News15 May 2019Brussels, BelgiumAgriculture and Rural Development
Commissioner Hogan announces idea for “Farm Carbon Forest” initiative
Commissioner Hogan called on Member States to look into the possibility of a ‘Farm Carbon Forest Initiative’ at the last AGRIFISH Council meeting on 14 May 2019. This initiative would reward farmers who successfully reduce, save, store or sequester carbon, contributing to national and EU-wide climate objectives.
Agriculture and rural development Commissioner Phil Hogan said:
While progress has been made in reducing the impact of the agri-food sector on the climate, we need to do more and we need to do it now. Emissions from agriculture account for around 10 per cent of total non-CO2 emissions in the EU. If we want to achieve carbon neutrality by mid-century, as promised in the Paris Agreement, we have to use all means at our disposal to not only increase carbon efficiency but to also bring absolute emissions down whilst also securing food security.
In effect, the “Farm Carbon Forest Initiative” would reward farmers for the public good they provide, in full coherence with the proposals for a new performance and results-based CAP. While the new CAP framework will provide the opportunity for such an initiative, the political will to implement these initiatives must come from the Member States. Commissioner Hogan therefore encouraged Member States to assess the possibility of including such an initiative in their CAP Strategic Plans.
The nine EU common objectives are a win-win opportunity. If implemented correctly, there will be a climate dividend as well as a business dividend. With more and more consumers in Europe and throughout the world demanding climate-friendly and sustainable high-quality food and drink products, it is clear that this will be the future of the market for EU agriculture.