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Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Council in favor of a green CAP

The 3075th Council meeting on Environment held in Brussels on 14 March 2011 discussed environmental aspects of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), in view of its upcoming reform. Ministers emphasised the importance of the CAP for the protection of the environment and the climate and for delivering environmental public goods, such as biodiversity protection or flood prevention. It was welcomed that the Commission had proposed to make sustainable management of natural resources and climate action the second main priority of the reformed CAP. Delegations stressed that "greening" the CAP was important. For the Commission, measures such as the maintenance of permanent pasture and green cover, set aside and crop diversification could be made mandatory for beneficiaries of direct payments. They help to curb climate-harming emissions. At the same time, some ministers advocated targeting rural development measures to support biodiversity, water, reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and adaptation to climate change. Many asked for greater simplification and for more flexibility to take into account regional and national environmental conditions. Some argued that the rural development measures in the so-called second pillar of the CAP were better suited to provide such flexibility.

Source: Council of Ministers