This report analyses policy instruments within the Common Agricultural Policy of the EU (CAP) for greenhouse gas (GHG) abatement and compliance with the Convention on Biodiversity (CBD) and develops policy options for reacting on these challenges, considering possible conflicts and win-win situations.
Biodiversity is directly linked to site-specific land use and management, thus the CAP has got a high responsibility in this field and an intensive effort on farmland and targeted policies are necessary in order to achieve European objectives. There is a need to dedicate substantially more resources than under the current CAP to biodiversity measures, and more coherent integration of biodiversity objectives into the general policy.
The main incentives for GHG abatement are set in other policy areas, therefore the main role of the CAP should be to consider climate protection as one out of multiple effects of multifunctional measures. This requires the co-ordination of policies and instruments and an integrated strategy for land use and increased efficiency of land related production systems. In times of increasing biomass demand, the CAP should avoid to keep land in an unproductive state in terms of agricultural commodity outputs, carbon sink functions and biomass supply, unless other objectives such as biodiversity or landscape preservation prevail.
For high nature value farmland local decisions are necessary, to decide where and in which way bioenergy production or other more intensive land use options would be acceptable. Also, the CAP should arrange for safeguards against undesired land use intensification, and subsequently strengthen standards regarding the protection of areas constituting carbon sinks against conversion, define requirements for increased N-efficiency and secure priority areas for biodiversity.