EU criticised for ‘forked tongue’ approach on climate action and CAP

The EU has come in for criticism for what is being described as its “forked tongue” approach to climate action and the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).

Tim Cullinan, the president of the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA), was reacting to the European Climate Law, which is being proposed by the European Commission today.

“Seeking to drive increased climate ambition while at the same time proposing to cut the CAP budget by 14% is a complete contradiction,” Cullinan claimed.

The commission needs to get real and realise that they cannot expect farmers to do more and more for less and less.

“The proposed climate law, which seeks to place a legal obligation on member states to achieve climate neutrality by 2050, uses language like ‘this transition must be just and inclusive, leaving no one behind’,” Cullinan continued.

“These words ring hallow, with the European Commission currently proposing to cut farm payments while imposing more regulations and additional costs,” the IFA president argued.

Cullinan also raised concerns over how ‘climate neutrality’ will be determined – particularly with regard to methane.

At present, the way methane is accounted for does not reflect the up-to-date science, and farmers are not getting credit for the carbon sequestered in their pastures and hedgerows.

He also called on the European Commission to take account of the international position on climate action, “with the Paris Agreement clearly stating that climate targets must be achieved in a manner that does not threaten food production”.

“The silence by the European Parliament on this issue in its proposed climate law is incredible, given that food security remains a real geo-political risk, with the world currently having just over three months’ stock of cereals,” Cullinan concluded.

European Climate Law

The proposed European Climate Law was announced earlier today by the European Commission.

The purpose of the law is being described as setting “the direction of travel for all EU policy”.

The commission says that the law would give “predictability” for public authorities, businesses and citizens.