11 Dec 2020, 13:05
Kerstine Appunn

German farming ministry launches 1-billion-euro climate action package

Clean Energy Wire

Germany’s agriculture ministry has launched a 1-billion-euro ”Farmers for climate action” package, including an investment programme worth 816 million euros to boost the use of new technology in farming. Minister Julia Klöckner (CDU) said in a press release that “every euro from this programme serves to protect the climate, the environment and nature and is precisely targeted at farmers, including small and medium-sized farms.” The money will be used to promote state-of-the-art technology in farming, which can for example help to precisely apply fertilisers and herbicides/pesticides, Klöckner said. In liquid manure application, an average 30 percent reduction in ammonia emissions is possible; covering up slurry tanks could reduce ammonia emissions by 80 percent, the ministry stated.

Farmers are reimbursed 40 percent of the costs they incur when investing in new technology; contractors can receive between 10 and 20 percent depending on the size of the business. The technology boost will achieve both species protection, biodiversity and climate protection and “above all secure harvests”, Klöckner said. Farmers can apply for the investment support as of January 2021; the programme will run until 2024.

Out of the 1-billion-euro package, 140 million euros will go to insect protection measures, 20 million euros towards digitalisation and 24 million euros to promote innovation for more resource protection.

Emissions from animal husbandry, manure and land-use (soils) in the farming sector have not been significantly reduced over the past decade, as farmers struggle with low prices for their products and consumers in Germany have been slow to embrace a less meat-heavy diet. By 2030, the sector has to achieve a 35.6 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions (by 2019 it had made a 24.4% cut) over 1990.

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