Agriculture and climate change


Agriculture is a victim and contributor to climate change. It must both adapt to the consequences of change and reduce its own emissions of greenhouse gases.


Agriculture is particularly affected by climate change. If one considers that 75 percent of food production depends on only twelve plants and five animal species, it becomes clear how vulnerable the world's food supply is.

Climate change is leading to global warming and the weather is becoming more unpredictable. Extremes such as droughts, floods and strong winds are on the increase. Changing environmental conditions are helping to reduce the genetic diversity of agricultural products. Agriculture is also coming under pressure from population growth, which is increasingly devouring resources. Soil quality deteriorates due to inappropriate use. The result is declining yields.

Agriculture is not only a victim of climate change, but also a contributor: nitrogen oxides from soils and fertilizers as well as methane from ruminants, rice cultivation and manure management are responsible for 90 percent of agricultural emissions. These account for an estimated 10-12 percent of global anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions.

The main victims of climate change are small family farms in developing countries. The scale and speed of climate change often exceeds their adaptability and threatens their livelihoods. They lack the resources and knowledge needed to cope with the consequences of climate change.

On behalf of the Federal Government, GIZ supports partner countries and donor communities in developing concepts that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and facilitate adaptation to climate change. In agriculture, the focus lies on strengthening the resilience of smallholder families. Above all, GIZ provides them with opportunities to adapt to climate change.

In order to improve adaptation to climate change, GIZ promotes "climate-intelligent" agriculture. This concept includes food security as well as adaptation to climate change and the reduction of greenhouse gases. GIZ provides advice and support in setting up climate- and environment-friendly agricultural value chains. Food should be produced, processed and distributed in an effective, efficient and climate-friendly way.

GIZ is also increasingly advising states on the design and implementation of national climate contributions in agricultural action programmes. These agricultural programmes include adaptation to climate change, the reduction of greenhouse gases and the protection of biological diversity. GIZ thus makes an important contribution to achieving sustainable development goals.