The Myth of Climate Smart Agriculture – Why Less Bad Isn’t Good

At a time when rains fail and yields crash, not just climate compatible agriculture, but the climate adaptation of agricultural systems are more relevant than ever.

The study “The myth of climate smart agriculture – why less bad isn’t good” discusses these topics. Has the impact of agriculture on climate change been accurately depicted so far? Methane burping cows are pilloried, but nitrous oxide emission from massive nitrogen inputs go almost unnoticed. Linking farm acreage to livestock numbers, soil fertility and pasture grazing – what role do such measures have to play in climate adapted agriculture? How big is the climate protection and adaptation potential of current digitalization and precision farming compared to that of ecological agricultural methods and organic agriculture?

By presenting facts and data, this study shows why the so-called modern intensive agricultural system is more climate damaging than climate smart. The authors show that corrections via Big Data, precision farming and increasing yields per hectare/animal unit cannot significantly change this.

In this study Dr Andrea Beste, Agricultural Scientist and Political Adviser and Dr Anita Idel, Veterinarian and Mediator, Lead Author of the UN IAASTD report on global agriculture (2008), also show, how arable and livestock farming can be made truly sustainable, climate friendly and climate proof: cattle shouldn’t be demonized instead their potential must be realised. Agricultural systems can become resilient and flexible with agroforestry and permaculture and thereby able to even out extreme weather events for longer.

View the full study here: