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Latest CAP reform proposals

…fail the environment

Today, the European Commission launched its plans for the Common Agricultural Policy ‘Health Check’, which according to BirdLife fails to address the challenges of biodiversity decline, mounting climate change and a gathering water crisis. BirdLife International hoped that the Commission would use the Health Check to outline a long-term sustainable vision for European farming and land management. Whilst it acknowledges the environmental challenges farming faces, very little is proposed to address them.

BirdLife have analysed the Commission’s Health Check proposals and given a rating for the key issues. The failure to address the loss of set-aside, which will have serious impacts on wildlife and the environment, scores the lowest. “Most devastating for the environment is the proposed abolition of set-aside, which will severely damage wildlife and water quality precisely at the time when climate change is adding further pressure on already weakened ecosystems”, says Brunner.

Despite recent reforms, the CAP is still failing the environment, delivering too little funding to sustainable farming and wasting much of its budget on untargeted subsidies that are mostly pocketed by the most intensive farming enterprises.

Brunner concludes: “The Commission is burying its head in the sand and ignoring the challenges that climate change and biodiversity decline pose to the CAP."

4th July 2014