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Looking to Livestock: Gauging the Evolution of the EU's Agri-Climate Law and Policy

Williams, Rebecca

Authors

Rebecca Williams



Abstract

Increasingly, awareness of climate impacts from the agricultural sector is growing. In the EU, it is reported that 11.3% of the total greenhouse gas emissions and over 80% of ammonia atmospheric and nitrogen emissions stem from its agricultural sector. At the same time, 31.1% of the EU Budget for 2021 was spent on supporting its agricultural sector. Livestock products are largely responsible for these emissions, yet the EU's 'green' agricultural policies have historically bypassed the subsector's climate impact. This circumvention extends to the EU's sizeable deforestation footprint from livestock feed imports that previously remained unaddressed. Recent EU agri-environmental policy packages have finally begun to address these oversights, but is the EU meeting its climate commitments with regard to its agricultural sector?
This paper seeks to benchmark the evolution of these EU agri-climate policy developments using livestock emissions as an exemplar. Firstly, the basis of (enhanced) EU agri-climate action will be established as multi-faceted, including endogenous EU policy-making priorities, in addition to the implementation of international obligations, such as the Common-But-Differentiated-Responsibility Principle established in international climate law. Then, the recent evolution of EU agri-climate policies will be outlined, highlighting the improved coverage of livestock emissions in the most recent Common Agricultural Policy reform, the Farm to Fork strategy, and the EU's new due diligence regulation. The extent to which these developments contribute to satisfactory enhanced EU agri-climate action will then be evaluated. In particular, addressing how far these new developments mark a turning point in EU agri-climate action, and what limitations of these instruments may exist.

Presentation Conference Type Conference Paper (unpublished)
Conference Name Society of Legal Scholars 2023 Conference
Start Date Jun 28, 2023
Deposit Date Jul 18, 2023