Europe’s rural land faces many competing demands for the provision of food, energy and timber, as well as environmental and cultural services. There is scarcely any true wilderness left in the EU, so the ways in which land is managed affects the quality of the environment as well as the character and social fabric of much of rural Europe.
The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) continues to be a major driver of land use and management decisions. Other sectoral policies, such as those promoting renewable energy, protecting biodiversity and regulating water quality and usage have an important influence too.
IEEP seeks to inform and influence the development of the key EU policies that affect the sustainable use of rural land and to encourage the integration of environmental priorities into these policies. We provide independent policy research, analysis and advice focussing on ways in which farming and forestry can help to protect Europe’s natural resources and the wide range of environmental goods and services which they support.
This policy paper examines how the forthcoming 7EAP can contribute to protecting natural systems and improving the way in which we use natural resources. It also examines a number of cross-cutting actions needed to support the priorities of the 7EAP and ensure better delivery of EU environment policy.
Substantial changes to rural development regulation have been proposed which provide significant opportunities for Member States to deliver more for the environment. This report highlights some of these opportunities and sets out a series of principles and environmental priorities to help guide Member States in designing their future rural development programmes.
Biochar has the potential to both mitigate greenhouse gases, and to act as an adaptation measure in terms of responding to the impacts of climate change. Based on its compatibility with the appropriate soil properties, it could increase the resilience of soil to erosion.
The latest edition of IEEP's newsletter is now available with a lead article on efforts to reinvigorate EU water policy. Plus CAP reform, nature in the Green Economy, using straw for biofuels, emissions trading revenues ...
Despite some new commitments on Green Economy, oceans, and Sustainable Development Goals, progress on much of the Rio agenda will depend on actions taken by individual countries, blocs (like the EU), companies and civil society networks.
Of the three measures proposed to 'green' Pillar 1 direct payments, Ecological Focus Areas have the greatest potential to address a range of environmental concerns. How much of this potential is realised depends on a number of key factors discussed in this new IEEP report prepared at the request of the Land Use Policy Group.
The CAP could, and should, be primarily to assist EU agriculture to become more internationally competitive and sustainable and to achieve this by innovation. It already has many instruments to do this, and the reforms could further assist. However the resources deployed could be far better used.
This IEEP report, commissioned by Novozymes, considers the existing barriers, environmental risks and opportunities and the potential agricultural policy stimuli needed in order to mobilise cereal straw for advanced biofuel production in the EU.
This policy brief analyses the Commission’s staff working document on the Common Strategic Framework for the 2014-2020 EU cohesion, rural development and fisheries funds. It discusses both the opportunities and weaknesses to advance the mainstreaming of climate change and the environment into the funds.
“Urgent action is needed now to avoid significant costs of inaction, both in economic and human terms”. The OECD provides a clear message in its recent Environment Outlook to 2050: Act now – or face major and potentially disastrous consequences.
This IEEP-led study for the European Commission (DG ENV) improves the knowledge base on green infrastructure policy initiatives in Europe and assesses their implementation and efficiency. It also formulates policy recommendations for integrating green infrastructure into the EU policy framework.
A new study of the 2007-13 agri-environment schemes across the whole of EU-27 provides the first typology of ‘entry-level’ agri-environment management and environmental objectives, plus a detailed insight into the design of entry-level agri-environment schemes and calculation of payment rates in seven Member States.
The Renewables Obligation (RO) is the UK’s keynote policy for the support of renewable electricity; but currently it fails to reflect the diversity of bioenergy feedstocks. IEEP is calling on the UK government to amend the RO’s bands to allow elevated support – an ‘environmental bonus’ – for the most environmentally responsible bioenergy solutions.
The proposals from the Commission on the future CAP, announced on 12 October, could have represented a major step towards improved environmental management across the EU, but in practice they leave major doubts over how much really will be delivered.