Analysing pesticide use in agriculture for Green Deal policymaking – A Life Cycle Assessment perspective

Bild på traktor som sprider bekämpningsmedel. Foto.

Författare: Raül López i Losada 

The European Green Deal includes a reduction target for chemical pesticides of 50% by 2030, indicating that environmental degradation from pesticide application is a major concern for EU policymakers.

Here, we investigate pesticide use in Swedish agriculture from a Life Cycle Assessment perspective. In doing so, we aim at providing scientific input for designing efficient policy interventions to reduce environmental degradation from pesticide use in agriculture. We find that:

  • Pesticide applications should be considered at the Active Substance level with a toxicity-weighted metric when evaluating their environmental impacts.
  • Considering the environmental benefits and economic costs of measures to reduce pesticide use are essential to ensure efficient policy interventions.
  • A discussion beyond the 50% reduction target is needed to ascertain what environmental improvements the Green Deal intends to achieve.

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Raül López i Losada