Climate Change and Agriculture: Impacts, Adaptation and Mitigation

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Dr. Hermann Lotze-Campen

Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK)

Data Analysis, Computer Simulations and Models, Dr. Lotze-Campen (PIK) provided our guests with sound information and tools for sustainable development. In addition to results published in scientific journals, he gave advice to our American-German community.


Understanding the earth system is a huge task that no institution or country can tackle alone. PIK is part of a global network on questions of global environmental change. It closely collaborates with many international partners and is developing, together with the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research in the U.K., a European perspective of sustainability science. PIK plays an active role in activities such as the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP), the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA). As a member of the European Climate Forum (ECF), the Institute is in direct and continuous exchange with decision-makers from the economy, politics and civil society.  

Main messages of the 4th IPCC report

The following main messages started his presentation:Climate problem more dramatic than expected (Threat of positive feedbacks)

  • Increasing frequency of extreme events
  • Solutions are more abundant and cheaper than expected
  • Emission trading will play a crucial role – CO2 needs a price
  • Window of opportunity for collective action is closing fast
  • Energy from biomass will be one important mitigation option
  • Constraints on food production under climate change * Increasing competition for land and water lies ahead

Management of climate risks in agriculture

  • Production risks -> Technology
  • Soil management, new crop varieties, rotation, irrigation
  • Income risks -> Insurance
  • Multi-peril insurance, weather derivatives
  • Market risks -> Trade
  • International traderelations
  • Policy advice on climate change and agriculture
  • Increased promotion of climate change adaptation research and trategies(technology, insurance, trade)
  • Emissions from agriculture have to be taken into account for a global mitigation strategy
  • Bioenergy should be developed under fair competition with other technologies (e.g. through cap and trade system including all sectors)
  • Research and technology development should be increased in plant breeding, soil- management and renewable energies
  • Development of integrated land use management approaches


    After the show we had the opportunity to discuss Dr. Lotze-Campen’s arguments in this excellent area of Berlin Marriott Hotel. We thank Marriott for its special lounge “Wandelbar”.

    Udo v. Massenbach


24 March 2009, 19:00   through   21:00