EU agricultural funding destined for climate action has not contributed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions from farming, according to a special report from the European Court of Auditors (ECA). Although over a quarter of all 2014-2020 EU agricultural spending – more than €100 billion – was earmarked for climate change, greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture have not decreased since 2010. This is because most measures supported by the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) have a low climate-mitigation potential, and the CAP does not incentivise the use of effective climate-friendly practices.
“The EU’s role in mitigating climate change in the agricultural sector is crucial, because the EU sets environmental standards and co-finances most of Member States’ agricultural spending”, said Viorel Ștefan, the member of the European Court of Auditors responsible for the report. “We expect our findings to be useful in the context of the EU’s objective of becoming climate-neutral by 2050. The new Common Agricultural Policy should have a greater focus on reducing agricultural emissions, and be more accountable and transparent about its contribution to climate mitigation”.