Thank God we left! Britons lumped with £10bn bill for EU failures in vast subsidies scheme

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In a report by the European Court of Auditors, it is revealed the bloc’s agriculture spending to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from farming has failed. Between 2014-2020, more than £85billion was earmarked by eurocrats to tackle farm-related climate change. But despite spending more than a quarter of the bloc’s colossal Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) budget on climate action, emissions from the industry have not significantly decreased since 2010.

EU auditors called on the European Commission to review the potential impact of applying a polluter-pays principle to emissions from agriculture.

Britain would’ve been liable for around 12 percent of the tab as the funds in question were used before our departure from the bloc.

Farming finds itself under increased scrutiny because of the EU’s plans to eliminate its net emissions by 2050.

Around 10 percent of those emissions come from agricultural activities.

In their report, EU auditors said: “Overall, we found that the €100billion of CAP funds attributed during 2014-2020 to climate action had little impact on agricultural emissions, which have not changed significantly since 2010.

“Most mitigation measures supported by the CAP have a low potential to mitigate climate change.

“The CAP rarely finances measures with high climate mitigation potential.”

It blamed livestock emissions, “mainly driven by cattle” for around half of the emissions from farming across the bloc.

Officials argued CAP spending did not help limit livestock numbers or provide incentives for farmers to reduce them.

They added: “The CAP market measures include promotion of animal products, the consumption of which has not decreased since 2014.

Their report comes as EU negotiators this week try again to agree new rules for the bloc’s vast subsidy scheme.

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A key sticking point is how much of the £331billion, a third of the EU’s 2021-2027 budget will be spent on green projects.

Auditors want the new CAP to include incentives for emissions reductions from livestock and fertilisers, as well as cash for farmers to restore drained land so it can absorb more CO2.

They called for the EU Commission to probe countries’ spending plans to ensure they do not risk raising emissions before cash is distributed.

Their report said it was unclear that recent EU handouts to tackle fertiliser use have helped reduce emissions.

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Chemical fertilisers and manure produce nearly a third of all farming emissions, its authors said.

Auditors called on the Commission to introduce a three-step plan for reducing farming emissions by December 2023.

Eurocrats should “invite the Member States to establish a target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from their agricultural sector”, as well as introducing more Brussels oversight on spending.

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