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of European agricultural policy in its statement on CAP-reform: "The present European direct payments system is outdated", says Professor Karin Holm-Müller, economist and member of the SRU.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: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

Im Focus: How to inflate a hardened concrete shell with a weight of 80 t

At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).

Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

Nothing will happen without batteries making it happen!

05.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A big nano boost for solar cells

18.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Glass's off-kilter harmonies

18.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Toward a 'smart' patch that automatically delivers insulin when needed

18.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>