Calls to reject new CAP grow day before crucial vote

22 October 2020 

Campaigners have taken to Twitter the day before the European Parliament is set to vote on the new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and are urging MEPs to reject it. 

Using the hashtag “VoteThisCAPdown”, activists the world over have been calling for MEPs to vote against the current proposal, a deal which BirdLife Europe has called “deadly”. 

“No matter what the EU climate target for 2030 will be – reaching it with a business-as-usual common agricultural policy will be basically impossible,” Greta Thunberg said on Twitter today. 

“So the MEPs voting in favour of #FutureofCAP final vote tomorrow will be responsible for surrendering on our future,” she added. 

Irish school striker Saoi O’Connor also called for MEPs to reject the deal, stressing that the future of the Common Agriculture Policy is, “‘not an environmental issue’, the climate crisis will impact everything and everyone in the world as we know it. 

Please, if there is anything on this planet that you love, urge the European Parliament to #VoteThisCAPDown”. 

Voting to pour “flames on the fire” 

The policy, in its current form, will funnel hundreds of billions of funds into public subsidies for intensive agriculture, the European Environmental Bureau warned. 

The deal will also see at least two-thirds of the policy will be geared towards farmers with little or no environmental conditions and a substantial amount of funding will be directed to the largest one per cent of landowners, they said. 

“Today is a dark day for the environment, for long-term sensible farming and, frankly, the future of our species,” EEB Senior Agriculture Policy Officer Dr Bérénice Dupeux said in reaction to the policy. 

“Farming is one of the greatest forces trashing the planet. We are feeling that heat, and yet the EU just voted to pour flames on the fire,” she added. 

Any transition to ecological farming promised in the EU Green Deal, she concluded, “is now on hold”. 

Yesterday, Irish Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue welcomed the approach to the new CAP, and called it a “first step” in providing a stable framework for farmers to plan their business over the next few years. 

The new policy will cover the next seven years and the European Union had previously said 40 per cent of its overall budget and at least 30 per cent of the Maritime Fisheries Fund will be geared towards climate action. 

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Kayle Crosson