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Climate change challenge – Rentenbank’s Edmund Rehwinkel Foundation presents research results

5 June 2019

Frankfurt. According to Dr. Martin Banse and Dr. Viktoriya Sturm from the Thünen Institute for Market Analysis team in Braunschweig, the contribution made by the 28 EU member states to the global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from agribusiness is relatively small.

Herausforderung Klimawandel | © Rawf8 / Adobe Stock

The scientists said that measures to prevent them were nevertheless important. What would be most effective is a CO2 tax on GHG emissions which relate specifically to agribusiness. Banse and Sturm are putting together three options for a CO2 tax at EU level. At the same time, a study undertaken by the Lower Saxony Chamber of Agriculture under the tutelage of Talke Heidkroß affirms that the release of gases from agriculture cannot be completely avoided. They added that the production could, however, be set up in a more efficient way whereby fewer gases that are harmful to the climate are released. The research team carried out joint climate assessments with pig farms and consultancies as part of the project and identified measures to improve climate efficiency within pig farming.

Both studies presented in Berlin today form part of the ‘Climate Change Challenge – impacts on agriculture and adaptation strategies’ research project supported by Rentenbank’s Edmund Rehwinkel Foundation. In addition, Professor Jana Zinkernagel of Hochschule Geisenheim University as well as Professor Uwe Latacz-Lohmann and Professor Friedrich Taube (both from Kiel University) presented their research results at the conference. While Zinkernagel has been carrying out research into how climate change affects the cultivation and irrigation requirements of outdoor vegetables, Latacz-Lohmann has been focusing on how the farmers affected embrace contractual moor protection. Taube has been analyzing the root turnover of regular fodder plants and the resultant CO2-emissions and has established that different grassland types have the potential to help raise the carbon stocks in the earth.

Dr. Horst Reinhardt, Chairman of the Management Board at Rentenbank and of the Edmund Rehwinkel Foundation commended the five projects for making important contributions to the current debate around climate change. ‘Ever since the heatwave in the summer of 2018, we have all become aware of the immense challenges presented by advancing climate change. Those working in agriculture have been conscious of its role and its responsibility. It’s about protecting their productivity,’ according to Reinhardt. He added that the research projects had provided a raft of specific recommendations for action.

The conference was compèred by editor-in-chief of ‘top agrar’, Dr. Ludger Schulze Pals.

The evening before the symposium, the attendees were able to benefit from an exchange of ideas with the former astronaut Ulf Merbold. In his keynote speech, Merbold pointed out the type of contribution global research can make to climate protection. He went on to say that global observation from space had provided particularly important information. Satellites were already providing efficient management processes and remote monitoring, specifically for agriculture. Science would also provide important findings on climate change in the future. On this basis, he added that it was up to politicians to make the right decisions toward reducing emissions.


The research contributions are published in volume 35 of Rentenbank’s publication series and may be ordered free of charge (tel 00 49 69/2107-363; fax 6447;



Rentenbank’s Edmund Rehwinkel Foundation was created in 1974 in memory of the former president of the German Farmers’ Association and long-time chairman of Rentenbank’ s Supervisory Board. The purpose of the foundation is to support science and research related to agriculture. Once a year the foundation invites tenders which relate to its current topic of focus. Candidates can apply for funding by sending in a project proposal. In addition, the foundation provides grants to students studying for their master’s degree at a German university if they are focusing on agriculture or food sciences. Under the banner of ‘Science, practice and dialogue’, the foundation also promotes dialogue between those conducting research and those actively working in the agriculture and food industry. More information