“While media was reporting on ‘names of vegan hot dogs’ the EU parliament signed away €387bn to a new agricultural policy that basically means surrender on climate & environment. No awareness means no pressure and accountability so the outcome is no surprise. They just don’t care.”—Greta Thunberg on Twitter
The European Union’s CAP (Common Agriculture Policy) has been around since 1962 as a way to support European farmers in order to ensure a stable supply of affordable food. Currently, it accounts for around 1/3 of the EU budget, and in 2018 the policy was due for a reform. This week—despite the EU’s supposed “green week”— the EU Parliament voted on continued subsidies to farmers without any environmental conditions, infuriating green MEPs and activists who are closely following EU policy—namely Greta Thunberg.
The reformed albeit weak CAP was extremely watered down by Socialists and Renew Groups and then backed by centre-right parties as well. Upon reading the Commission’s intiial proposal the Green Party had already rejected it due to its failure in green commitments.
Agriculture and subsidies have to be taken seriously in order to lower CO2 emissions. Healthy soil stores carbon, whilst industrial farming releases carbon. The current EU system relies on a skewed sense of profitability that the environment can’t subsidise any longer. The EU budget could be the key towards more organic and regenerative farming instead of promoting the status quo.
“Climate change and ecological breakdown pose a severe threat to farming, our food system and our future on this planet and yet a large number of MEPs are wilfully ignoring the enormous scale of the problem.”—Bas Eickhout, a Green MEP