21 Dec 2022, 13:34
Carolina Kyllmann

Carbon farming “essential tool” in achieving net zero targets – farmers association

Clean Energy Wire

Carbon farming is an essential tool for reaching Germany’s net zero targets and should therefore be promoted more strongly by the government, the German Farmers’ Association (DBV) said. The government should set a framework for recognising agriculture’s capacity for carbon absorption, as farmers want to “make their contribution” in reaching the country’s climate neutrality targets, DBV head Joachim Rukwied said. He added “Greenhouse gas neutrality will only be achievable by 2045 with the recognition of the sector's [carbon] sink performance.” According to the DBV, focus should be placed on production-integrated carbon sinks in addition to the ramp-up of renewable energy and the provision of renewable raw materials.

Carbon sinks are places that absorb more carbon than they release. A strategy for “technical negative emissions” is needed in agriculture to reach climate neutrality, as the sector comes with unavoidable emissions. However, many researchers warn that carbon farming is easily reversible, hard to measure, and could support greenwashing. The EU has introduced a carbon removal certification proposal which, according to the DBV, sets “a basic prerequisite for a recognised, scientifically sound and effective accounting of greenhouse gas sinks.” Most scenarios for reaching climate neutrality by mid-century predicted by many researchers and governments – including that of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) – suggest that carbon removal measures like carbon farming or carbon capture and storage (CCS) will be necessary beyond reducing greenhouse gas emissions. “The sustainable production of food and simultaneous provision of carbon sinks is possible and thus offers a strong response to uncertainties of our time,” Rukwied said.

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