CLIMATE adaptation and greenhouse gas reduction must be achieved in a way that doesn’t threaten food production.

Following a vote in the European Parliament on a draft of its new Climate Law, EU farmers' organisation Copa-Cogeca warned that the discussion did not sufficiently address the role of agriculture and forestry, and the impact that this legislation could have on sustainable growth and jobs in Europe’s rural areas.

Specifically, European farmers and agrico-operatives would like to see the key role of their sector in ensuring food security better recognized, and the reference to Article 2.1.b of the ‘Paris Agreement’ highlighted in the text of the EU Climate Law.

CC secretary general Pekka Pesonen said: “Since 1990 the agricultural sector reached one of the most significant reductions in net greenhouse gas emissions with a decrease of 20%. The role of agriculture in terrestrial carbon sequestration, with special regard to the maintenance of permanent grasslands, permacultural crops and forestry is of paramount importance.

"The European farming community’s efforts to adapt in constantly changing climatic conditions while continuously ensuring food security and ecosystem services needs sustainable financing in parallel with constant innovation of production tools and methods.”

Addressing the proposed change to the EU’s 2030 climate target, Mr Pesonen said: “Unfortunately in Copa and Cogeca’s view the proposed sharp increase of the union’s 2030 climate target by 60% compared to 1990 level would bring great challenges for a sector that already faces severe difficulties by climate change. Copa and Cogeca therefore urge EU’s decision makers to make sure the farming sector’s specificities are taking into account in order not to hinder but enable the sector to make the necessary investment into continuous improvement of its production."