For the Sake of Nature and the Climate, Europe must not CAP its Ambitions

The European Commission continues to describe the Common Agricultural Policy as “ambitious”, yet its own evaluation of the CAP’s impact reveals that the farm subsidy scheme is inflicting massive damage on Europe’s biodiversity, water resources and nature. In this in-depth feature, Célia Nyssens of the European Environmental Bureau (EEB) explains why the CAP is not fit for purpose and outlines how it can be reformed.

On Friday 27 March 2020, the European Commission snuck out two much-awaited reports: official evaluations of the impact of the EU’s largest subsidy scheme, the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), on our biodiversity and on our water. Given the ongoing reform of that very same policy, the forthcoming Farm to Fork Strategy, which aims to make food production more sustainable, and the upcoming Biodiversity Strategy, it is vital that policymakers and stakeholders alike receive timely, accurate and detailed information on the CAP’s environmental performance. 

The Commission has tried to put a positive spin on the reports’ findings but the EEB’s assessment of the documents tells a very different story. In this article, I will take you through the real takeaways from these reports.