Vol. 75 No. 3 (2020)
Research Articles

Promoting climate action in the future Common Agricultural Policy

Alan Matthews
Professor Emeritus of European Agricultural Policy at University of Dublin Trinity College, Ireland
Published March 17, 2021
  • emissions,
  • climate action,
  • GHG mitigation,
  • climate targets,
  • climate mainstreaming,
  • CAP reform
  • ...More
How to Cite
Matthews, A. (2021). Promoting climate action in the future Common Agricultural Policy. Italian Review of Agricultural Economics, 75(3), 19-24. https://doi.org/10.13128/rea-12705


Current projections indicate that agricultural GHG emissions are hardly expected to fall between 2017 and 2030 while the sink in the LULUCF sector is projected to decline. These trends call into question the feasibility of the Commission’s roadmap to reach net zero emissions by 2050. Contributing to climate change mitigation and adaptation is proposed as one of the nine specific objectives in the future CAP. This paper discusses how Member States could use the opportunities presented by the new CAP to reduce agricultural emissions while increasing removals in the LULUCF sector. The Commission has prefigured changes in the EU’s climate architecture that could give Member States greater incentives to prioritize climate action in their CAP Strategic Plans. A higher share of future CAP expenditure should also be allocated to climate action under the proposal for climate mainstreaming of the EU budget, although the effectiveness of this mandate is undermined by the poor quality of the metrics proposed. The different elements of the proposed green architecture in the future CAP are reviewed to highlight the scope for climate action, including the Commission’s proposal for a carbon farming initiative. Ultimately, it will be up to Member States to determine the priority they intend to give to climate action in their CAP Strategic Plans.


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