Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Greening of European agricultural policy is needed

10.03.2010
The German Advisory Council on the Environment calls for a fundamental re-orientation of European agricultural policy in its statement on CAP-reform: "The present European direct payments system is outdated", says Professor Karin Holm-Müller, economist and member of the SRU.

"Public money should in the future only be spent on public goods, especially for environmental protection and nature conservation. Subsidising agriculture with billions of Euros with the predominant aim of supporting the income of large farms cannot be justified."

The European Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) has come under scrutiny. This has partly been prompted by the current discussion about the future of the EU budget for the new funding period 2014 to 2020. From the perspective of the German Advisory Council on the Environment (SRU), agricultural policy should make an important contribution to addressing the two major environmental problems of the 21st century: climate change and the loss of biodiversity. Intensive agriculture is today one of the major contributors to the loss of biodiversity and emits considerable amounts of the greenhouse gases nitrous oxide and methane.

The conversion of grassland to farmland and the draining of fens for agricultural use also contribute to climate change. Agriculture is also the main source of eutrophication of inland waters and of the North and Baltic Seas. To counteract these trends, it is necessary to reward, in a more targeted way, the contributions farmers are making to the protection of the climate as well as environmental protection and nature conservation.

The SRU therefore proposes to replace the existing, largely income-oriented system of payments with a new system that consists of three forms of payments:

1. A basic payment for the provision of environmental services. To receive this payment, farmers have to make 10 percent of their farmed land available as 'ecological compensation areas' and comply with standards which ensure good agricultural and ecological condition. This aims at maintaining minimum requirements of environmental protection and nature conservation also in intensively farmed high-yield locations.

2. The expansion of current agri-environment measures and contract nature conservation activities which must be more specifically targeted to address new challenges.

3. Landscape conservation funding for the preservation of valuable cultural landscapes which are threatened by abandonment of production. This aims at promoting and conserving existing extensive agricultural practices which have positive effects on biodiversity and on abiotic resources.

This strategy creates new income opportunities for farms because rewarding nature conservation and environmental protection as public goods offers farmers in disadvantaged regions an additional source of income and an opportunity to diversify. By demanding a product in the form of nature conservation and environmental protection, the state communicates to farmers that it values and rewards their conscious decision to safeguard these public goods. Farmers are then seen by the public not as subsidy recipients, but as conscious providers of environmental goods.

The German Advisory Council on the Environment was founded in 1971.
It is an independent, official scientific advisory body of the German Federal Government.

For further information about the SRU, please consult: www.umweltrat.de.

Christian Simon | idw
Further information:
http://www.umweltrat.de

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Plasma-zapping process could yield trans fat-free soybean oil product
02.12.2016 | Purdue University

nachricht New findings about the deformed wing virus, a major factor in honey bee colony mortality
11.11.2016 | Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

Im Focus: Molecules change shape when wet

Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water

In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...

Im Focus: Fraunhofer ISE Develops Highly Compact, High Frequency DC/DC Converter for Aviation

The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

UTSA study describes new minimally invasive device to treat cancer and other illnesses

02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering

Plasma-zapping process could yield trans fat-free soybean oil product

02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

What do Netflix, Google and planetary systems have in common?

02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>