Latest from Brussels

CAP and Biodiversity | Wake-Up Call For Green Deal Commission?

Last week’s damning report on CAP and biodiversity was a wake-up call. But will the Green Deal Commission go back to sleep? The European Court of Auditors insists CAP must deliver more in the 2030 biodiversity strategy. Civil society organizations are now watching closely to see the Commission doesn’t hit snooze and sink back into business as usual. Louise Kelleher takes us through the reactions. […]

Latest from EU Member States

Ammonia | Hanging Around Like A Bad Smell

An unpleasant stench stank out cities across Europe this spring as the pandemic-induced drop in emissions from transport and industry cleared the air for agricultural air pollution. As luck would have it, the Covid-19 lockdowns coincided with peak slurry-spreading time – making the stink all the more pungent. But there’s more to manure than a bad smell to worry about. Alison Brogan reports. […]

Latest from Brussels

CAP | Billions Spent on Biodiversity with Little Impact – Auditors

The EU has funnelled €66 billion into farmland biodiversity since 2014 – and has little to show for it. That’s the conclusion of a special report released on Friday by the European Court of Auditors. The auditors slammed the half-baked targets of the EU 2020 biodiversity strategy, its odd-couple relationship with CAP, lack of monitoring, and some very un-smart spending by the European Commission. A series of recommendations have been made. Louise Kelleher reports. […]

Latest from Brussels

How will CAP & EU Green Deal Strategies Integrate?

Hidden away in a footnote, away from the fanfare of the launch of the EU Green Deal’s Farm to Fork and Biodiversity Strategies, was a nonetheless crucially important document. A document that links vision to the practical CAP work member states are currently conducting. So what’s in it, what’s missing, and what does it say about power relations between the Institutions and the Member States? […]

Latest from Brussels

Farm 2 Fork and Biodiversity Strategies Hold Firm on Real Targets

Despite enormous lobby pressure, the EU Commission’s flagship Green Deal strategies – the Farm to Fork and the Biodiversity Strategies – have retained their initially leaked targets for a reduction in fertilizers, pesticides, antimicrobials, and concurrently, for an increased in organic farming to 25% – and all by 2030. The 10% target for high diversity landscape features has also been retained.  […]

Latest from Brussels

Bayer Beware | Pressure on Pesticides as Green Deal Date Looms

This week the European Commission will reveal how it plans to work towards the pesticide reduction targets as set in the Green Deal, via the  Farm to Fork strategy and also the Biodiversity strategy. However chemical giant Bayer CropScience has made clear it does not want any binding legislation as part of the new EU Biodiversity Strategy. With specific numbers for reduction in the use of pesticides and fertilizers in the biodiversity strategy in particular, will real targets be dampened down on the 20th May?   […]

Latest from key partners

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, CĂ©lia Nyssens of the European Environmental Bureau (EEB) explains why the CAP is not fit for purpose and outlines how it can be reformed. […]

Latest from Brussels

Poking Holes in Farm to Fork: Environmental Groups Seek a Coherent Vision

Healthy ecosystems are the foundation for food production, but they are pushed to breaking point by the current system. In the face of existential threats, Farm to Fork needs a coherent vision. Friends of the Earth Europe, WWF, Birdlife Europe, Greenpeace, ClientEarth and Pesticides Action Network weigh in on the European Commission’s Roadmap to food sustainability. […]

Latest from EU Member States

Interview with Mary Reynolds | Acts of Restorative Kindness (ARK)

Having won the biggest awards in Landscape Gardening including the Chelsea Flower Show, had a Hollywood movie made about her (Dare to be Wild), and been commissioned for some of the most striking and creative landscaping projects in Ireland, Mary Reynolds stopped being a landscape gardener. So what came next? (Hint – its different to ARC – its an ARK!) […]

Main stories

20 Essential Earth Day Reads from ARC2020

Its Earth Day Monday 22nd and to celebrate we’ve selected our twenty favourite, most appropriate, most thought-provoking and compelling reads to get in the mood. From rewilding to climate change, pesticides bans to the role of livestock in climate-friendly farming, and a gripping personal account of front line action in the Paris COP 21 climate change talks….it’s all here! […]