‘Death sentence on nature’: European Parliament accused of killing Green Deal

  • Date: 23/10/20
  • The Independent

Members of the European Parliament have been accused signing “a death sentence” on nature, the climate and small farms after they rejected a series of eco-friendly reforms.

MEPs voted against proposals to cut subsidies for factory farming and to protect grasslands and peatlands – a major storage reservoir of greenhouse gases.

One critic said the vote on the EU agriculture reform package would bring extinction closer for many species after it failed to offer incentives for farmers to reduce their environmental impact.  

BirdLife Europe said the politicians voted to make the policy “an extinction machine”, adding: “Nature has lost this battle.”

Now environmentalists are pressuring MEPs before a final vote by the full parliament tomorrow (Friday).

The votes on the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), funded by nearly €400bn (£350bn), will shape farming in the block for the next seven years.

A deal by the largest groups in the European Parliament – the European People’s Party (EPP), Socialists & Democrats (S&D) and Renew Europe – involved lowering environmental conditions attached to the policy. And MEPs voted against an emissions-reduction target for agriculture of 30 per cent. […]

Earlier this year, 3,600 scientists called for an overhaul of the CAP, warning that it was a central driver of the biodiversity and climate emergencies as it funded practices that cause significant biodiversity loss, climate change, and soil, land and water degradation.

The new CAP document deletes “the need for farmers to have a tool for more sustainable use of nutrients”, Ms Bradley said, pointing out that agriculture is the biggest source of nitrate pollution in EU waters, responsible for dead zones and toxic algae.

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