Guest in episode 19 is the scientist Margarethe Scheffler from the Oeko-Institut
The challenges in switching to sustainable and organic farming are considerable. The agricultural sector needs to adapt to climate change and substantially reduce its climate-damaging greenhouse gas emissions. “We currently have a great many policy goals – climate neutrality in particular – but very little by way of practical action,” says Margarethe Scheffler in the new episode of the Oeko-Institut’s “Wenden bitte!” podcast. “We have a long way to go and in terms of transforming our farm sector, we’re still on the starting blocks. Germany needs to take urgent action here.”
Livestock farming accounts for 80% of emissions from agriculture and land use. “Much of this comes from drained peatlands. They make up around 7% of the total agricultural area but produce around 40% of emissions from farming and land use. When it comes to rewetting the peatlands, there’s no time to lose,” Margarethe Scheffler explains. Agricultural areas can also be used as sinks for residual emissions from biological processes.
If Germany were to switch to the Planetary Health Diet, livestock numbers could be reduced by 75%. This would result in a substantial decrease in greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture, which currently account for a significant share – around 15% – of Germany’s total emissions. The freed-up land could then contribute to achieving food security.