The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) continues to be a major driver of land use and management decisions. The integration of environmental objectives and measures into the CAP has been a long and incremental process.
IEEP has been closely involved in seeking to improve the environmental focus of the CAP over successive reforms since the 1980s. We provide informed analysis and innovative thinking to stimulate debates, building on our in-depth understanding of this policy area.
Our work seeks to provide the evidence base for refocussing the CAP towards environmental objectives. We seek to enhance the way in which the CAP supports the provision of environmental goods and services through influencing the management of agricultural and forest land. Our work in this area focuses on:
- Innovative thinking to inform future policy design
- Advice and guidance on mainstreaming environmental and climate issues within the CAP
- Developing suitable monitoring and evaluation frameworks, including the design of indicators
- Evaluating the environmental impacts of the CAP implementation choices made by Member States
We have pan-European experience and detailed knowledge of the intricacies of both Pillars of the CAP and the different funding opportunities available in both. In particular, our expertise covers cross-compliance, green direct payments, support within Areas of Natural Constraint, and rural development measures that can be used for environmental purposes, especially the agri-environment-climate measure. IEEP played an important role in providing evidence to inform the discussions on reforming the CAP post 2014. We have contributed to the provision of guidance on mainstreaming climate and biodiversity priorities within the CAP and on tracking climate and biodiversity expenditure under both Pillar 1 and within rural development programmes.
This year's World Soil Day highlights again the urgency for European and global policymakers to act on soil erosion as a key environmental and sustainability challenge.
This briefing paper seeks to inform EU, national and regional policymakers about how the latest Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reform could deliver much-needed improvements in environmental and climate action.
IEEP has conducted an analysis of the proposals made by both committees in terms of their environment and climate performance. The main findings are outlined below.
Today we celebrate the International Day for Biological Diversity aiming at increasing understanding of the diversity of life on the planet and awareness of its importance for human development. IEEP takes the opportunity to share some key positive lessons from recent EU biodiversity action and identify key remaining challenges towards 2030.
The status quo is no longer an option. The CAP must deliver greater ambition for the environment and climate or we risk undermining the long-term viability of our agricultural and forest systems.
Leading up to IEEP's Think 2030 conference, experts express their views on Europe's most pressing sustainability issues in the Think 2030 blog series, Pathways to 2030.
The seventh edition of Pathways to 2030 features IEEP Head of Agriculture and Land Managment, Ben Allen, and Executive Director, Céline Charveriat, who discuss issues around a just transition in the livestock sector.
New delivery model offers some potential to support a more environmentally ambitious CAP, but IEEP analysis suggests it contains many loopholes which risk maintaining the status quo.
In environmental terms there are at least two ways of looking at the prospects for 2018. Viewed through the rather sober lens of EU process, it has the look of a project completion and tidying up period with limited long term impetus to the last full year of the current European Parliament and Commission.
Moving the CAP towards a focus on performance is a positive step towards aligning agriculture payments more seriously with the delivery of environmental and climate outcomes. But is there a need to ensure that the environmental priorities identified are sufficiently ambitious and that Member States are held accountable?
IEEP's new paper, "Ideas for defining environmental objectives and monitoring systems for a results-oriented CAP post 2020", suggests a way forward.
A new evaluation of the Common Agriculture Policy’s Pillar 1 greening measures for the European Commission, led by IEEP on behalf of Alliance Environnement, found that overall the greening measures have led to only small changes in management practices, except in a few specific areas.
There is mounting interest in biomass to provide heat, power and, transport fuels but also as a basis for alternative products for replacing plastics, and other fossil fuel derived commodities. How can the bioeconomy and the bioenergy sector evolve to deliver sustainable, coordinated and efficient use of resources?
This briefing is intended as the first in a series explaining policy instruments available and the opportunities for soil protection as part of the iSQAPER research project.
If caring for the planet starts from the ground, then caring for the planet starts with farmers, foresters and all others who manage and use the EU’s soils. It follows that the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), as a major driver of the decisions made by Europe’s 12 million farmers, is critical to securing responsible, long term management of our soils and related ecosystem services.
The European Commission launched its long expected Communication on ‘the Future of Food and Farming’ on 29 November. Read IEEP’s initial reaction.
Through exploratory scenarios, this report sets out possible directions for agricultural policies and practice after leaving the EU and discusses potential impacts on the rural environment.
David’s article explores the flaws in the CAP as a delivery mechanism for public goods, as well as the opportunities for the UK Governments post-Brexit.
There is an emerging realisation that soil, and linked land use and management challenges, are fundamental to achieve sustainable development including in the areas of fighting against hunger, protecting life on land, moving to more responsible consumption and production, ensuring clean water and sanitation and addressing climate change. Addressing soil protection issues is fundamentally interconnected with our ability to deliver multiple societal needs, and the time to act is now.
A greater shift towards climate-smart agricultural land management is increasingly urgent if the EU is to reach the emissions reductions target set out in response to the Paris Agreement. To do so requires more emphasis on climate within the Common Agricultural Policy and action to reduce the climate footprint of consumer consumption patterns.
New IEEP report finds the agriculture sector can significantly contribute to the EU’s climate commitments by reducing its non-CO2 emissions. It also finds these contributions can be delivered cost efficiently with environmental co-benefits without impacting production.
The CAP is failing to reward adequately those livestock farmers who produce public goods. Brexit and CAP reform are opportunities to do better.