What is left for environment and climate in the new CAP?

On Monday, EU farm ministers approved the provisional deal reached with the European Parliament on the new CAP reform. The following assessment looks at the six fundamental issues identified by IEEP as essential for keeping the green ambition of the future CAP alive.

Faustine Bas-Defossez, IEEP’s External Impact Director reacted:

“A few days ago, in a leaked draft of the new IPCC assessment report, scientists highlighted their increasing concern about thresholds beyond which recovery may become impossible, and the European Court of Auditors found that EU agricultural spending has not made farming more climate friendly. It is therefore deeply concerning that EU co-legislators have struck a deal on the future of the Common Agricultural Policy which significantly reduces the level of environmental and climate ambition initially proposed by the European Commission.

All is not lost, however. Some elements of the deal, which were rubberstamped by farm ministers earlier this week, could still lead to environmental improvements on the ground and improve the resilience of rural areas to climate change, if, and only if, the very same ministers use the high degree of flexibility given to them to make the CAP national plans the true engines of the transition towards more sustainable farming. It is with the Member States that the responsibility for a greener agriculture now lies.

One could be forgiven for being sceptical about the level of ambition that will come forward in Member States’ CAP Strategic Plans, given the way they used the flexibilities under the current CAP for Pillar 1 greening payments to maintain the status quo instead of increasing environmental performance. However, it is important to remember that time is of the essence to support farmers to transition to more sustainable systems. Not using the opportunities that the CAP agreement offers will just only risk confirming the fears of IPCC scientists and push the sector closer to the point of no-return. Scrutiny from civil society and the European Commission around the drafting and approval of the CAP strategic plans will be critical."

Find a more detailed assessment in the table attached. 

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