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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2021

Coupled agricultural subsidies in the EU undermine climate efforts

Jansson, Torbjorn; Nordin, Ida; Wilhelmsson, Fredrik; Witzke, Peter; Manevska-Tasevska, Gordana; Weiss, Franz; Gocht, Alexander


Subsidizing polluting industries generally leads to increased pollution locally. However, given the diversity of production technologies across countries and international trade, the global impact of unilateral policies is not a priori clear. We use the agricultural sector model CAPRI to simulate the impact of removing the voluntary coupled support for ruminants, presently permitted under the EU Common Agricultural Policy. We find that this reduces greenhouse gas emissions in the EU. However, emissions leakage significantly diminishes the global mitigation effect since about 3/4 of the reduction in the EU is offset by increased emissions in the rest of the world.


Agricultural Policy; Climate Change; Coupled Support; Emissions Leakage; EU; Q18; Q54; Q17

Published in

Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy
2021, volume: 43, number: 4, pages: 1503-1519

Authors' information

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Economics
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Economics
Wilhelmsson, Fredrik
Lund University
Witzke, Peter
European Center for Agricultural, Regional and Environmental Policy Research
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Economics
Weiss, Franz
Joint Research Centre, European Commission (JRC)
Gocht, Alexander
Thünen Institute (vTI)

Sustainable Development Goals

SDG13 Climate action
SDG17 Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development

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