Table of Contents

Research Handbook on EU Agriculture Law

Research Handbook on EU Agriculture Law

Research Handbooks in European Law series

Edited by Joseph A. McMahon and Michael N. Cardwell

Following the conclusion of the latest round of reforms to the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) in 2013, the Research Handbook on EU Agriculture Law provides an up-to-date discussion of these reforms and the changing landscape in which the CAP now operates.

Chapter 8: The Common Agricultural Policy in 2020: Responding to climate change

David Blandford and Katharina Hassapoyannes

Subjects: development studies, agricultural economics, law - academic, environmental law, european law


It is now widely accepted that the world’s climate is changing and that we are in a period of global warming. There have been various phases of warming and cooling even within the span of human history, and there is disagreement about the extent to which the current warming phase is due to anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs). The concentration of these gases (primarily water vapour, carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O)) has increased substantially since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution in Europe in the eighteenth century. Agriculture is unusual in its ability to contribute to increasing or decreasing the concentration of atmospheric GHGs. It generates GHG emissions through crop and animal production, but it can also recycle or remove carbon from the atmosphere for significant periods of time through sequestration in the soil or in vegetative material. Agricultural production is a major source of global GHG emissions, directly accounting for an estimated 10 to 12 per cent of the total. This may be compared to the sector’s estimated share of world gross domestic product (GDP) of around 6 per cent.3 Figures vary, but CH4 generated by animals, rice production and land management practices probably accounts for 50 to 60 per cent of agriculture’s global GHG emissions (CO2 equivalent), with the remainder primarily made up of N2O generated by soil and land management practices and by manure.

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Further information