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02 Jun 2021, 12:14
Julian Wettengel

Agriculture must do its part to help Germany reach climate neutrality 2045 – foundation

Clean Energy Wire

The Climate Neutrality Foundation has proposed a nitrogen tax for fertilisers and abolishing the reduced VAT (value added tax) on animal products as part of a package of measures to tackle climate-harmful emissions in agriculture. The proposed nitrogen tax would correspond to a cost of about 60 euros per tonne of CO2, said the foundation. Further recommendations include compensating low-income households with the additional tax revenues; introducing a climate label on food products; and re-wetting moorlands to avoid climate-harmful emissions. While not proposing state-imposed measures to make people stop eat meat, “the links between animal husbandry and climate change must be named and tax privileges for animal products should be abolished,” said foundation director Rainer Baake. The recommendations are based on a research paper commissioned by the foundation.  

While emissions in other sectors are significantly larger, the agriculture sector is among the toughest to cut emissions from, with some greenhouse gases unavoidable. The foundation says the sector can reduce its greenhouse gas emissions from todays roughly 70 million tonnes CO2 equivalents to 58 million tonnes in 2030 and 40 million tonnes in 2045 – the rest would have to be balanced with negative emissions. The Climate Neutrality Foundation in April published a report that showed how Germany could reach climate neutrality by 2045.

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