Wednesday , 12 June 2024
Home Global Economy Özdemir's balancing act
Global Economy

Özdemir's balancing act

Federal Agriculture Minister Cem Özdemir wants to bring climate protection, food security and peace together. Against the background of the Ukraine war and the threat of food shortages in Germany, too, he is calling for tough sanctions against Russia. He wants small farmers around the world to be strengthened and hunger to be fought. Efforts to protect the climate should not be relaxed: "We have to fight the climate crisis globally, we have to lead the way as an industrial nation," Özdemir told the ARD capital studio.

In Germany, too, agriculture is affected by climate change. Grain quality suffers from the heat, periods of drought and heavy rain have a negative impact on the harvest. The farmers themselves are asked to do more for climate protection. Agriculture's share of greenhouse gas emissions is currently more than seven percent. In order for the self-imposed climate goals to be achieved by 2030, emissions must continue to fall by around ten percent, as the Federal Environment Agency has calculated.

A win-win situation?

According to Minister of Agriculture Özdemir, an important building block is the expansion of organic farming. By 2030, the proportion of agricultural land is to increase from the current level of just over ten to 30 percent, as agreed by the traffic light parties in the coalition agreement.

Özdemir is convinced that the conversion of animal husbandry also contributes to climate protection. The goal: fewer pigs, cattle and poultry in the stalls, but more species-appropriate husbandry with more space and exercise. The minister sees a "win-win situation" for the climate, the animals, but also for farmers and consumers.

A state animal welfare label on meat products is intended to help customers with their purchasing decisions, and there are also plans to financially compensate farmers for the conversion to more animal-friendly stables. How exactly, however, there is still no agreement within the traffic light coalition.

Agricultural scientist sees great need for action

In order to protect the climate, Harald Grethe also advocates a different animal husbandry. Grethe is an agricultural economist at Berlin's Humboldt University. Overall, meat consumption must also be reduced, he told the ARD capital studio. Grethe calls for a "political mix". In his opinion, this includes more plant-based food in community facilities and in daycare and school catering. The VAT rate for animal products should also be increased and the tax rate for plant products should be reduced.

Protecting the moor is also central to climate protection, Özdemir makes clear. Agricultural scientist Grethe also sees a great need for action – for him the protection of the moors is even more important than the expansion of organic farming. Peatlands are considered to be large carbon reservoirs. However, they currently often contribute to CO2 emissions: numerous moors have been drained and are used for agriculture. In order to wet moors again and thus save CO2, the federal government has already launched funding programs.

How realistic are the goals?

The President of the German Farmers' Association, Joachim Rukwied, advocates protecting moors, but also continuing to use them for agriculture. He wants companies not to be pushed out of peatlands. Overall, he says, farmers are willing to work more sustainably in animal husbandry and also in arable farming. "We rely on technical possibilities," says Rukwied, so that soils can be fertilized more efficiently and processed in a more water-saving manner, for example. According to Rukwied, digitization also plays an important role. In principle, the association president is confident that the climate goals in agriculture will be achieved.

Agricultural scientist Grethe, on the other hand, is cautiously optimistic. Politicians have already taken small steps, he says, but there are still major construction sites. The conversion of animal husbandry and the rewetting of the moors, for example, require "courage to shape politics and courage to formulate medium- and long-term strategies". Because both are tasks that would include “several legislative periods”. Grethe emphasizes that the climate goals in agriculture can only be met with long-term strategies. After all, this is also important for food security.

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Articles

Global Economy

Spotlight on 2023: S&P 500 and the Significance of the 4400 Level

In our past exploration of the financial landscape of 2023, we delved...

Global Economy

AI and Data Analytics Drive Efficiency in Money Laundering Detection

BIS Innovation Hub Turns to Tech for Money Laundering Detection The BIS...

Global Economy

Russell 2000 Gains Momentum as Tech Stocks Outperform Value

Tech stocks have dominated the equity markets in recent months, surpassing value...

Global Economy

Crypto Exchange Bybit Announces Exit from Canadian Market Amid Regulatory Changes

Regulatory Shifts Prompt Bybit's Strategic Withdrawal from Canadian Crypto Market