Land, food and nature

Building land use and food systems that support people, communities and nature

How society uses land, especially for food production, has a major impact on planetary health. Decades of intensive factory farming increased greenhouse gas emissions, harmed biodiversity, and contributed to social problems in rural areas – while failing to provide secure access to fresh, healthy, and affordable food. European farming is also helping to drive global deforestation, as land in the Global South is cleared to meet demand for soy and other crops that are used to feed livestock. Meanwhile, unsustainable use of bioenergy for heating and power in Europe is contributing to deforestation, biodiversity loss and higher emissions, and the degradation of natural ecosystems prevents land from drawing down carbon from the atmosphere.

To address this, we are working to build climate and nature-friendly land use and food systems that prioritise the needs of farmers, rural communities, and consumers. We are also promoting solutions to make sure bioenergy is kept within sustainable limits and that nature-based solutions such as restoring forests do not displace real reductions in fossil fuel use.

We work at national, EU and international levels to build political support for positive land-use policies, with a special focus on major policy instruments such as the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), Deforestation Law, and Farm to Fork and Biodiversity strategies. To ensure the success of these efforts, we also work to depolarise action on climate and nature, and challenge efforts by vested interests to exploit farmers’ and rural communities’ real concerns about the impacts of climate change, Russia’s war on Ukraine and the cost-of-living crisis.

Impact stories

European & national just transitions

Upholding climate action in the European elections

In just a few days, voters in the EU will head to the ballot box to elect the next European Parliament. The outcome of these elections will have a big influence over the level of political ambition that will exist…

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Land, food & nature

A fairer future for farmers is a greener future

Addressing the inequities at the heart of our food system is necessary for both farmers and climate action European farmers have been taking to the streets to protest untenable levels of hardship. From increasing production costs and administrative burden to…

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Europe in the world & international affairs

Radical rethink and reforms will be needed to climate-proof trade

For the first time ever, the UN’s annual climate summit dedicated a part of its agenda to trade policy. The Trade Day at COP28 in Dubai offered a much-needed focus on the role that international trade can play in the…

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