Sustainable agriculture is vital to climate, health and biodiversity protection.

Current EU agriculture produces high levels of greenhouse gas emissions, as well as relying on ‘agrochemicals’ – pesticides and fertilisers - which cause severe environmental damage and negatively impact our health.

As the global demand for food production increases, we believe making agriculture sustainable is key to fighting climate change.

10%

of the EU’s total greenhouse gas emissions were linked to agriculture in 2019.

One

cow produces 120kg of methane emissions per year, compared with just 1.5kg per pig or 0.015kg per chicken.

What we do

We work with a coalition of NGOs including Greenpeace, WWF, Birdlife and many others, using legal expertise to work towards a new agricultural model. Currently, 35% of EU subsidies are given to farmers, but these subsidies are given out based on size of output, ignoring activities that have a positive impact on the environment. They particularly benefit livestock farming – larger subsidies are given to those farmers who rear more cows, for instance.

Last year, 10% of the EU’s total greenhouse gas emissions were linked to agriculture, and in particular, livestock.

We are working towards a reformed policy that takes nature into account as well as farmers. A policy that would limit the use of chemicals in agriculture and antibiotics in animals, as well as provide a framework specifically for soil protection – allowing soil to recover from the damage caused by farming. We believe this policy should come with strong environmental requirements for anyone in receipt of subsidies from the EU.

We also make sure current agriculture laws are being implemented properly. We will target the EU countries receiving the highest share of agricultural subsidies and hold them accountable for the soil, air and water pollution they cause through agricultural activities.

What we've achieved

We made sure the new Farm to Fork strategy incorporated more aspects of environmental protection, including ambitious greenhouse gas emission targets. Now we need the CAP to meet the same high standards.

“We believe in a food system in which ecosystems and people thrive. We want a farming model that works with nature.”
Marc Pittie, Senior Lawyer, Agriculture Lead
Marc Pittie, ClientEarth
Plant growing in field

European Green Deal latest – new commitments on food and nature

The EU has published the highly anticipated Farm to Fork Strategy and Biodiversity Strategy, shaping the future of food systems and nature protection in the Union. These strategies are at the heart of the European Green Deal and aim to build our resilience to future climate threats. We worked with a group of NGOs to push for these new strategies to contain ambitious targets.