our food security and avoiding environmental damage, it is urgent that we take action with efficient use, more recycling and smart cooperation.
For phosphorus, Europe depends on only a few exporting countries. Supplies are finite and there is no guarantee how much raw phosphorus will come to Europe. And to what price. At the same time we waste a lot of phosphorus in the food chain.
For a 2,5 minute explanation of ‘the Phosphorus Challenge' please watch and share our animated video on www.phosphorusplatform.eu.