Today negotiations on the EU farming policy restart under the Portuguese Council presidency. These talks are critical, because EU agriculture will make or break the success of the Green Deal. The EEB agriculture team set out our ten tests which the CAP must meet to help deliver the European Green Deal.

The current intensive model of food production is wreaking havoc for the environment and for many of the people involved in it. This model cannot be sustained over the long-term, as the ecological and climate crises are eroding the foundations agriculture relies on: fertile land, functioning agro-ecosystems and a stable climate. 

The European Green Deal provides a framework for a transition towards sustainability for much of the EU’s economy. However, while it includes a major commitment to move to sustainable food systems, when it comes to changing agriculture it leaves the job primarily to the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). But the CAP, a nearly €400bn subsidy scheme, has a history of failing to address the negative impacts of agriculture on climate, biodiversity, soil, and water pollution and overuse, in some cases even exacerbating problems. 

If the CAP is to live up to the task set out by the Green Deal and support farmers in the transition to a climate-neutral, circular and nature-friendly Europe, it must drastically change. Here are our 10 tests for a Green Deal-compatible CAP, which map out the changes needed. Find more details in our brand new publication

1. Protection of carbon sinks

2. Space for nature on every farm

3. Funding for nature- and climate-friendly farming

4. No funding for harmful monocultures

5. No funding for intensive livestock farming

6. Integration of Green Deal targets

7. No greenwashing

8. Accountability

9. Public participation

10. Transparency

The road ahead

These 10 tests for a Green Deal-compatible CAP provide a compass to steer the EU farming policy on the path to a better future. The compass only works as a package, if some pieces are left out, we risk that much is lost on the way. 

The decision-makers in charge must urgently veer off the road of destruction, and start leading farmers and society towards a more environmentally sustainable, socially fair, and economically resilient food and farming system. 

Political commitments must be turned into policy change, now.

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