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20 Dec 2019, 14:24
Freja Eriksen

Agriculture climbs up on German government's climate priority list

Clean Energy Wire / Der Tagesspiegel

Both climate action and adaptation to climate change must be given "higher priority" in German agriculture, according to minister Julia Klöckner's 2035 strategy for the sector. "As an economic sector that is directly affected but also causes damage", it must work towards reducing emissions of gases with climate impact, the document states. Klöckner aims for all arable soils to gain more humus (an organic material similar to compost) than they lose by 2030. This would increase carbon storage while improving soil fertility. Adaptation strategies to climate change are similarly necessary, the strategy states. For example, increasing droughts in main growth periods make the expansion of irrigation capacities necessary. The strategy also proposes monitoring the vulnerabilities of different regions in order to identify individual adjustment strategies.

In presenting the strategy, Klöckner opened a public discussion with relevant stakeholders. The minister is caught between large-scale protests by thousands of farmers' opposed to environmental policies and calls from the environment ministry to enforce climate action in the sector, writes Der Tagesspiegel. Half of Germany's land is used for agriculture. In 2017, the sector emitted about 66 million tonnes of CO2-equivalents, or 7.3 percent of Germany's total emissions.

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