Commission to present 'new green architecture' for CAP to EU agri ministers

Ciaran Moran

Ciaran Moran

The European Commission will present the new environment proposals set out in its post-2020 Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reform package to European Agriculture Ministers next week.

The Commission has proposed that all direct payments to farmers will be conditional to enhanced environmental and climate requirements.

It also proposed that these mandatory requirements with which farmers have to comply will be further strengthened.

A minimum 30pc of Pillar 2 funding will be spent on climate and environment-related measures while 40pc of the CAP’s overall budget is expected to contribute to climate action.

The Commission also proposed annual monitoring of progress made on the Environment and suggested the suspension of payments in case of serious under-performance.

It further proposes that a financial performance reserve of up to 5pc of rural development allocation be set aside to reward Member States that meet their climate, environment and biodiversity targets.

Under the proposals, there is an obligation for Member States to reserve part of the direct payments to farmers for those participating in specific eco-schemes.

Farmers will be rewarded for going beyond mandatory requirements in relation to agri-environment commitments undertaken.

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Each Member State will develop eco-schemes to support and/or incentivise farmers to observe agricultural practices beneficial for the climate and the environment, beyond their mandatory requirements

New environmental obligations for Member States under the proposals include preserving carbon-rich soils through protection of wetlands and peatlands, obligatory nutrient management tool to improve water quality, reduce ammonia and Nitrous oxide levels and crop rotation instead of crop diversification.

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