Open letter: EU Fee President, withdrawal of the widespread agricultural coverage

Intensive agriculture is driving biodiversity and the climate crisis. In its current form, the EU's Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) would force Europe to continue on this path for the next seven years. European agriculture has a significant impact worldwide.

For this reason, we, along with other global environmental NGOs, are sending an open letter to the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, asking her to withdraw the destructive CAP.

To: President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen

Cc. Executive Vice President Frans Timmermans

Berlaymont, 200 rue de la Loi

1000 – Brussels

4th November 2020

Dear President von der Leyen,

We are writing to you to call on the European Commission to come up with a new proposal for the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) after 2020 so that Europe can achieve its 2030 targets

Biodiversity and climate, including those enshrined in the EU Green Deal and Sustainable Development Goals, and those to be agreed upon next year at the Convention on Biological Diversity

(CBD) and verified by the UNFCCC.

Biodiversity in Europe is in critical condition, with agriculture being the main driver of species and habitat loss. Europe has lost 57% of its farmland birds since 1980, and many species like that

The European turtle dove and partridge have declined by around 90% since 1980. Therefore, the next decade is crucial to save them from extinction in Europe. Insects and important habitats

Like grasslands, they are in a similarly critical condition and urgently need to be rescued.

Science shows that we have a short window of time to act: the next decade. We applaud your Green Deal and Biodiversity Strategy that would not just restore biodiversity if

If properly implemented, it would also help reintegrate health into the ecosystems we need to continue producing food in the future.

We therefore also welcome your commitment in the promise of the heads of state and government for nature to “turn land use and agricultural policy away from environmentally harmful practices for land and sea

Ecosystems ”and“ Elimination or redeployment of subsidies and other incentives that are harmful to nature, biodiversity and the climate ”, which according to 2020 should expire

on the international obligations of the EU. 1

With the ambition of the Green Deal, the EU is in a strong position to show unprecedented leadership in the CBD negotiations and to be a driving force for the international community

concrete action and a solid implementation framework that can enable the much-needed fundamental changes in the way we produce, trade and consume food around the world.

However, the positions agreed in the European Parliament and the Council on the CAP work against the EU Green Deal (and the associated strategies for farm-to-fork and biodiversity). You allow

harmful subsidies, use most of the money to finance normal business practices, and actively limit member states' environmental ambitions. Put a third of the EU budget into such a system

will make it impossible in this critical decade to meet the EU's biodiversity restoration goals in the next decade.

We therefore urge you to show leadership and courage by withdrawing the Commission's proposal for the post-2020 CAP and putting forward a new proposal that is really designed for that

Complement the EU environmental agreement and help farmers transition to a regenerative farming system that works with nature and ensure our long-term ability to produce food.


Patricia Zurita
CEO of BirdLife International

Cristián Samper

CEO of the Wildlife Conservation Society

M. Sanjayan
CEO of Conservation International

Jennifer Morris
CEO, The Nature Conservancy

Marco Lambertini
Director General of WWF International

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