EuroChem

Background

EuroChem is one of Europe and the world’s largest synthetic fertilizer companies.1FERTILIZERS MARKET – GROWTH, TRENDS, COVID-19 IMPACT, AND FORECASTS (2022 – 2027),” Mordon Intelligence. Archived August 1, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/DUYxn 2Mineral Fertilizers Market Size and Emerging Trends 2022-2028 | Growing Acceptance of Advanced Chemical Fertilizers & Government Subsidies to Encourage Market Growth, Predicts The Brainy Insights,” Global Newswire, March 1, 2022. Archived August 1, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/n6N6f 

According to reporting by Reuters, EuroChem produces roughly 5 percent of the global fertilizer supply.3David Gauthier-Villars and Gabriela Baczynska, “EXCLUSIVE How a Russian billionaire shielded assets from European sanctions,” Reuters, June 1, 2022. Archived August 1, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/1LfZ2 

According to EuroChem’s 2021 annual report, the company sells “nearly 20 million tonnes of fertilizers a year” and generates annual revenues of “some US$10 billion” while employing “over 27,000 people worldwide.” According to the report, EuroChem’s revenues in 2021 increased by 66 percent over 2020, and fertilizer sales volumes increased by 7 percent. The company also stated that it aims to become the third largest fertilizer corporation in the world in both production and sales by 2026.420 years of growth – 2021 Integrated Report,” EuroChem. Archived August 1, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/efSEV 

According to its 2021 annual report, EuroChem had a turnover of US$10.2 billion in 2021. The company reported sales by volume of: 34 percent nitrogen products, 14 percent complex fertilizers, 11 percent phosphates products, 9 percent potash fertilizers, 22 percent mining products, and 10 percent industrial products.520 years of growth – 2021 Integrated Report,” EuroChem. Archived August 1, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/efSEV  

According to EuroChem’s 2020 annual report, Europe accounted for 27 percent of EuroChem’s sales and Latin America for 25 percent of sales. North America and Asia-Pacific each accounted for 16 percent of sales, Russia for 14 percent, and Africa for 2 percent.6Resilience in action – 2020 Annual Reports and Accounts,” EuroChem. Archived August 1, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/pyUvP

EuroChem was founded in Russia, where the majority of its subsidiaries are based. It is registered in Zug, Switzerland, the capital of the Swiss canton Zug.720 years of growth – 2021 Integrated Report,” EuroChem. Archived August 1, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/efSEV

In addition to fertilizers, EuroChem is also involved in oil and gas exploration, production, and processing, as well as mining and chemical manufacturing.820 years of growth – 2021 Integrated Report,” EuroChem. Archived August 1, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/efSEV

Although headquartered in Switzerland, EuroChem was founded by Russian billionaire Andrey Melnichenko, and the majority of its subsidiaries are based in Russia. Its Russian operations include mining, ammonia production, and manufacturing, as well as the production and processing of natural gas.9Resilience in action – 2020 Annual Reports and Accounts,” EuroChem. Archived August 1, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/pyUvP

Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, both Melnichenko – who had been the non-executive director of the board of directors – and EuroChem’s former CEO, Vladimir Rashevskiy, were sanctioned by the EU in March 2022. Both then resigned from the company.10Alexander H. Tullo, “Chemical industry under pressure to cut ties with Russia,” Chemical & Engineering News, March 17, 2022. Archived August 2, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/eCBaC 11Andrey Melnichenko resigns from EuroChem Board of Directors and withdraws as main beneficiary,” EuroChem, March 10, 2022. Archived August 2, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/TA7F1

Following Russia’s invasion, Swiss authorities initially froze the company’s bank account and paused its operations, later saying that EuroChem must “take the necessary measures within the Swiss legal system to allow the company to continue to exist.”12Switzerland unfreezes EuroChem accounts after change of beneficiary – paper,” Interfax, May 23, 2022. Archived August 2, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/FxMIP 13EuroChem in Antwerp can start producing fertilizer again,” IEDE News, April 13, 2022. Archived August 2, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/G1EBv 14Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi. “UPDATE 2-EuroChem must show sanctions compliance after those imposed on Melnichenko, Swiss say,” Reuters, June 10, 2022. Archived August 2, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/tBxf7

Swiss authorities freed EuroChem’s accounts in May 2022, after ownership of the company was transferred, in trust, to Melnichenko’s wife Aleksandra Melnichenko – who later also came under sanctions from the EU.15EuroChem Group statement on ownership and control,” EuroChem, June 21, 2022. Archived August 2, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/qYh2d 16COUNCIL IMPLEMENTING REGULATION (EU) 2022/878 of 3 June 2022,” Official Journal of the European Union, June 3, 2022. Archived August 2, 2022. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

In light of the sanctions, Norwegian fertilizer producer Yara temporarily suspended purchases from EuroChem, and Austrian chemical company and fertilizer manufacturer Borealis announced that it would be refusing EuroChem’s offer to purchase its nitrogen business.17James Burgess and Jeffrey McDonald. “Ammonia, urea producer Yara halts purchases from sanctions-hit Russian suppliers,” S&P Global Commodity Insights, March 11, 2022. Archived August 2, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/5ThBq 18Borealis declines EuroChem’s offer for the acquisition of fertilizer, melamine and technical nitrogen business,” Borealis Group, March 10, 2022. Archived August 2, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/EBP2F 

In July 2022, EuroChem called on the European Commission to “pro-actively inform EU Member States that all actors in the food and fertilizer sector, EuroChem Group AG included, are free from EU sanctions.”19EuroChem calls upon European Commission to take action to protect fertilizer supply chain,” EuroChem, July 26, 2022. Archived August 2, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/ouWxb

A significant proportion of global fertilizer operations are based in Russia. According to analysis by Dutch lender Rabobank, Russia accounts for over 40 percent of potash exports, over 20 percent of ammonia exports, and over 45 percent of ammonium nitrate exports – all either components of or finished fertilizer products.20The Russia-Ukraine War’s Impact on Global Fertilizer Markets,” Rabo-Research, April 2022. Archived August 2, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/eWKad 

Fertilizer production globally was severely disrupted by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and subsequent sanctions. The conflict contributed to already rising fertilizer prices, which have increased nearly 30 percent since the start of 2022, on top of an 80 percent increase in 2021.21John Baffeswee and Chian Koh. “Fertilizer prices expected to remain higher for longer,” May 11, 2022. Archived August 2, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/Hpkxi

In July 2022, the European Commission proposed paused tariffs on goods used to produce fertilizer until 2024.22Commission proposes to temporarily scrap tariffs on goods used to produce fertiliser,” European Commission, July 19, 2022. Archived August 2, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/7a8Kh

EuroChem has opposed the European Union’s plans to become carbon neutral by 2050, a key plank of the European Green Deal.23EuroChem. “Additional comments on the CBAM consultation,” European Commission, October 28, 2020. Archived August 1, 2022. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

EuroChem has also argued against EU environmental farming legislation, stating: “European farmers are already struggling under excessive burdensome environmental legislations.”24EuroChem. “Additional comments on the consultation ‘Healthy soils – new EU soil strategy’,” European Commission, April 27, 2021. Archived August 1, 2022. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

EuroChem has repeatedly criticized the Farm to Fork Strategy (F2F), the EU’s plans for reducing agriculture’s impacts on the environment and climate. EuroChem has called Farm to Fork’s synthetic fertilizer reduction targets “pointless and counterproductive.”25EuroChem, “Our additional comments on the consultation ‘Towards zero pollution in air, water and soil – EU action plan’,” European Commission, February 10, 2021. Archived August 1, 2022. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

Stance on Climate Change

EuroChem states in its 2021 annual report that climate change “is having a direct and destructive impact on the planet, largely due to the impact of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) which trap heat and force temperatures up,” adding that “we all have an urgent duty to reduce these damaging effects and secure our global future.”2620 years of growth – 2021 Integrated Report,” EuroChem. Archived August 1, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/efSEV 

In the report, EuroChem states that its GHG emissions have increased since 2020 by around 2.5 percent, to 37,500 tons a year. EuroChem claims that it is developing a climate-focused environmental, social, and governance (ESG) strategy to “implement GHG emissions reduction actions wherever possible.” 

EuroChem also suggests in the report that it plans to significantly increase its fertilizer production in coming years.2720 years of growth – 2021 Integrated Report,” EuroChem. Archived August 1, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/efSEV EuroChem’s products include nitrogen produced from ammonia that is predominantly derived from carbon-intensive fossil fuel feedstock.28Resilience in action – 2020 Annual Reports and Accounts,” EuroChem. Archived August 1, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/pyUvP 

EuroChem nonetheless suggests that its products offer climate solutions, writing that its products will help farmers “under pressure to produce greater volumes of food from shrinking areas of arable land.”29About us,” EuroChem. Archived August 1, 2022. Archive URL:  https://archive.ph/VAGMY

EuroChem has opposed the European Union’s plans to become carbon neutral by 2050, a key plank of the European Green Deal. In 2020 comments about the carbon border adjustment mechanism, EuroChem told the European Commission that it “doubt[ed]” whether pursuing carbon neutrality was the “right path” for the EU, and stated that carbon neutral industrial production represented “an enormous or even impossible technological challenge” that would result in a “huge loss of prosperity for European citizens.”30EuroChem. “Additional comments on the CBAM consultation,” European Commission, October 28, 2020. Archived August 1, 2022. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

EuroChem has also argued against EU environmental farming legislation, stating: “European farmers are already struggling under excessive burdensome environmental legislations.”31EuroChem. “Additional comments on the consultation ‘Healthy soils – new EU soil strategy’,” European Commission, April 27, 2021. Archived August 1, 2022. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

EuroChem has repeatedly criticized the Farm to Fork Strategy (F2F), the EU’s plans for reducing agriculture’s impacts on the environment and climate. EuroChem has called Farm to Fork’s synthetic fertilizer reduction targets “pointless and counterproductive.”32EuroChem. “Our additional comments on the consultation ‘Towards zero pollution in air, water and soil – EU action plan’,” European Commission, February 10, 2021. Archived August 1, 2022. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

Impacts of Fertilizers on Climate Change

The global food system accounts for around 30 percent of global human-driven greenhouse gas emissions. Experts consider the sector “a key driver of climate change.”33Tim G. Benton, Carling Bieg, Helen Harwatt, Roshan Pudasaini and Laura Wellesley, “Food system impacts on biodiversity loss – Three levers for food system transformation in support of nature,” Chatham House, February 2021. Archived August 2, 2022. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog. 

Synthetic fertilizers are a major contributor to the food sector’s carbon footprint, because methane (or “natural”) gas is the primary feedstock for synthetic fertilizer production.34How Fertilizer Is Making Climate Change Worse,” GRAIN, November 1,2021 Archived November 25, 2021. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/wip/7sbQ7 

Once in use, both organic and synthetic nitrogen fertilizers emit significant quantities of nitrous oxide (NO2), a greenhouse gas that traps 300 times more heat than CO2 and can remain in the atmosphere for decades.35Daisy Dunne.“Nitrogen fertilizer use could ‘threaten global climate goals’,” Carbon Brief, September 7, 2020. Archived November 25, 2021. Archive URL: https://archive.fo/L9DNY 36Tackling climate change,” European Commission, Archived December 3, 2021. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/vKMzc

Over the past four decades, rising use of nitrogen-based fertilizers has driven up global emissions of NO2.37Daisy Dunne.“Nitrogen fertilizer use could ‘threaten global climate goals’,” Carbon Brief, September 7, 2020. Archived November 25, 2021. Archive URL: https://archive.fo/L9DNY

Today the global climate impact of nitrogen fertilizer alone is greater than the impacts of commercial aviation, contributing roughly 2 percent of all global emissions.38Dana Drugmand, Steven Feit, Lili Fuhr, and Carroll Muffett, “Fossils, Fertilizers, and False Solutions: How Laundering Fossil Fuels in Agrochemicals Puts the Climate and the Planet at Risk,” Centre for International Environmental Law, October 2022. Archived November 1, 2022. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog. 39GRAIN, Greenpeace International and Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP). “New research shows 50 year binge on chemical fertilisers must end to address the climate crisis,” November 1, 2021. Archived August 2, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/7sbQ7

In May 2020, the EU’s Farm to Fork strategy set a goal to reduce at least 20 percent of nutrient losses on EU farms by 2030, which could translate into a 20 percent reduction in synthetic fertilizer use.40EU Farm to Fork Strategy,” European Commission. Archived on November 25, 2021, Archive URL: https://archive.ph/wip/d0SZD 41Kerstine Appunn. “EU’s Farm to Fork strategy impacts climate, productivity and trade,” Clean Energy Wire, March 5, 2021. Archived November 26, 2021. Archive URL: https://archive.fo/iwt40

Stance on “Intensification” as Climate and Biodiversity Solution

EuroChem lobbies for “intensification” – producing more food on the same amount of land, with synthetic fertilizers playing a key role – as a solution to the biodiversity, soil health, and climate crises. 

In 2021, in response to Brussels’ plans on land use and land change, EuroChem sent the European Commission a paper exploring possible policy approaches: intensification and “extensification,” or expanding the amount of land used for food production.42Thomas Mannheim, Catarina Henka, EuroChem. “Intensive Landwirtschaft und Schutz der Biodiversität – Ein Widerspruch? Intensive Landwirtschaft ist Teil des Biodiversitätsschutzes,” European Commission, November 2019. Archived August 1, 2022. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

The paper, which EuroChem had published in 2019, argued that synthetic fertilizers had a role to play in “sustainable intensification,” through targeted use contributing “significantly to high yields” without increasing the amount of land devoted to food production. By contrast, according to the paper, agricultural practices that minimized or eliminated use of synthetic fertilizers, such as organic farming, would lead to conversion of more land to agricultural use to achieve the same yields, further harming biodiversity and climate:43Thomas Mannheim, Catarina Henka, EuroChem. “Intensive Landwirtschaft und Schutz der Biodiversität – Ein Widerspruch? Intensive Landwirtschaft ist Teil des Biodiversitätsschutzes,” European Commission, November 2019. Archived August 1, 2022. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog. 44“Contributions – LULUCF Revision – 2021,” European Commission, 2021. Archived August 1, 2022. Archived .csv on file at DeSmog.

 “Only through a sustainable intensification of agricultural production climate objectives and food security can be jointly achieved whilst securing the economic survival of EU farmers…[T]he EU must urgently abandon its extensification strategy for agriculture laid out in the Farm-to-Fork strategy, e.g. 25% organic farming by 2030, as considerably less food per hectare is produced with organic farming.” 

It concluded: “Reduction targets [on fertilizer use] would have even more detrimental effects.”

In 2021, EuroChem repeated this message in its public consultation response to the “New EU Soil Strategy – healthy soil for a healthy life,” proposal, stating that “the Commission’s extensification strategy of increasing organic farming by 25% is both absurd and detrimental.”45EuroChem. “Additional comments on the consultation ‘Healthy soils – new EU soil strategy’,” European Commission, April 27, 2021. Archived August 1, 2022. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog. 46“Contributions – Healthy soils – new EU soil strategy,” European Commission, February 2, 2021 – April 27, 2021. Archived August 1, 2022. Archived .cvs on file at DeSmog. 

Academics, NGOs and policy makers have sharply challenged claims that intensification can provide a climate and biodiversity solution. 

In 2015, the CGIAR research program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security examined whether ‘sustainable intensification’ could sufficiently reduce the emissions from agriculture. It found that: “Neither business-as-usual intensification of agriculture nor moderate adoption of mitigation practices will reduce emissions enough to avoid a 2-degree C temperature increase in 2100 compared to pre-industrial levels.”47Julianna White, “Sustainable intensification will not keep us within the 2-degree goal for 2030,” CGIAR research program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security, April 9, 2015. Archived July 28, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/W5F8P 

The argument that fertilizer use is a necessary solution to global food needs has also been widely criticized.48Sarah Yang. “Can organic crops compete with industrial agriculture?,” Berkeley News, December 9, 2014. Archived July 28, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/OWD0C 

“[Attempts to] grow more by spreading more nitrogen fertiliser and destroying what is still ecologically useful will only further deteriorate the production capacity of agricultural systems,” according to agronomist Pierre-Marie Aubert, from French think tank IDDRI.49Harald Schumann, Nico Schmidt and Alicia Prager. “The battle over pesticides in Europe,” Investigate Europe, June 24, 2022. Archived July 28, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/POsZd

Yet, agribusiness interests are using these arguments to “lock-in” dependence on industrial, chemical-intensive forms of farming, which are harming both biodiversity and climate, according to the International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems (IPES-Food).50From Uniformity to Diversity – A paradigm shift from industrial agriculture to diversifed agroecological systems,”  International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems, 2016. Archived July 28, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/rrzNt

Stance on Sustainable Agriculture and Pollution Reduction Plans

EuroChem has lobbied against key elements of the EU’s Green Deal related to fertilizers and farming. 

In February 2021, the company submitted a response to the European Commission’s Public Consultation on the EU’s action plan towards zero pollution of air, water and soil.51EuroChem. “Our additional comments on the consultation ‘Towards zero pollution in air, water and soil – EU action plan’,” European Commission, February 10, 2021. Archived August 1, 2022. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog. The plan aims to reduce air, water, and soil pollution to “levels no longer considered harmful to health and natural ecosystems” by 2050. It includes key targets to improve soil quality, by reducing nutrient losses (which largely come from synthetic fertilizers) and chemical pesticide use by 50 percent.

Its response stated that the consultation process was “missing considerations of the huge agronomic and economic benefits of agriculture in general and specifically of fertilization ensuring food production and providing affordable high-quality food for millions of consumers in the EU and worldwide.”52EuroChem. “Our additional comments on the consultation ‘Towards zero pollution in air, water and soil – EU action plan’,” European Commission, February 10, 2021. Archived August 1, 2022. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

EuroChem accused the commission of being unrealistic by trying “to present the image of an ideal world, without saying that such an unrealistic scenario leads to a severe disruption of social and economic activities.” EuroChem argued that “quantitative reduction targets for fertilizers on EU level, as indicated in the F2F, is pointless and counterproductive.” EuroChem advocated for managing nutrient levels at a regional level, and suggested that additional monitoring of pollution was “certainly not necessary,” because the agricultural sector already had “well-established” systems in place.53EuroChem. “Our additional comments on the consultation ‘Towards zero pollution in air, water and soil – EU action plan’,” European Commission, February 10, 2021. Archived August 1, 2022. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog. 

EuroChem’s criticism of the legislation hinged on a 2020 impact assessment of Farm to Fork by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) that examined the effect that the Farm to Fork Strategy could have on agricultural production and farmer revenues. The USDA’s analysis found that Farm to Fork could lead to significant reductions in EU agricultural production, and possible rises in consumer prices and imports.54Jayson Beckman, Maros Ivanic, Jeremy L. Jelliffe, Felix G. Baquedano, and Sara G. Scott. “Economic and Food Security Impacts of Agricultural Input Reduction Under the European Union Green Deal’s Farm to Fork and Biodiversity Strategies,” United States Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service, November 2020. Archived December 15, 2022. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

EuroChem’s submission claimed that the USDA study “confirm[ed] our strong concerns.”55EuroChem. “Our additional comments on the consultation ‘Towards zero pollution in air, water and soil – EU action plan’”, European Commission, February 10, 2021. Archived August 1, 2022. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

The USDA study is one of seven impact assessments conducted to date on the impacts of Farm to Fork. Of the seven studies, five have been financed and shaped by major industry players.56Nina Holland and Rachel Tansey. “A loud lobby for a silent spring: the pesticide industry’s toxic lobbying tactics against Farm to Fork,” Corporate Europe Observatory, December 2021. Archived May 24, 2022. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

Multiple NGOs and academics have criticized the studies, arguing that they only give a “partial and incomplete” picture of the EU’s plans.57Alice Poiron. “Why Attacks Against the EU Farm to Fork Strategy Completely Miss the Point,” Slow Food, February 9, 2022. Archived October 25, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/hwUqD For example, they do not consider positive impacts from more sustainable production, such as the impact that a more thriving bee population could have on crop pollination.58Nina Holland and Rachel Tansey. “A loud lobby for a silent spring: the pesticide industry’s toxic lobbying tactics against Farm to Fork,” Corporate Europe Observatory, December 2021. Archived May 24, 2022. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog. They also fail to consider what will happen if no action is taken, and climate breakdown and biodiversity loss lead to a global crisis in food production.59“Green Deal targets for 2030 and agricultural production studies – Fact Sheet,” European Commission, February 2022. Archived August 4, 2022. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

Lobby watchdog Corporate Europe Observatory accused industry members of using the studies “to scaremonger about economic losses while painting an unfair picture” about the impact of F2F’s fertilizer reduction targets.60A loud lobby for a silent spring: The pesticide industry’s lobbying tactics against Farm to Fork.,” Corporate Europe Observatory, March 17, 2022. Archived July 26, 2022. Archive PDF: https://archive.ph/hpFb3 

Agrochemical interests including EuroChem have widely called for the European Commission to conduct its own impact assessment.61EuroChem. “Our additional comments on the consultation ‘Towards zero pollution in air, water and soil – EU action plan’,” European Commission, February 10, 2021. Archived August 1, 2022. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

In July 2021, EuroChem Head of Public Affairs Igor Shmidt wrote in Fertilizer International Magazine:62Facebook post by EuroChem, July 23, 2021. Archived August 1, 2022. Archived .png on file at DeSmog. 

“Regrettably, the European Commission has shied away from presenting its own comprehensive impact assessment of the Farm to Fork Strategy, while being critical of other institutions, such as the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), that have willingly undertaken such studies. 

Corporate Europe Observatory stated that “such assessments tend to favour economic factors over social and environmental ones, only delaying progress towards tackling the climate emergency.”63Vicky Cann. “Exploiting the Ukraine crisis for Big Business,” Corporate Europe Observatory, July 28, 2022. Archived October 25, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/dSLE8

Stance on EU Soil Strategy

In EuroChem’s response to the EU Soil Strategy, a policy plan for improving soil health to help foster biodiversity and capture atmospheric carbon, the company stated that “European farmers are already struggling under excessive burdensome environmental legislations.”64EuroChem. “Additional comments on the consultation ‘Healthy soils – new EU soil strategy’,” European Commission, April 27, 2021. Archived August 1, 2022. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

EuroChem has argued that issues such as pollution and soil health should be managed by Member States, rather than by EU-wide legislation.65EuroChem. “Our additional comments on the consultation ‘Towards zero pollution in air, water and soil – EU action plan’,” European Commission, February 10, 2021. Archived August 1, 2022. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog. 66EuroChem. “Additional comments on the consultation ‘Healthy soils – new EU soil strategy’,” European Commission, April 27, 2021. Archived August 1, 2022. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

In April 2021, EuroChem stated that “soil has no cross-border effect and, consequently, no EU legal framework for soil should be introduced in the future.”67EuroChem. “Additional comments on the consultation ‘Healthy soils – new EU soil strategy’,” European Commission, April 27, 2021. Archived August 1, 2022. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

Stance on Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanisms

In 2020, EuroChem responded to the European Commission’s plans for a carbon border adjustment mechanism (CBAM). The plans aimed to level the costs of higher-emission imports with products produced under stricter carbon-neutral targets in the EU.68EuroChem. “Additional comments on the CBAM consultation,” European Commission, October 28, 2020. Archived August 1, 2022. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

EuroChem suggested that climate policies were being “misused as modified trade defense instruments to protect EU companies from better performing competitors outside Europe.” 

EuroChem continued:

“The European Commission is also spreading false rhetoric by claiming that the EU’s trading partners will hesitate to impose counter-measures once a CBAM is introduced. Being international and working with many international governments, we can affirmatively state that they will not hesitate a minute to take counter-measures.” 

EuroChem suggested that the EU was imposing CBAM “without proper consultation at international level with other key global trading partners.” 

EuroChem suggested that because of this, the measures would “undercut and undermine the global dialogue on climate, discouraging and potentially leading to countries’ withdrawals altogether.” 

EuroChem also suggested that CBAM would be “counterproductive for the EU fertilizer industry to innovate and to decarbonize.” According to the company, the EU should focus instead on designing a “business-friendly” framework to support decarbonization technologies, particularly carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS).69EuroChem. “Additional comments on the CBAM consultation,” European Commission, October 28, 2020. Archived August 1, 2022. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

Funding

According to its 2021 annual report, EuroChem had a turnover of US$10.2 billion in 2021. The company reported the following sales by volume to be: 34% nitrogen, 14% complex, 11% phosphates, 9% potash, 22% mining products, 10% industrial products.7020 years of growth – 2021 Integrated Report,” EuroChem. Archived August 1, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/efSEV  

According to its 2020 annual report, Europe accounted for 27% of EuroChem’s sales and Latin America for 25 percent of sales. North America and Asia-Pacific each accounted for 16 percent of sales, , Russia for 14 percent, and Africa for 2 percent.71Resilience in action – 2020 Annual Reports and Accounts,” EuroChem. Archived August 1, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/pyUvP

Lobbying

EuroChem spent 100,000 – 199,999 euros on lobbying in 2020, according to the EU transparency register.72EuroChem Group AG,” EU Transparency Register, November 15, 2022. Archived August 2, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/2jJ9v 

Between 2018 and 2020, EuroChem spent 550,000 – 750,000 euros in total, and in 2020 employed two lobbyists registered in the EU Transparency Register.73EuroChem Group AG,” LobbyFacts.eu. Archived August 2, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/p8H8J 

EuroChem states that its primary policy targets are legislation and plans involving:74EuroChem Group AG,” EU Transparency Register, November 15, 2022. Archived August 2, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/2jJ9v

  • Fertilizer regulation
  • Industry and trade
  • Energy
  • Agriculture policy, such as the Common Agricultural Policy
  • Environmental regulations, including soil, water, and air
  • Chemical regulations or REACH
  • Climate change and energy policies such as the EU Emission Trading Scheme or CBAM

EuroChem did not disclose any meetings held with senior members of the European Commission in 2021.75EuroChem Group AG,” EU Transparency Register, November 15, 2022. Archived August 2, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/2jJ9v

Affiliations

EuroChem is a member of the European Chemical Industry Council (CEFIC).76List of Corporate Members (ACOM),” CEFIC, May 2022. Archived December 19, 2022. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

EuroChem was previously a member of Fertilizers Europe. In March 2022, Fertilizers Europe announced that in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and EU sanctions of Melnichenko, it had “decided to suspend the membership of EuroChem Group as of 23 March 2022. An Extraordinary General Assembly will be called towards end of April to take a formal decision on EuroChem’s membership.”77Fertilizers Europe Suspends the Membership of EuroChem Group,” Fertilizers Europe, March 23, 2022. Archived August 2, 2022. Archive .pdf on file at DeSmog. 

As of November 2022, EuroChem was no longer listed as a member of the industry group.78Members,” Fertilizers Europe. Archived August 2, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/I258Q

EuroChem’s 2022 submission to the EU Transparency Register stated that it was a member of the International Fertilizer Association (IFA).79EuroChem Group AG,” EU Transparency Register, November 15, 2022. Archived August 2, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/2jJ9v 

However, the company was no longer listed on the IFA’s membership list.80Our Members,” International Fertilizer Association. Archived August 2, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/O9BxA.

EuroChem’s Transparency Register entry also stated that “EuroChem Group is through its production and sales, R&D locations also a member of the national fertilizer associations throughout the EU and abroad (e.g. Industrieverband Agrar).”81EuroChem Group AG,” EU Transparency Register, November 15, 2022. Archived August 2, 2022. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/2jJ9v

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