The European Commission proposal for the new common agricultural policy (CAP) fails the environment and the climate, according to Greenpeace.

The new CAP proposal gives national governments the responsibility to define national agriculture plans, but does not set the safeguards necessary to ensure that these plans protect public health, the environment and the climate.

The Commission also proposes to heavily cut CAP funds available for environmental protection, reducing the rural development budget by 25 per cent and ending the ring-fencing of 30 per cent of direct payments for farmers who adopt environmentally beneficial practices.

Greenpeace EU agriculture policy director Marco Contiero said: “The Commission’s plans offer almost no protection for health, the environment and climate. The EU props up the agriculture industry with billions every year. The least people can expect is that these investments help achieve climate and environment goals, and deliver healthy, nutritious food. The European Parliament and our governments must fix the CAP’s priorities and stop funneling money to a few large landowners and factory farms. Every one of us has a right to know that what we eat is isn’t cruel to animals, polluting our water, warming the planet or making us ill.”

The CAP proposal fails to specifically address the environmental and health impacts of Europe’s intensive meat and dairy sector. Animal farming in Europe contributes 12-17 per cent of the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions. It is also a major source of water, soil and air pollution, in particular from nitrogen and phosphorus in water, and ammonia and fine particulate matter in the air. Nitrogen pollution alone costs the EU up to €320 billion every year.

The European Food Safety Authority and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control described antibiotic resistance as “one of the biggest threats to public health”, echoing statements by the World Health Organization. A joint report by the two agencies confirmed the presence of bacteria in farmed animals that have developed resistance to crucial antibiotics used to treat people.

Greenpeace is calling for a 50 per cent reduction in global meat and dairy production by 2050, to protect the climate, environment and public health.

Contact:

Marco Contiero, Greenpeace EU agriculture policy director: +32 477 777034, marco.contiero@greenpeace.org

Greenpeace EU press desk: +32 2 274 1911, pressdesk.eu@greenpeace.org

For breaking news and comment on EU affairs: www.twitter.com/GreenpeaceEU 

Greenpeace is an independent global campaigning network that acts to change attitudes and behaviour, to protect and conserve the environment and to promote peace. Greenpeace does not accept donations from governments, the EU, businesses or political parties.