Press release: 25 June 2021

New farm policy deal sets EU green goals up for failure – ClientEarth reaction

Lawyers at ClientEarth have reacted to the deal struck today by EU decision-makers on the most contentious parts of the EU’s new farming policy, saying that its token mention of the European Green Deal makes a mockery of the bloc’s climate and nature goals. 

Reacting to the deal, ClientEarth agriculture lawyer Sarah Martin said: “The new CAP was meant to show how serious the EU is about tackling climate change and the biodiversity crisis, but instead, superficial attempts to align the policy with the European Green Deal have only been added at the eleventh hour. With this CAP, the EU’s institutions have committed a third of the EU’s budget to a policy that is inconsistent with the Green Deal.

“The CAP refers to the Green Deal but has no binding targets to hold Member States to account, nor a mechanism for the European Commission to force Member States to reform their national plans if they lack environmental ambition. This demonstrates the EU’s complete lack of commitment to actually greening the CAP. Without these safeguards, the new CAP relies on the goodwill of national decision-makers to ensure EU money actually goes towards achieving the bloc’s environmental targets.

“The deal today confirms that agriculture continues to benefit from a ‘special status’ compared to other EU laws and policies. It perpetuates a model that favours polluting, industrialised farming, and shamefully disregards the environmental and climate challenges we face as a society.”


Notes to editors:

ClientEarth has produced a memo on The Special Status of Agriculture, which explains why and to what extent agriculture benefits from rules applied nowhere else in EU law. The memo explains that the privilege granted to industrial farming interests effectively makes the Common Agricultural Policy immune to environmental concerns.

About ClientEarth

ClientEarth is a non-profit organisation that uses the law to create systemic change that protects the Earth for – and with – its inhabitants. We are tackling climate change, protecting nature and stopping pollution, with partners and citizens around the globe. We hold industry and governments to account, and defend everyone’s right to a healthy world. From our offices in Europe, Asia and the USA we shape, implement and enforce the law, to build a future for our planet in which people and nature can thrive together.