Greenpeace study: Julia Klöckner ignores CO2 emissions from animal products

A new study by Greenpeace shows that animal products emit more CO2 than is generally assumed. However, the reasons for this are only partly German consumer behavior.

Greenpeace accuses the Federal Ministry of Agriculture of only naming direct emissions from animal husbandry and ignoring the indirect emissions of greenhouse gases from animal husbandry, including, for example, CO2 emissions from the cultivation of animal feed.

A new study by Greenpeace shows that the figure is three times as high when indirect emissions are included than without: it is 120 million tonnes of CO2 equivalents per year.

In the study, Greenpeace criticizes the Federal Minister of Agriculture, Julia Klöckner, who repeatedly emphasizes that German agriculture is only responsible for a small proportion of Germany's total greenhouse gas emissions. However, Klöckner only ever cites the direct emissions – methane from digestion processes and nitrous oxide from the storage and fermentation of liquid manure and solid manure.

“Climate protection cannot be operated with arithmetic tricks. Animal husbandry in Germany is the elephant in the room that the federal government has been sneaking around for far too long when it comes to climate protection," says Greenpeace agricultural expert Lasse van Aken.

"Germany is the slaughterhouse of Europe"

One of the problems is that farmers who keep animals have increased the production of meat and milk in recent years, but consumption in Germany has hardly changed. The reason is the sharply increased export of these products. "Germany has established itself as Europe's slaughterhouse in meat production," says the Greenpeace study.

According to Greenpeace, by 2035 the number of animals in agriculture may only be half what it is today in order to achieve the binding emission targets set out in the Climate Protection Act and to be climate-neutral by 2045. "The next federal government urgently needs to educate consumers, create incentives for less consumption of animal products and support the farms affected in the fundamental change in animal husbandry," says van Aken.

Utopia says: It is disappointing that the Federal Ministry of Agriculture misrepresents the CO2 emissions of animal products. If it is generally clear how much CO2 is consumed by food, action can be taken accordingly to minimize emissions. One option can be a vegetarian or vegan diet, which can help you minimize your carbon footprint. Here you will find information and tips for the transition:

Becoming a vegetarian: simple tips for beginners

10 tips to become a little more vegan

Vegan: 12 tips on food, nutrients, clothing and more


The best vegetarian and vegan schnitzel

Sustainable hoodies made from organic cotton: 7 cool labels

Netflix, Youtube, Spotify: Streaming really is that bad for the climate

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