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CAP 2021-27: proposals for increasing its environmental and climate ambition

AUTHORS: Kaley Hart – Faustine Bas-Defossez

Although the CAP is the key EU funding mechanism to support environmental and climate action in the EU agricultural and forest sectors, efforts so far to green the CAP have not been sufficient to outweigh the pressures facing the environment and climate.

With the negotiations for the 2021-27 CAP already underway, urgent action is required to ensure the CAP provides the right set of signals to Member States and land managers that the status quo is no longer tenable and that significant changes in the design and delivery of CAP support are necessary to improve its environmental and climate performance and ultimately to secure long term food production.

This report examines the CAP proposals for 2021-27 from an environmental and climate perspective and identifies positive elements that must be retained as well as areas that must be strengthened.  It identifies 30 actions required to improve the chances that the CAP will lead to increased environmental and climate ambition in EU rural areas. These are intended as a positive contribution to the debates on the future CAP as the legislative proposals move through the negotiation process.

The report concludes that the CAP proposals must be revised to embody a genuine performance-based approach, within which Member States are required to tailor the support they provide under both Pillars of the CAP towards meeting clear objectives and nationally identified needs and are held accountable for doing this. Without strong accountability there is a risk that Member States will take the easy option and choose to continue with the status quo.

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