Climate change: "You have to invest heavily in innovation".
Even if the world manages to limit the increase in global temperature to 1.5 degrees, farmers will lose an additional 5-10 percent of their harvest on average. This is why climate change is such a serious problem for agriculture. At the same time, agriculture itself must contribute to climate protection. According to Matthias Berninger from Bayer, investments in new technologies are crucial for this.
Monday, November 8, 2021
Fertilisers are among the main sources of greenhouse gases in agriculture. Bayer is researching alternatives. But how do you make the switch? Matthias Berninger tells CNBC: "You have to invest heavily in innovation. The Haber-Bosch process is one of the most important chemical processes in human history. Thanks to it, we have traditional fertiliser. About 40 per cent of all food is based on the process. Therefore, you can't just flip the switch." But advances in genetics and biorevolution would certainly produce alternatives. Fertiliser today accounts for about 4 per cent of all CO2 emissions. So the potential for climate protection is huge here.
South Asia is currently being hit by an exceptional heat wave. This is threatening the harvests of many farmers. India is the second largest producer of wheat in the world. This is likely to exacerbate the already tense situation on the agricultural markets caused by the war in Ukraine.
The Russian war on Ukraine is having a devastating impact on global agriculture. The two countries produce large quantities of wheat for the world market. Russia is also one of the most important producers of fertilizers. These are now threatening to become scarce.
Werner Baumann has led the German agrochemical and pharmaceutical company Bayer since 2016. In an interview with the "NZZ", he explains what the Ukraine war means for his company and the food supply.
The British Parliament has passed a law that facilitates the cultivation of genome-edited plants.