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Climate Change Mitigation in German Agriculture

Climate Change Mitigation in German Agriculture

Climate Change Mitigation in German Agriculture


German agriculture is responsible for approximately 11% of national greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and thus there is considerable potential for increased mitigation efforts in this sector. The Naturschutzbund Deutschland (NABU) commissioned the Ecologic Institute to analyze the mitigation potential of German agriculture and the necessary policy measures to support emission reductions. The analysis points to a number of measures which can, along with obligatory reduction targets for both agriculture and land-use change, deliver significant GHG-emission reductions. The study is available for download.

In particular, the study identifies the following measures as priority measures due to their high reduction potential and favorable synergy effects:

  • Protection of peatlands and permanent grasslands along with the restoration / re-wetting of degraded peatlands. A general ban on conversion to other land use types should be enforced and financial incentives for peatland protection should be provided via the emissions trading scheme and a reorientation of agricultural policy along the principle of “public goods for public money”.  
  • Implementation of multifunctional measures to reduce nitrogen emissions from livestock through stricter minimum standards for manure management and a clear emphasis on climate protection in Rural Development Programmes 
  • Stricter requirements and improved support for farming practices that build up organic soil matter and thus enable carbon sequestration. This involves setting up specific and strict cross compliance standards and rural development support measures as well as supporting farm level pilot projects and knowledge and experience transfer.
  • Strengthening of organic farming and research on efficiency of organic farming through targeted and well-funded policy measures in line with the legal goal of 20% of organic farming in 2020. 

The study [pdf, 2.2 MB, German] is available for download.


Project ID
Agriculture, Climate change mitigation, GHG emissions, reduction potential, animal husbandry, soil management, soil carbon sequestration