Landvolk Niedersachsen considers the drafts presented by the EU Commission on July 14 as not implementable in Germany. According to the drafts "Fit for 55", the EU member states are to achieve climate-neutral food production by 2035, taking into account the climate effects of land use. "The proposal boils down to the fact that as the only solution for the zero balance demanded by the EU Commission for large parts of Lower Saxony, a 300-year crop performance would have to be turned back within 15 years," Landvolk President Dr. Holger Hennies explains.
"Such a demand is just not realistic, because the only way we could meet this requirement is if we stop farming on several 100,000 hectares of usable land and engage in massive rewetting. Such a proposal is not only unrealistic, it is also a slap in the face of the affected regions and farms, which deserve a fair deal when it comes to carbon dioxide releases from carbon-rich soils - such as drained peatland sites."
The EU Commission proposes that in the future, in addition to the greenhouse gases that are unavoidable in the production of milk, meat, cereals, legumes, potatoes, vegetables, fruit or wine due to natural processes, other sources should be attributed to the agricultural sector. In the future, this should include the release of carbon dioxide during the decomposition of organic matter in the soil, which is unavoidable when drained peat soils are used. This also applies to drainage for settlement purposes.
On the other hand, the EU Commission wants to give positive consideration to humus accumulation in mineral soil and increases in carbon sequestration in forests as a greenhouse gas sink.
"About the possibility of humus enrichment in mineral soils, the EU Commission has not said anything until now on how this could be implemented. We see this so-called carbon farming as an opportunity - but with a limited scope. However, the EU does not want to explain what requirements are to be made here until the fall," Hennies criticizes. "The EU plans are unbalanced because they are not coordinated with other EU strategies and thus lead to further relocation of food production and greenhouse gas emissions abroad."
Landvolk Niedersachsen calls on the federal and state governments to advocate at the EU level for a feasible transition period when dealing with drained peat soils and firmly rejects the specification of climate neutrality in food production under the calculation methods used for this purpose to date.
"When we discuss climate neutrality in land use, agriculture must also be credited with avoiding greenhouse gas emissions through renewable raw materials and every hectare that is taken out of previous agricultural use for the generation of electricity from free-field photovoltaic plants or even wind turbines," Hennies demands. "In addition, the planned border adjustment against climate dumping from third countries must be introduced not only for steel and other industrial products, but for food as well."