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Special report 16/2021: Common Agricultural Policy and climate: Half of EU climate spending but farm emissions are not decreasing

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21/06/2021

During the 2014-2020 period, the Commission attributed over a quarter of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP)’s budget to mitigate and adapt to climate change.

We examined whether the CAP supported climate mitigation practices able to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture. We found that the €100 billion of CAP funds attributed to climate action had little impact on such emissions, which have not changed significantly since 2010. The CAP mostly finances measures with a low potential to mitigate climate change. The CAP does not seek to limit or reduce livestock (50 % of agriculture emissions) and supports farmers who cultivate drained peatlands (20 % of emissions).

We recommend that the Commission takes action so that the CAP reduces emissions from agriculture; takes steps to reduce emissions from cultivated drained organic soils; and reports regularly on the contribution of the CAP to climate mitigation.

ECA special report pursuant to Article 287(4), second subparagraph, TFEU.