European countries have been urged to consider an initiative that would see farmers paid to reduce, save, store or sequester carbon as part of the next CAP.
The “Farm Carbon Forest Initiative” would reward farmers who contribute to meeting national and EU-wide climate objectives, European Commissioner Phil Hogan said at a meeting of Agricultural Ministers in Brussels on 14 May.
Countries will have the option to pay for public goods provided by farmers within the new performance and results-based CAP. While the CAP framework allows for these payments, the political will to implement the schemes must come from a national rather than EU level.
Commissioner Hogan encouraged countries to assess the possibility of including such an initiative in their CAP Strategic Plans. Under the new CAP proposals, each country will have to set targets in a strategic plan and design ways to meet those targets.
A correctly implemented scheme could deliver a climate and business dividend with more and more consumers demanding climate friendly, high-quality food and drink products.
“While progress has been made in reducing the impact of the agri food sector on the climate, we need to do more and we need to do it now,” the Commissioner stated.
“Emissions from agriculture account for around 10% of total non-CO2 emissions in the EU. If we want to achieve carbon neutrality by mid-century, as promised in the Paris Agreement, we have to use all means at our disposal to not only increase carbon efficiency, but to also bring absolute emissions down whilst also securing food security.”