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Historic European Parliament vote for nature-friendly farming

MEPs on the European Parliament’s Environment committee have today stood up for higher environmental ambition under the next Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).

MEPs defended our environment and health by listening to scientists’ recommendations [1] and citizens’ demands [2] to ensure that rhetoric on higher environmental ambition is matched by allocated minimum spending for measures to protect nature, the environment and the climate.

Today’s historic vote is the first time that the Environment committee has been given a say on CAP reform alongside the Agriculture committee.

The European Environmental Bureau (EEB) welcomed the vote result.

The European Environmental Bureau (EEB) is Europe’s largest network of environmental citizens’ organisations with around 150 organisations in more than 30 countries.

The EEB has long argued that given the agriculture sector’s huge environmental and climate impact, issues around EU farm subsidies should be granted so-called ‘co-competence’ between both committees.

Bérénice Dupeux, Agriculture Policy Officer at the European Environmental Bureau (EEB), congratulated the Environment committee MEPs who championed amendments on maximum livestock density, but she said that the committee’s position falls short of the mark in terms of addressing the extent of the current environmental and economic crisis in the agricultural sector.

Dupeux said:

“By using public money to support agricultural intensification, the EU’s current farm subsidy system exacerbates climate change and environmental destruction. It is damaging to rural communities, public health, and, crucially, current and future generations’ ability to produce healthy and safe food.

“While today’s vote in Parliament’s Environment committee shows that MEPs have risen to the challenge of seeking higher environmental ambition in the CAP, given the environmental and climate urgency, what is really needed is a full remodeling of our whole farming system.”

Today’s vote was the first in a set of key European Parliament votes on the European Commission’s proposal for reform of the CAP which will cover the years 2021-2027.

A vote in the Agriculture committee will follow at the beginning of March, and an all-MEP vote in the Parliament’s plenary session is scheduled to follow in April.

ENDS

[1] https://ieep.eu/publications/agriculture-and-land-management/future-of-the-cap/cap-2021-27-proposals-for-increasing-its-environmental-and-climate-ambition

[2] https://act.wemove.eu/campaigns/industrial-farming