Climate change mitigation in agriculture and forestry and in the downstream sectors of food and timber use

  • BMEL Wissenschaftliche Beiräte


To be able to meet ambitious climate change targets, agriculture, forestry, forest-based industries and food consumers must increase their contribution to achieving these targets. The main objective of this report is to develop recommendations for political decision-makers regarding effective and efficient climate policies for the fields of agriculture and forestry, timber use and the food sector.

The recommendations in this report aim at contributing to the development of a comprehensive strategy for tackling climate change. Therefore, the recommendations include concrete policy measures. The efforts to fight climate change in the above-mentioned sectors should be compatible with European and national climate strategies and initiatives of society as a whole and with other societal goals and conditions. In addition, they should be embedded in adequate international climate agreements which are essential for effective climate protection.

The focus of this report is on climate protection based on a reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Adaptation to climate change is only mentioned insofar as it is of relevance to climate change mitigation. This applies even more to forestry than to agriculture, as the climate mitigation performance of the forestry sector is heavily dependent on the stability and productivity of the forests, which are managed on the basis of long production periods.

The report is structured as follows: Chapter 2 outlines the importance of agriculture and forestry, timber use and food consumption for the emission of greenhouse gases and carbon sequestration in Germany. It also addresses the effects of climate change and the possibilities of adapting to climate change in the forestry sector. Chapter 3 provides an overview of the climate policy objectives in Germany and the EU and the climate-related policy frameworks for the sectors considered here. Chapter 4 then discusses various climate policy instruments related to the agri-food industry, forestry, timber use and food consumption. Chapter 5 gives an overview of possible climate protection measures in the different sectors, assessed on the basis of specific criteria. Chapter 6 finally contains the overarching general recommendations and the sector-related recommendations for climate protection, which the Scientific Advisory Board on Agricultural Policy, Food and Consumer Health Protection (WBAE) and the Scientific Advisory Board on Forest Policy (WBW) have formulated.