Emissions From EU Farms Haven’t Dropped in Decade, Watchdog Says

Greenhouse-gas emissions from European Union farms haven’t declined since 2010, even as the government earmarked more than 100 billion euros ($119 billion) toward climate-change efforts since 2014, according to a report from the EU’s financial watchdog.

The European Commission set a quarter of the Common Agricultural Policy budget from 2014 to 2020 toward climate-change goals, but the policy doesn’t provide enough incentives for those practices, the European Court of Auditors said in an accompanying statement. The report comes as the EU negotiates to set a new CAP that extends through 2027, with about 387 billion euros in funding.

The current policy includes promotion of animal products, which have seen steady consumption, it said. Emissions from livestock account for about half of agriculture’s footprint, while those from chemical fertilizer and manure increased from 2010 and 2018. The CAP also pays farmers for “climate-unfriendly practices” like sowing drained peatlands, which accounts for an outsize proportion of the sector’s emissions.

“Although the greening scheme was supposed to enhance the environmental performance of the CAP, it did not incentivize farmers to adopt effective climate-friendly measures, and its impact on climate has been only marginal,” the auditors said in the statement.

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