New German agriculture minister sets out plan for sustainable farming
Germany’s new agriculture minister Cem Özdemir has used his maiden speech in parliament to outline an ambitious climate protection plan, Tagesspiegel Background reports. As well as making the country’s agriculture sector more sustainable, the Green Party politician said he plans to protect moorland, replenish forests and improve the build-up of ‘humus’ (dark material made from plant and animal matter decay) to store CO2 in the soil. "Agriculture and forestry are in the spotlight when it comes to the climate crisis. They are victims of extreme drought and freak weather," Özdemir said. "But they are also drivers of the climate crisis through fodder cultivation in the tropics, ever-increasing intensification and the use of energy-intensively produced pesticides and mineral fertilisers. I want them to be part of the solution in the future." He added that he is aiming for 30 percent of food in German supermarkets to be organic by 2030.
On Monday (17 January), Özdemir attends the Agriculture and Fisheries Council meeting in Brussels, the first to be held under France’s EU Council presidency. Özdemir said ahead of the meeting that he welcomed the French presidency's decision to make low-carbon agriculture a centre piece of the agenda.