The European Commission has slashed funding earmarked for environmental protection in a draft seven-year EU budget released today.
The Commission has removed environmental funding under the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), which is the biggest part of the EU budget, accounting for almost 40 percent of the EU’s expenditure.
Under the current budget (2014-2020), 30 percent of direct CAP payments to farmers (which take up about 80 percent of CAP funding) is conditional on meeting minimum environmental standards. This is by far the largest EU funding stream for environmental protection.
Greenpeace EU agriculture policy director Marco Contiero said: “It’s shocking that the Commission hasn’t ring-fenced money for environmental protection in the EU’s direct payments to farmers, especially considering the damage done by industrial farming. The EU is already lagging behind in its commitments to tackle climate change, water and air pollution, and environmental destruction – to have nothing set aside to address these failures in its single largest expenditure is unacceptable. European governments and the EU Parliament need to fix this budget so that the EU can back up its promises for greener and fairer farming.”
The EU budget, known as the Multiannual Financial Framework, outlines the total budget of the European Union for the next seven years (2021-2027) and allocates funds to different sectors and policies.
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