Agriculture is an essential pillar of Europe’s economy with farmland covering 38% of the EU’s total land area. The sector accounts for 11% of the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions, but it also has the unique capacity to sequester carbon from the atmosphere, so there’s great potential for climate action.
With this in mind, the European Commission has commissioned an exploratory study on ways to put a price on agricultural emissions (specifically, via a new and separate emissions trading system) and to reward carbon removals in the land sector. Preliminary results from this study were discussed at a public stakeholder workshop on 14 June.
If you have a stake in agriculture, this is a chance to make your voice heard. All relevant stakeholders are welcome to contribute to the survey, in particular farmers, representatives of business and trade organisations along the agricultural value chain, foresters, national / regional / local authorities in EU Member States, civil society organisations, academics and researchers in related fields.
The survey is live now until 28 July 2023, and is divided into two parts:
- General section: your views on putting a price on greenhouse gas emissions from agricultural activities and rewarding farmers and other landowners for their climate action. This section does not require technical knowledge of policy instruments.
- Specialised section: questions on the potential policy options which may require expert knowledge to answer. This part can be skipped.
If you choose to answer all questions, the survey should take about 60 to 90 minutes to complete. If you only answer the general questions, it should take about 10 minutes.
The results will be consolidated and anonymised in a stakeholder survey report and integrated in the final study, which will be published by the end of 2023.
A 2021 report by the European Court of Auditors concluded that EU law does not apply the polluter-pays-principle to agricultural emissions and recommends that the Commission should “assess the potential of applying the […] principle to agricultural emissions, and reward farmers for long-term carbon removals”.
Against this background, the European Commission is exploring options for pricing greenhouse gas emissions from agricultural activities along the food value chain as well as for rewarding farmers and other landowners for carbon farming.
- Publication date
- 27 June 2023
- Directorate-General for Climate Action