Agriculture & Land Management

Our Work

The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) continues to be a major driver of land use and management decisions. The integration of environmental objectives and measures into the CAP has been a long and incremental process. IEEP has been closely involved in seeking to improve the environmental focus of the CAP over successive reforms since the 1980s. We provide informed analysis and innovative thinking to stimulate debates, building on our in-depth understanding of this policy area.

Our work seeks to provide the evidence base for refocussing the CAP towards environmental objectives.  We seek to enhance the way in which the CAP supports the provision of environmental goods and services through influencing the management of agricultural and forest land. Our work in this area focuses on:

  • Innovative thinking to inform future policy design
  • Advice and guidance on mainstreaming environmental and climate issues within the CAP
  • Developing suitable monitoring and evaluation frameworks, including the design of indicators
  • Evaluating the environmental impacts of the CAP implementation choices made by Member States

We have pan-European experience and detailed knowledge of the intricacies of both Pillars of the CAP and the different funding opportunities available in both. In particular, our expertise covers cross-compliance, green direct payments, support within Areas of Natural Constraint, and rural development measures that can be used for environmental purposes, especially the agri-environment-climate measure. IEEP played an important role in providing evidence to inform the discussions on reforming the CAP post 2014. We have contributed to the provision of guidance on mainstreaming climate and biodiversity priorities within the CAP and on tracking climate and biodiversity expenditure under both Pillar 1 and within rural development programmes.

Latest in Future of the CAP

  • What contributions can agricultural emissions make to the proposed Effort Sharing Regulation?

    New IEEP report finds the agriculture sector can significantly contribute to the EU’s climate commitments by reducing its non-CO2 emissions. It also finds these contributions can be delivered cost efficiently with environmental co-benefits without impacting production.

  • Towards sustainability: Future policies for European livestock

    The CAP is failing to reward adequately those livestock farmers who produce public goods. Brexit and CAP reform are opportunities to do better.

  • Improving environmental financing via result-based agri-environment measures

    A new article by IEEP explores the use of result-based agri-environment measures in the region of Baden-Württemberg, Germany. The study shows that result-based schemes can increase the environmental effectiveness and conditionality of the EU Common Agricultural Policy.

  • Learning the lessons from CAP greening

    What is the most cost-effective way to encourage basic environmental management across the farmed countryside in the EU-28? Learning from experience to date in greening Pillar 1 of the CAP, this report considers a range of options to increase the environmental added value from greening.

  • New report launch: Call for a new vision for responsible renewable energy with a clear European dimension

    Claude Turmes MEP hosted an event launching both IEEP’s report and a debate on the future of renewable energy in Europe. In the our report IEEP present how a resource efficient energy system might be delivered in a way that minimises impact on biodiversity and the wider environment.

  • CAP greening: what are its environmental prospects?

    A significant injection of money was agreed for ‘green’ farming practices under the recent CAP reform. This report examines the environmental impact these measures are likely to have on the ground and concludes that Member States’ implementation choices appear to have much diminished the chances of the greening measures delivering significant additional environmental benefits.

  • Results-based agri-environment schemes: new report and guidance handbook available

    Are you interested in developing and implementing a results-based payment scheme for farmland biodiversity? Together with experts from across Europe, IEEP has produced a range of useful resources to guide the future development of results-based agri-environment schemes in the EU and beyond.

  • EU research project PEGASUS - new thinking on sustainable land management

    EU research project PEGASUS kicked off in London on 29-30 April. The three-year project, led by IEEP, is focused on transforming land management approaches in the EU to improve the delivery of public goods and ecosystem services from rural areas.

  • The Manual: Chapter 13 - Sectoral policies

    This is a chapter of IEEP’s Manual of European Environmental Policy. This chapter sets out the development of some of the most important links between EU environmental policy and other policy areas, such as agriculture, forestry, fisheries, transport, trade, and so on.

  • High Nature Value farming throughout EU-27 and its financial support under the CAP

    This study reviews Member States’ estimates of the extent of HNV farmland and use of RDP measures and the CMEF indicators, then identifies future priorities for CAP support for HNV farming and discusses the support opportunities under the reformed CAP. It offers detailed new evidence about the combined effect of Pillar 1 and Pillar 2 CAP payments on the economic and environmental viability of a typical HNV farming system in three Member States.

  • New report: High Nature Value Farming in the EU

    Member States need to make the most of the opportunities under the new Common Agricultural Policy if the declines in HNV farming, critical for meeting our 2020 biodiversity targets, are to be halted.

  • IEEP reports to the Science and Technology Options (STOA) Panel of the European Parliament

    Recycling for bioenergy and options for climate-resilient agriculture which benefits biodiversity: presentation to the Science and Technology Options Panel of the European Parliament

  • Environment undermined in CAP deal

    An attempt by the European Commission to place the environment more centrally within agricultural policy has been comprehensively watered down in the final agreement.

  • A greener CAP: still within reach?

    The greening of the CAP hangs in the balance in the final negotiations; a synthesis of key issues and requirements.

  • How to climate-proof CAP and Cohesion spending

    The Commission has published two key technical guidance documents on climate proofing of Cohesion Policy and CAP expenditure as part of the Adaptation Strategy Package. Guidance builds on work carried out by a consortium led by IEEP.

  • Greening the CAP - how ‘equivalent’ are alternative approaches?

    A contentious issue in the negotiations on the future of the CAP is how to implement the proposed new green direct payments to farmers. However, proposals to increase flexibility for Member States will not necessarily be administratively any simpler and may risk weakening environmental outcomes.

  • Press release - Mixed news for the EU’s environment from the MFF deal

    8 February - 'There is mixed news for the EU’s environment and the green economy from today’s MFF deal’ says David Baldock, Director of IEEP.

  • Principles of Double Funding

    This briefing explores the issue of double funding in relation to the CAP reform debate and considers the implications for delivering added value for the environment.

  • EP vote must not undermine a greener CAP

    A decade’s progress in improving the Common Agricultural Policy’s environmental credentials risks being lost if the EP vote to water down the Commission’s ambitious proposals to green the CAP.

  • Land Stewardship in England post 2013: CAP greening and agri-environment

    What will the introduction of environmental measures in Pillar 1 mean for agri-environment schemes in the future? A topic of much debate as part of the CAP reform negotiations, this new report explores the potential impacts of greening Pillar 1 on England’s entry-level agri-environment scheme and how a future scheme could be designed to deliver more for the environment and ensure the long term sustainability of farming.