NAVIGATE/ENGAGE Expert Workshop 20-22 September 2021

Herman Lotze-Campen (PIK, Germany)

Herman Lotze-Campen focused on a few key synergistic policy approaches for climate and land use systems. There is a strong interplay between GHGs emissions and agricultural sector, and one needs policies to reduce both greenhouse gases (GHGs), nitrogen, and bolster biodiversity. A holistic solution would be to tax the sources of GHGs in agriculture and balancing that with sinks of carbon (such as peat lands). This would generate the opportunity for GHG redistribution, however there are high transaction costs for implementation. Consideration of nitrogen surplus reduction is important for biodiversity, but there are plenty of synergies of such measures with climate change mitigation as well. Also compensation payments and emission price schemes to reduce deforestation would be effective, though there always is the potential trade-off through land competition between food production and nature conservation.  

Repurposing existing agricultural policy is another good strategy. There is a debate on targeting payments towards environmental goals towards climate neutrality. Technology policies and R&D support such as methane emission reduction in manure management are significant as well. This is slowly being considered by governments and has potential to be expanded.   

Demand-side policies are often discussed. However, while there is discussion on how to get people to eat a more “innovative diet” such as low-meat meals; further testing on effectiveness of interventions is required. Trade policies are heavily debated; diversified trade linkages are important in the long-term and keeps flexibility in the global food system for climate change mitigation. 

Hermann Lotze-Campen is an agricultural economist and Head of the Climate Resilience department at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. He is also Professor of Sustainable Land Use and Climate Change at the Humboldt University in Berlin.  

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