Cooperation on the development of Danish climate technologies
Denmark is a pioneer in providing knowledge on the possibilities of reducing agricultural climate gas emissions. A workshop followed by an international conference is supposed to shed light on Danish competences as well as create new possibilities for the further development of climate technologies in agriculture.
The Danish parliament has decided that Danish climate gas emissions from agriculture should be reduced by 70 percent before 2030. Several climate technologies have already been developed and implemented and are widely applied in agriculture. The Danish food sector is a world leader when it comes to adjusting climate gas emissions to production.
If we are to meet the goal of a 70 percent reduction, we are faced with an imperative need to increase the development and implementation of new, efficient climate technologies that allow for at swift application in practice. The alternative is a significant reduction in the Danish food production.
Expensive development of new technologies
The research environments, as well as many companies, already possess significant knowledge about the possibilities of reducing agricultural climate gases. However, in order to utilize this knowledge, it must be converted into technologies that the agricultural sector will want to invest in.
The development of new climate technologies is rather expensive, and even if the technology may work in a laboratory, it will still take considerable efforts to adapt it to practical agricultural use. To a significant extent, these development costs are to be paid by the farmers, who will implement the technologies. Therefore, a huge need exists to reduce the costs and efforts. The Danish agricultural sector is a relatively small market area, and – in this respect – this will be a barrier to the development of efficient climate technologies.
Evaluation and selection of technologies
Taking action to benefit the climate is costly, and the farmers’ future application of climate technologies will be controlled by political demands as well as demands and expectations in the food markets. Therefore, a complete transparency of the efficiency of the technologies is an essential factor in relation to climate as well as other sustainability aspects such as environment and animal welfare.
At the same time, it may be difficult to evaluate the efficiency of the new technologies. The lack of transparency makes it hard to set the framework for the application of the new technologies, which makes it difficult for companies to market these technologies and for the farmers to evaluate which technologies will provide the optimum cost-efficiency.
Now, the iClimate Centre at Aarhus University focuses on the problems of implementing the new Danish climate technologies in agriculture – in relation to authorities, farmers and companies. The aim is to create an overview of potential climate technologies within agriculture to be further developed. This overview will e.g. provide an insight into the principles, on which the technology is based, the costs related to develop and implement the technology, as well as technology efficiency.
Workshop, international conference and a European seminar
First, iClimate invites researchers and companies to participate in a national workshop, the main purpose of which is to present and discuss technologies that may be included in the overview mentioned above. This will help create a strong basis for Danish research and development efforts within the area; and, at the same time, it is the aim to create a foundation for international cooperation to solve the climate challenges of agriculture.
Next year, iClimate will host an international conference at which leading international researchers will describe the challenges and solutions to the emissions of climate gases in agriculture where new technologies will play a significant role. However, not only the technologies will be discussed; it is equally important to consider how they are most rationally applied. The conference will result in an article to be used as a launch pad for international research cooperation within the area.
Finally, iClimate will arrange a seminar in Brussels to present the technological possibilities, that may help solve agricultural climate challenges, to European decision-makers; e.g. representatives from the European Parliament, the EU Commission as well as agricultural organizations and companies. The purpose is to inform decision-makers about new technologies, their maturity levels, and last but not least, the framework conditions that are needed if farmers and companies are to invest in climate technologies.
Transparency opens new opportunities for Danish technologies
The organizers hope that this process will make it more transparent for agriculture and help farmers choose the best available technologies; that it will be easier for authorities to determine the appropriate framework for the application of climate technologies, and that companies will consider it a financially attractive incentive to participate in the development of new technologies.
Interested companies are encouraged to contact the organizers and register for the workshop.
Professor Sven G. Sommer, Department of Biological and Chemical Engineering, Aarhus University
Professor and Head of Department Jørgen E. Olesen, Department of Agroecology, Aarhus University
Programme and registration
Technologies for a Danish Zero Greenhouse Gas Emission Agriculture. A one-day national workshop on technologies to reduce green-house gas (GHG) emissions from agriculture
International conference on Zero Greenhouse Gas Emission in High Productive Agriculture