Overview - PCD Challenges and the CAP
This section takes a look at some new policy areas where policy coherence for development issues arise in the context of EU agricultural policy and agri-trade liberalisation.
Increased volaility of world food prices has led some observers to call new instruments in the CAP and even for a reversal of the trends towards greater liberalisation of EU agricultural policy. Appropriate policy responses requires a full understanding of the implications of higher food prices for hunger and development.
Agriculture and climate change explores the contribution of agriculture in the EU to EU greenhouse gas emissions and looks at both mitigation strategies to limit agriculture's carbon footprint as well as the need for adaptation to climate change. Of particular interest is whether measures to limit agricultural emissions in Europe should be complemented by border tax adjustments to level the playing field against imports from countries which are not taking steps to reduce their carbon emissions.
EU climate change policy has set ambitious targets for the use renewable energy, including liquid biofuels in the transport fuels sector. But there are fears that EU biofuels policy could exacerbate competition with food supplies and lead to environmental damage in developing countries. On the other hand, protecting the EU market against imported biofuels not only raises the costs of mitigating climate change for EU consumers but can prevent developing countries exploiting an area where they have a comparative advantage.
The growing use of standards in agri-food trade, to protection consumer safety, to ensure quality attributes and to prevent the spread of animal and plant diseases, increases the cost of exporting to the EU market for developing countries. An important issue in pursuing policy coherence for development is how to ensure that higher standards do not lead to the exclusion of smallholder farmers from global supply chains.