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An Unavoidable Step After Paris: Cutting Emissions from Farming

The project “An Unavoidable Step After Paris: Cutting Emissions from Farming” aims for an increased public and political awareness around the need for an ambitious legislative framework on climate and agriculture.

Photo credit: Gábor Kosár

In order to create a forward-looking agriculture sector that makes a significant contribution to the EU’s climate mitigation efforts, a solid knowledge base is needed, as well as knowledge sharing and inclusive stakeholders’ dialogue. This includes a national and EU-wide evidence based dataset on farming potential towards climate mitigation, including socio-economic components, but also a policy analysis assessing to which extent this potential is currently achieved or underachieved and what role the current Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) plays in it and should play in the future.

This study and policy assessments will then feed into dialogues between key stakeholders (farmers, NGOs, scientists, industry, etc.) at national and pan-European levels on climate friendly practices in order to facilitate the sharing of experiences. Through national and European workshops and subsequent communication work, an increased public and political awareness around the need for an ambitious legislative framework on climate and agriculture (national plans, governance and CAP) is going to be created.


While agriculture accounts for around 10% of the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions and is among the first sectors to bear the costs of disastrous climatic events, it is also perceived as a sector with limited mitigation potential in the current debate and very little has been asked of the farming sector regarding climate change mitigation. While the EU’s climate legislation is currently under co-decision, the debate about the reform of the CAP has only just begun, with a communication by the European Commission on the CAP post 2020 having been published in November 2017.

Since the CAP uses a large part of the European budget and has shaped farming practices over Europe for the past decades, it can also play a crucial role in facilitating the transition towards a more sustainable and climate friendly farming sector. However, this will only be possible if the next CAP is inclusively debated with the farming community; is mindful of the environment, consumers, health issues, etc. based on evidence; and is properly aligned with the European climate legislation and other policy objectives of common interest.

All in all, the objective is to influence the CAP to properly address the main areas in agriculture with the greatest potential for climate mitigation:

  • manure storage management;
  • livestock management;
  • soil carbon conservation and sequestration (e.g. reduced or no tillage, maintaining soil cover);
  • synthetic and organic fertilizer management;
  • switch in agricultural products (shift from intensive livestock farming to crop production);
  • land-based livestock farming (shift from intensive livestock farming to extensive livestock farming); and
  • agroforestry (shift from crop farming to agroforestry systems in which woody perennials are used on the same land as crops and/or animals).


Project Manager: Orsolya Nyarai


Title: An unavoidable step after Paris: cutting emissions from farming

Duration: November 2017 – February 2020

Countries: Belgium, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland and Spain.

Funding: 350,000 €

Donor: GIZ, Germany

Target groups: Governments, Journalists, NGOs, Research Institutes.

Implementing organisation: European Environmental Bureau (EEB)

Project Partners:
BirdLife Europe, BirdWatch Ireland, CEEweb for Biodiversity, France Nature Environnement, Germanwatch, International Institute for Law and the Environment (IIDMA).


Potsdamer Platz 10 10117 Berlin Deutschland
Tel.: +49 (0)30 338424 570

This project is part of the European Climate Initiative (EUKI). EUKI is a project financing instrument by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU). The EUKI competition for project ideas is implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH. It is the overarching goal of the EUKI to foster climate cooperation within the European Union (EU) in order to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions.

For more information on EUKI: www.euki.de