(11 February 2016) – The implementation of the new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) for the period 2014-2020 is not as “green” as the European Commission is claiming, a new study has found.
A study conducted by the European Environmental Bureau (EEB) and BirdLife Europe found a €1 billion decline in the actual funding for “green” measures meant to benefit the environment on farmland. The EEB notes that over 80% of protected extensive grasslands in Natura 2000 sites are in an “unfavourable condition”. Agriculture is also responsible for 10% the EU’s emissions of greenhouse gases.
The report stated that the original idea behind the reform of the post-2013 CAP was to ensure public money was being used to pay for public goods. “This was translated into good agronomic practices linked with farmers’ direct payments and more ambitious measures for the environment in Rural Development,” it said. But, according to the report, as political negotiations evolved, “this intention rapidly disappeared, leaving us with very weak basic regulations”.
The report showed that compared to the previous period, 2007-2013, an estimated 73% of the analysed countries have decreased their spending for environmental measures. 14 countries and regions out of 19 that were analysed have reduced their “green” spending.
In addition, in 79% of the examined cases, the quality of the measures was overstated. “This means that less than 17% of EU land will be under contracts that meaningfully contribute to the EU’s biodiversity strategy.” (EurActiv)