Society and regional strategies 3 min

Are the CAP and the Green Deal compatible? Researchers from INRAE and AgroParisTech carried out a study about climate and environmental priorities for the next CAP

PRESS RELEASE - Aware of the fact that the food and agricultural practices of the European Union do not meet the Green Deal quantitative targets and objectives for Europe in terms of climate, the environment, nutrition, and health, a team of experts from INRAE and AgroParisTech, led by Hervé Guyomard and Jean-Christophe Bureau, presents a series of recommendations for the next Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).
Requested by the European Parliament, the study submitted on 23 November provides key information at the moment when the European Commission, the Parliament, and the Council begin discussions about the next CAP. The climate and environmental objectives of the CAP are at the centre of the debate, and the challenge is to find compromises and recommendations for a common policy capable of reconciling environmental, economic, and social performance.

Published on 26 November 2020

illustration Are the CAP and the Green Deal compatible? Researchers from INRAE and AgroParisTech carried out a study about climate and environmental priorities for the next CAP

The study, commissioned by the European Parliament and carried out by experts from INRAE and AgroParisTech, includes several recommendations to reinforce the climate and environmental ambitions in the next CAP, in line with the objectives of the Green Deal1. According to the research team, some of the essential provisions to be implemented are the strengthening of conditionality requirements - which demand compliance with minimum requirements to receive first pillar direct aids -, developing ambitious eco-scheme measures focusing mainly on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and protecting biodiversity, and securing specific budgets dedicated to climate and environmental measures in both pillars. 

Additionally, it is imperative to improve the CAP governance, notably by including in national strategic plans national targets corresponding to the Green Deal objectives and ensuring that their implementation is effectively monitored—which will allow for corrective action to take place along the way. 

A more effective application of the polluter-pays principle to better legitimise payments for environmental services 

According to the study, a more effective application of the polluter-pays principle, upon which conditionality relies, will make it possible to better justify rewarding farmers for their efforts beyond the minimum requirements of conditionality, within the framework of the eco-scheme measures in the first pillar and the climatic and environmental measures in the second pillar.

Enhancing conditionality requirements also involves stricter criteria for a number of measures known as Good Agricultural and Environmental Conditions (GAEC), for example, on wetlands and non-productive lands. It also involves the introduction of new GAEC regarding nutrient flows, chemical molecule uses, and GHG emissions from farms. This would make it possible to better know these flows and to support the most efficient farmers in these areas by means of incentives.

Reallocating first pillar support to fight climate change, protect biodiversity and animal welfare

Eco-scheme measures2 that are fully financed by the European budget must target global public goods; that is, climate mitigation, biodiversity preservation and restoration, as well as animal welfare. To this end, the authors propose allocating 20% of the spending in Pillar 1 to climate mitigation actions and an additional 20% for measures targeting biodiversity.  Measures in Pillar 2—co-financed by the Member States—should focus on local public goods, especially water quantity and quality, soil fertility, and landscape diversity. Additionally, 35% of Pillar 2 expenses should be directed towards climate and environmental measures.

The study also stresses the need to set up adjustment mechanisms at the EU's borders to impose equivalent climate and environmental requirements on non-European producers.

To conclude, the authors highlight the fact that acting through the CAP alone will not be enough. In other words, supply measures should be complemented by efficient measures aimed at developing systems relying on bioeconomy principles, reducing food waste and losses, and changing food diets. A coherent, global food policy is crucial in order to make European Agrifood systems more sustainable.

1 The Green Deal is Europe’s strategy to make the EU climate neutral by 2050 and develop a new model of sustainable growth in the European Union. It covers all sectors, including agriculture and food.   


2 Eco-schemes are new CAP instruments designed to guide farmers in the ecological transition.


Research for the AGRI Committee - The Green Deal and the CAP: policy implications to adapt farming practices and to preserve the EU’s natural resources, nov. 2020; Hervé GUYOMARD; Jean-Christophe BUREAU; Vincent CHATELLIER; Cécile DETANG-DESSENDRE; Pierre DUPRAZ; Florence JACQUET; Xavier REBOUD; Vincent REQUILLART; Louis-Georges SOLER; Margot TYSEBAERT

Summary in French:

CP_EtudePAC_VA.pdfpdf - 644.31 KB

INRAE Press Office

Monique Mizart AgroParisTech Press Office

Scientific contacts

Hervé Guyomard Scientific Direction of Agriculture Department INRAE

Jean-Christophe Bureau Public Economics Joint Research Unit AgroParisTech - Paris



Learn more


Guillaume Martin, agroecology in full swing

Guillaume Martin, research director in the Joint Research Unit for AGroecology, Innovations and teRritories (AGIR) at INRAE’s Occitanie-Toulouse centre, received the 2019 Promising Researcher Award for his work in adapting livestock to climate change and the vagaries of the market. We spoke with this pioneering scientist who is committed to working hand in hand with livestock farmers to bring about the agroecological transition.

19 December 2019


Alternatives to chemical pesticides: 24 European research institutes undertake an ambitious roadmap

PRESS RELEASE - A strong demand from public authorities, agriculture professionals, and society in general, all over Europe, has spurred collaborative research in order to accelerate the agroecological transition. To face a challenge of this magnitude the joint declaration of intent “Towards a Chemical Pesticide-free Agriculture” aims to rethink the way research is carried out and develop new common research and experimentation strategies, not just at a national level, but throughout the whole continent. This declaration was signed today by 24 research organisations from 16 European countries. Driven by the French Institute INRAE and its German counterparts ZALF and JKI, this unprecedented endeavour has brought the European research community together around this ambitious vision of an agriculture free of chemical* pesticides. The declaration, formalised on 23 February at the Paris International Agricultural Show, with support of the french Mnistries in charge of Agriculture and Research, in presence of Amelie de Montchalin, The French State Secretary of EU Affairs, establishes a European research alliance, aiming to build a scientific roadmap that will soon be presented to the European Commission, as a contribution to the European Green Deal.

23 February 2020


A new French-Chinese International Associated Laboratory dedicated to agroecology and green development

PRESS RELEASE - During the visit of a delegation from the China Agricultural University (CAU) to INRAE on 16 January 2020, INRAE’s Chair & CEO Philippe Mauguin and CAU’s Council President Peimin Jiang were the first to sign the agreement for the creation of a new International Associated Laboratory (LIA) dedicated to Agroecology and Agricultural Green Development (A-AGD).
This new LIA A-AGD aims to coordinate collaborative efforts between the CAU and French research institutes and universities. The goal is to achieve excellence in scientific research and support the transition towards a more sustainable and multiperformance model of agriculture, based on the principles of agroecology, both in the cereal plains of the north of China and in France.

16 January 2020