Science is unequivocal on the need to move fast to sustainable farming; the future Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) legislative texts as agreed among the co-legislators in June 2021 recognise that greater environmental and climate ambition is required and have made this an explicit requirement for Member States.
The so-called CAP strategic plans will be at the heart of this new model and could likely, if used at their full potential, help support a transition towards sustainable farming across the EU. However, given the significant flexibilities, which Member States used under the current CAP (for Pillar 1 greening payments) to maintain the status quo instead of increasing environmental performance, some doubts remain as to the final level of environmental ambition in the future CAP strategic plans.
A noticeable difference between the CAP in 2013 and what was recently agreed upon for the future CAP is that unlike under the current greening regime, Member States will have to justify their intervention logic and implementation choices on the basis of needs and pre-established objectives to achieve. This can potentially boost environmental ambition, since the previous lack of justification provided by the Member States regarding their greening implementation choices was indeed identified as one of the main reasons leading to very limited environmental and climate impacts.
Ecologic Institute developed evidence-based material for German and EU stakeholders and decision-makers to underpin the logic of the German CAP Strategic Plan, and thus a reference point for assessing the German government's needs assessment in its CAP Strategic Plan.
Online Workshop on environmental and climate needs of agriculture in Germany
On the 14 December 2021 Ecologic Institute organized together with IEEP an invitation-only workshop to present environmental and climate needs of agriculture in Germany and related measures that the German NSP should implement to address these issues. Together with 11 representatives from the German environmental authorities, NGOs and other agricultural stakeholders, we discussed key environmental priorities in the CAP plans, with a view to the Commission's approval process next year and advocacy work around this.