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Open AccessArticle

Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Knowledge and Positions of German Farmers

Research Unit Sustainability and Global Change, Center for Earth System Research and Sustainability, University of Hamburg, Grindelberg 5, 20144 Hamburg, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Land 2020, 9(5), 130;
Received: 11 March 2020 / Revised: 16 April 2020 / Accepted: 23 April 2020 / Published: 26 April 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Land Systems and Global Change)
Climate mitigation targets must involve the agricultural sector, which contributes 10%–14% of global anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. To evaluate options for implementing mitigation measures in the agricultural sector, farmers’ knowledge, positions, and attitudes towards agricultural GHG emissions, their accounting, and reduction need to be understood. Using an online survey, we asked 254 German farmers about their motivation to reduce GHG emissions and their acceptance of possible regulation schemes. We examined differences between relevant farming sectors, i.e., conventional versus organic and livestock keeping versus crop-cultivating farms. Results show that German farmers are aware of climatic changes and feel a general commitment to reducing GHG emissions but lack sufficient information. We identified agricultural magazines as the most effective tool for disseminating relevant knowledge. German farmers would feel motivated to adopt climate-friendly farming styles if products were labeled accordingly and if they received subsidies and public acknowledgment for their effort. As long as there is no regulation of agricultural GHGs through taxes or subsidies, personal motivation is yet the strongest motivation for voluntary emission reduction. Our findings are timely for the further development of strategies and instruments that reduce agricultural GHG emission and account for the farmers’ views. The dataset is available for further investigations. View Full-Text
Keywords: mitigation of climate change; stakeholder survey; attitudes; farmer knowledge mitigation of climate change; stakeholder survey; attitudes; farmer knowledge
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Jantke, K.; Hartmann, M.J.; Rasche, L.; Blanz, B.; Schneider, U.A. Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Knowledge and Positions of German Farmers. Land 2020, 9, 130.

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