The core aim of the Expert Panel on Nitrogen and Food (EPNF) is “to create a better understanding of the relationship between human diets and the impact of the N-cycle on the environment” (WGSR 47th Session. Inf. Document No. 18, September 2010). During the first phase of the EPNF, co-chaired by Henk Westhoek of the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL) and Christian Pallière of Fertilizers Europe (EFMA), the panel has developed a European Nitrogen Assessment Special Report on Nitrogen and Food, 'Nitrogen on the Table' which was launched in full on 12th January 2016, investigating the effects of a lower human intake of plant and animal originated protein on N emissions and the societal cost for mitigation NH3 and greenhouse gas emissions. Please visit 'N on the Table' to download the report. 

The second phase of the EPNF started at TFRN-11 which was held partly as joint OECD/TFRN workshop: "The nitrogen cascade and policy - towards integrated solutions", co-chared by Adrian Leip (European Commmission - Joint Research Centre) and Susanna Kugelberg (World Health Organization, Regional Office for Europe). In its second phase, the following key questions will be addressed (WGSR 53rd Session. Inf. Document, December 2015):

  1. How far could a combination of improved farm level technical measures and shifts in consumption go to improving the Nitrogen Use Efficiency of the overall food system of Europe? And what need the incentives be in order to realize this NUE improvement? 
  2. What is the relative potential of dietary changes and food waste reduction to reduce nitrogen air pollution and other environmental threats? 
  3. What are the health effects of a range of dietary patterns that generate less nitrogen pollution (ie. positive and negative)? Potential health effects include those from air pollution and those that are nutrition related. Is it possible to identify particular dietary patterns that achieve health-environmental synergies? 
  4. To what extent can a stronger link between the scientific evidence on environment and healthstrengthen the case for controlling nitrogen pollution and optimizing diets to meet human health goals?



Sustainability - Compensation of Carbon and Nitrogen emissions 

The EPNF2 meetings are organized as sustainable as possible; remote or hybrid remote meetings are done whenever possible. Carbon and Nitrogen emissions from the meetings in Milan, Wageningen, and Cercedilla have been compensated through myclimate.org by supporting the Kolar Biogas Project. This project has been selected for several reasons (i) it is a Gold Standard CDM project; (ii) it reduced both GHG and Nr emissions through better management of manure and avoiding deforestation; (iii) detailed background data are availabe from UNFCCC. The quantitative information has been used to quantify amount of Nr compensation per t of COeq. See evaluation of the Milan-meeting for a summary. As the ratio of Nr:CO2 compensation is with 4.5 g Nr / kg CO2eq larger than the ratio of the Nr:CO2 emissions caused by the meetings at (0.9 g Nr / kg CO2eq for the meeting in Milan), this project ensures that Nr emissions are fully compensated with the compensation of the GHG emissions.