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.
Anthropogenic climate change is a product of our patterns of behaviour and the choices we make; whether as consumers or, in the case of farmers, as land managers and producers. This session convened by IEEP at COP24 of the UNFCCC identified the common threads that could help in changing our behaviour and in the transformation of the agricultural sector. Read more and download presentations here.
The EU risks missing out on the opportunity to take a leadership role in the implementation of SDGs domestically and globally. This paper maps the action needed to step up the delivery of the 2030 Sustainability Agenda by the EU at the global level. The paper is part of the Think2030 initiative launched by IEEP and partners in 2018.
Half a degree may not sound that much but it can be a matter of life or death in the context of climate change. This is one of the headline messages of the recent IPCC special report, “Global warming of 1.5 °C”, which is based on the assessment of the latest scientific literature. The report confirms the urgency to act in order to avoid often irreversible consequences for human well-being, ecosystems and sustainable development. But what does this mean for agriculture in general and for the EU farming sector in particular? What kind of challenges would the sector face in a 1.5 °C or 2 °C world? And how can the farming sector contribute to keeping global temperature increase below 1.5°C?
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.
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.
The European Parliament’s first reading opinion on the recast of the Renewable Energy Directive, moves some steps forward in the debate on sustainable use of biomass for energy in Europe. However, the devil is in the (considerable) detail set out in the adopted text.
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?
In a published letter to The Guardian, IEEP's Alan Buckwell argues it is incorrect to describe payments to farmers who manage land for biodiversity and the ecosystem services it provides as "subsidies".