Project details

Agricultural policy and climate change: Potential fields of intervention in climate policy and agricultural policy at the EU level

The study examines EU level intervention areas and policy options related to agriculture and climate. The background for the study are the structural changes in the agricultural sector and in agricultural production systems, and specifically the rapidly increasing use of fossil fuels and replacement of low input systems. Consequences of the structural changes have been

  • an increasing energy intensity of agricultural systems with a simultaneous reduction in their resilience
  • enormous increases in total production and per hectare and work unit productivity
  • an increasing dependance on external resources, in particular fossil fuels

Against this background the study focusses on the following questions that are directly relevant for further policy development

  • What influence does European agriculture have on greenhouse gas emissions and climate change?
  • How does the Common Agricultural Policy of the EU influence the underlying interrelationships and impacts?
  • What kind of adjustments are needed in a) agriculture and agricultural production, and b) in agricultural policy?

In this study the interrelationships between agricultural policy, economic framework conditions, agricultural structural change and the type, scale and intensity of farming are stressed. The negative contributions of highly industrialised, specialised and intensive agricultural production systems are traced back to policy factors that have promoted these systems. Key components of agricultural policy at the EU and the national level are critically examined. The negative impacts of market and price policy are stressed. Recommendations are made in terms of supporting more environmentally and climate friendly agricultural production systems.

Project no.: 



Research | Climate change and renewable energies |


Enquete Commission ‘Protection of the Atmosphere’ of the German Parliament



Contact person/s at IfLS: 

Jörg Schramek