Policy brief: Keeping track of climate delivery in the CAP

This briefing paper outlines some of the limitations of the tracking methodology for assessing the contribution of the CAP budget to climate action and explores possible solutions.

The Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) proposals for 2021-2027 include a commitment to ‘mainstream’ climate change across different policy areas and for at least 25% of the EU budget to support climate change-related activities, both mitigation and/or adaptation.

This builds on the current 20% commitment under the 2014-2020 MFF. To track progress against this target, a system has been developed to track climate-related expenditure under all programmes and funds financed out of the EU budget. This includes the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).

This briefing paper is intended to help inform the ongoing debates around the CAP post-2020.

It provides an introduction to the international climate markers, the EU climate tracking system and how it is applied to the European Agricultural Guarantee Fund (EAGF) - Pillar 1 of the CAP - both currently and as proposed for the 2021-27 period.

It outlines some of the limitations of the tracking methodology for assessing the contribution of the CAP budget to climate action and explores how the proposed basic income support scheme and associated conditionality requirements could be revised to improve their contribution to climate mitigation and adaptation.

The window of opportunity to activate the necessary transition to reach climate neutrality in 2050 is very narrow. The CAP – including its budget and the new focus on results – combined with the Farm to Fork strategy represent real opportunities to help make the agriculture sector a true engine of the transition. But for this to happen we need to have a clear picture of what the budget delivers – and what it doesn't.

We cannot advance in the dark and need to ensure there is climate added value for every euro spent. The current broad brush and ex-ante approach to tracking not only falls short on that but is also likely to be an overestimate of what the budget currently provides. It is urgent to fix it and set an ex-post methodology for keeping good track of climate delivery of the CAP.

— Faustine Bas-Defossez, Principal Policy Analyst and Head of Agriculture and Land Management Programme at IEEP

 

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