Agriculture: Unused potential for effective climate protection
Enormous, yet untapped possibilities in the agricultural and food industries are available to assist in climate protection. Reducing food waste, meat and dairy consumption, use of fertilizers, and providing better protection for marshes and green spaces are among the measures that could considerably lower harmful greenhouse gas emissions in Germany.
[Foto: © Simplycreativephotography]
These are the cornerstones of a report published by the Climate Service 2.0, and the science portal klimafakten.de. For the first time in German, the report Klimawandel: Was er für die Landwirtschaft bedeutet (Climate Change: What It Means for Agriculture) summarizes the most crucial points of the latest world climate report for the agrarian sector.
Germany is one of the global superpowers in the agricultural marketv
“Germany was the second largest importer and third largest exporter of agricultural products worldwide in 2014,” says Daniela Jacob, Director of the Climate Service Center 2.0. “This is why we need a better understanding within the agricultural and food sectors of where we can advance climate change protection measures more than we have in the past. We should address this point by means of providing appropriate climate information so that adaptation to the consequences of climate change is made easier.” The recently published report provides the required foundation.
The agricultural and food sectors play a double role in climate change: First, agriculture produces ten to twelve percent of the greenhouse gases caused by human activity. Agriculture in Germany, according to the Federal Environment Agency (Umweltbundesamt), is the third largest emitter of greenhouse gases.
Secondly, agriculture is impacted more directly than any other industry by the effects of climate change. The rising temperatures in Germany have been most noticeable. This rise leads, for example, to the soil suffering and an increase in erosion. Working conditions are also worsening for famers.
The public lacks basic knowledge on the role of agriculture
The report published by the Climate Service Center 2.0 and klimafakten.de was produced in cooperation with the Institute for Sustainability Leadership at the University of Cambridge and with the association Business for Social Responsibility (BSR). The publication relies exclusively on the results from the latest IPCC world climate report. The world climate report provides a comprehensive overview on all research carried out globally on climate change. “The German public is very well informed on the connection between climate protection and the energy industry. With agriculture, however, the public is far removed from this type of basic knowledge—something that we hope our report will remedy," says Carel Mohn, project leader of klimafakten.de.