In an open letter to the vice-president of the European Commission for the European Ecological Pact, Frans Timmermans, the movement considers that the current agricultural policy represents “a danger for the future”, since it “does not guarantee answers to the climate crisis”.
“The coronavirus crisis exposed the weaknesses of the globalized food system. European countries are faced with systemic dependence on food imports, underpaid seasonal workers and globalized supply and exchange chains, ”writes Fridays For Future (FFF) Europe, underlining the loss of biodiversity.
The FFF, which gained visibility with the Swedish activist Greta Thunberg, calls for a new start in the construction of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) to “tackle the climate crisis”, in a letter released after this week the European Commission presented plans for the future of European agriculture, with the dissemination of political strategies for biodiversity and from Prado to Prato.
On Wednesday, the European Commission adopted the “Biodiversity Strategy”, with funding of 20 billion euros per year, and the “Prado ao Prato Strategy”, which includes a reduction in half of the use and risk of pesticides .
In the letter released today, when International Biodiversity Day is marked, Fridays For Futures underlines: “EU politicians must recognize that, on the one hand, one of the greatest hopes in combating the Climate Crisis and in combating the collapse of biodiversity is based on agriculture and that, on the other hand, the current CAP is close to destroying it ”.
“We need a new start at PAC. The CAP is one of the most important issues for the future. Not only because the current agricultural policy is ineffective in reducing emissions quickly, but worse, it is exhausting the hope potential that exists within agriculture ”, says Bianca Castro, from Fridays For Future Portugal (Student Climate Strike), cited in a statement from the movement.
FFF Europa recalls that this year CAP funds for the next seven years “will be redistributed” and recalls that, with 38%, the CAP “is the largest item in the EU budget” and that “more than 10% of total emissions EU greenhouse gas emissions are caused by agriculture ”.
The movement recalls that at least 10% of total European emissions come from agriculture, but that farmers are fighting for their survival, and that the CAP is “one of the largest subsidiary programs in the world, with 58 billion euros every years, which corresponds to 114 euros for each citizen of the European Union ”.
FFF Europa also points out that more than 3,600 scientists are calling for action on the CAP, as they say that EU agricultural reforms “will fail to deal with the climate crisis and the loss of biodiversity, putting the future of agriculture at risk. ”.
“Still, agriculture can provide many solutions: halving the production and consumption of animal products can reduce emissions by up to 40%; emissions can be quickly reduced, restoring swamps and soils; Negative emissions can be produced due to carbon fixation in the soil ”, writes the movement.
Fridays For Future also argues that agroecology, together with the end of the pollution caused by the use of pesticides, “can restore biodiversity” and that the future passes “for a regional, fair, sustainable and dignified agriculture for those who work that reduces injustices and look to the future for the sector ”.
“To support the central role of farmers in the environment and in society, we must encourage them with the financial guidelines (for reducing emissions, recovering biodiversity and fixing carbon in soils) inscribed in CAP funds”, he adds.
“Public funds have to be directed towards a sustainable, peasant and environmentally friendly agricultural transition. We need a fair and evidence-based CAP, ”the movement stresses, adding:“ We support farmers and farm workers, regardless of whether their products are organic or not – there is no fair transition without them. Only together can we make the change ”.
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The Fridays For Future Movement content calls for a new beginning for the Common Agricultural Policy appears first in Vision.