WWF report says EU needs to improve farming policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions

According to the WWF, the European is “deliberately harming climate action” with its farming policies, which are preventing progress being made on climate change.

In the report, which looked at the effects of the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and was published this month, the Commission lacks “strong external drivers” when it comes to reducing emissions in the farming sector.

In an interview, Imke Lübbeke, the climate and energy chief at WWF said: “The EU commission has been talking about ‘climate urgency’ while sitting on a report which shows how little farming policy is doing for the climate – and how much more it could and should do.”

“We can achieve wins for both the climate and the farming sector’s sustainability by cutting emissions rapidly, and adopting practices that help store more carbon in soils and landscapes. The EU’s draft long term climate strategy shows that agriculture can and should do more to achieve net-zero emissions in Europe.”

The report looked at current farming practices, such as ploughing grassland, which can release substantial amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere. The CAP is currently used to regulate the farming sector and set regulations.

At the moment, the farming sector is responsible for around 10% of greenhouse gas emissions. But, the WWF say that if practices were improved, this could be cut by introducing measures to capture and more CO2.

A WWF spokesperson said: “To date the CAP has done very little to effectively support low-carbon and nature-friendly farming. Overall, the CAP continues to support mainly market-driven high-input farming practices, rather than rewarding environmental or climate commitments.”

Marco Contiero, Greenpeace’s EU agriculture policy director said: “The study proves that Europe’s agricultural policy is failing the climate test. The EU must provide concrete solutions, starting with cutting the over-production and over-consumption of meat and dairy, which are pushing us to climate breakdown. Europe must move away from factory farming and towards producing and consuming less and better meat and dairy.”

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