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Submission to European Commission on modernising and simplifying the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP)

The current governance and decision-making process of the CAP is a main barrier preventing the current policy from delivering on its objectives.  Representing almost 40% of the EU budget, the CAP has to be aligned with the EU’s environmental, climate and development objectives. This means that many more relevant stakeholders need to be involved in the discussions on the CAP.  From a climate perspective, the CAP has not led to a desperately needed shift in agricultural practices. Agriculture is currently responsible for around 10% of the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions and these emissions are projected to rise in the coming years. This raises questions about the effectiveness of the €16 billion euro “greening” of the CAP.

The CAP has moreover failed to implement the “polluter-pays” principle, and often the polluter is paid instead. Currently the largest share of the budget is directed to the biggest and most polluting farms, while a majority of farmers that host the most biodiversity on their lands lose out. Including other voices in the future CAP negotiations will help to promote the links between the CAP and other policies (such as the Effort Sharing and LULUCF Regulations as well as air quality legislation). This can help ensure that in the future, public money delivers public goods and the CAP reform provides results-based payments for specific environmental or social deliverables. There is a need for a clear decarbonization agenda for the sector to reach net zero in 2050.

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