158,009 of 200,000 signatures

Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission

Petition

European leaders are planning to sign a death sentence to nature. The new EU agriculture deal will pay billions to industrial farms, fuelling the environmental crisis. I urge you to withdraw this deal and propose a new agriculture policy that is good for our health and for nature.

We ask Commission President Ursula von der Leyen to propose a better agricultural policy for Europe:

  • Funding the transition to agroecological farming to support farmers who provide healthy food for our communities while caring for our environment and for the wellbeing of farm animals. Most of the CAP budget should be invested to protect nature, biodiversity and the climate.
  • Ending harmful subsidies: this means both stopping directly harmful subsidies, for example support for factory farms or unsustainable irrigation, and ensuring all subsidies given are tied to basic environmental and social conditions, including reducing soil erosion, making space for nature on farms, or guaranteeing workers rights.
  • Setting clear targets in the CAP, for example cutting greenhouse gas emissions and reducing pesticide use, to ensure every EU country and every farmer contributes fairly to the changes that are needed to tackle the current global crises.

Why is this important?

Would you sign off on a death sentence to nature? Would you sign a deal that will kill more bees and birds? That will pollute our water and air? That is exactly what could happen if European leaders sign off on the plans for how Europe will farm for years to come.

The new EU agriculture deal will pay billions to industrial farms, fuelling the environmental crisis. [1] Farmers will get money based on how large their fields are and how many animals they have. Their farms require massive amounts of artificial fertilisers, chemical pesticides, and antibiotics. This threatens our health, pollutes the countryside and destroys soil. Many small-scale farmers are giving up.

We thought all was lost in October when the European Parliament agreed to this deal. But youth activists across Europe have been pressuring powerful politicians to drop it. Executive Vice President of the Commission, Frans Timmermans, joined them saying, “The agricultural policy is not sustainable [and] cannot continue like this,". [2]

We don't have much time left to tip the scales: this Saturday youth activists will rise up across Europe to put real pressure on the EU Commission. Ursula von der Leyen, the Commission President, can still withdraw the deal but she won't do that unless a whole lot of us speak out. [3]


References:

  1. The common agricultural policy, known as CAP, pays subsidies to EU farmers. It’s a big deal. It distributes 35% of the EU's budget.
  2. https://euobserver.com/green-deal/150068
  3. https://s3.eu-central-1.amazonaws.com/euobs-media/7aa83d256634f1bd5d1ec216481bb453.pdf

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Please can you chip in?

After European leaders decide on the EU’s future path for agriculture in this final round of discussions, countries will have to present their own plans for farming. That will open up more opportunities for us to call for a green transition to sustainable agriculture – but we need resources to fight battles like these.

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