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EU Finance “Harms” Nature

EU member states are channelling between €34 billion (US$36.8 billion) and €48 billion of subsidies annually into activities that harm nature, according to a new World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) report. The NGO’s research found that up to 60% of the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) funding, totalling €32.1 billion annually, has been spent on activities that encourage large-scale unsustainable farming. Direct subsidies in other sectors, including fisheries, transport infrastructure and water infrastructure have also significantly contributed to nature loss. The WWF stressed that the misallocation of funds from EU countries “starkly contrasts” with the 2030 Biodiversity Strategy’s estimate that €48 billion are required annually to finance activities by farmers, landowners, rural and coastal communities to protect and restore biodiversity. EU member states currently fall short of this target by more than €18 billion each year. “Not only are governments spending billions of euros of taxpayers’ money on harming nature, they are also undermining efforts to protect and restore it, in line with its stated objectives and international commitments,” said Ester Asin, Director of the WWF’s European Policy Office. “Redirecting these subsidies could easily close the financing gap needed to achieve the EU’s biodiversity goals.”

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