Hogan: Do more on environment to maintain CAP budget
Commissioner Phil Hogan has told EU Agriculture Ministers that there is an urgent need for farmers to do more for the environment and that if Ministers sent a clear signal that climate and the environment will be at the heart of the CAP it would be an excellent argument for keeping maintaining CAP budget.
In his remarks to the Agriculture Council meeting on the Commission's environment proposals under the planned reform of the Common Agriculture Policy (CAP), he said the EU has committed to ambitious 2030 climate and energy targets where all sectors including agriculture will have to contribute.
"There will be no acceptations. The need for aiming higher has never been more urgent.
"Everybody has to put their shoulder to the wheel.
"Farmers work in all weather all year round. They can see with their own eyes what is happening.
The Commission is proposing a number of new approaches to addressing environmental issues through the CAP.
The new measures include the mandatory provision of eco-schemes, as part of the Pillar I direct payments and the inclusion of greater environmental conditionality on EU payments with links to requirements such as the Water Framework Directive and proposals for mandatory nutrient management plans.
The plans set out that 30pc of the Rural Development Programme expenditure, excluding payments for areas of natural constraints, must be focused on biodiversity/environment/climate-related measures.