CLIMATE JUSTICE, NOT INDUSTRIAL AGRICULTURE
From massive greenhouse gas emissions to land use change and soil carbon mining; the system of industrial agriculture is one of the primary systems destroying the climate.
Following colonial patterns, more and more land is taken away from small scale farmers and peasants around the world to be used for mono-cultural industrial production producing crops for the global market. Most of these crops are used for either biofuels, fodder for the animal industry, or as ingredients in processed foods. They are produced without any concerns for nature, biodiversity or for local food security, and their production is a major driver of climate chaos.
Between 44% and 57% of all greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions come from industrial agriculture, when emissions from land-use change and deforestation, as well as the processing, packaging, transport and sale of agricultural products are taken into account.
SYNTHETIC FERTILIZER CREATES CLIMATE CHAOS
The production and usage of synthetic fertilizers alone is estimated to be responsible for up to 10 % of global GHG emissions, if its reliance on fossil-gas for fertilizer production and its destruction of soil is taken into account.
The use of synthetic fertilizers deteriorates the organic matter in the soil, resulting in large emissions of carbon and destroying the fertility of the soil. This makes farmers and peasants increasingly dependent on fertilizers.
The destruction caused by the fertilizer industry compares to that of the coal mining industry, sacrificing huge areas of arable land in their devastating hunt for scarce minerals and their demand for cheap gas. The production of nitrogen fertilizer, through the so-called “Haber-Bosch process”, is a highly energy intensive process using enormous amounts of fossil-gas. This dependence on fossil-gas is part of the reason for the strong political alliances between fossil-fuel companies and agribusiness corporations.
ECONOMIC INTERESTS AND POLITICAL POWER
It’s no coincidence that the same few companies who are producing fertilizer, pesticides and crops globally are also the ones dominating political processes around agricultural policies and coming up with false “solutions” for solving the climate crisis. Through large lobbying groups like the GACSA (“Global Alliance for Climate-Smart Agriculture”), they are proposing political reforms with the purpose of expanding the reach of their markets, e.g. by forcing small farmers to use synthetic fertilizers, pesticides and patented seeds. The only purpose of their proposed “solutions” is to keep us locked in a deadly industrial agricultural production system, for them to increase their profits. The companies use this enormous political power to stop any real solutions, and continue “business-as-usual”.
The global fertilizer industry is dominated by a small number of corporations, who do their best to make us believe that synthetic fertilizers are needed in order to feed the world. To secure and expand their markets to all parts of the world, they try to convince politicians and populations, that they are part of the solution. If we want to create real change and disrupt the industrial agricultural system, we need to target the companies behind.
WHO IS YARA?
The fertilizer company YARA, partially owned by the Norwegian state, is active all around the world, and dominates the global market for nitrogen fertilizer. YARA is the single biggest industrial buyer of fossil-gas in Europe and has facilities in most parts of the world.
Their business destroys soil world-wide, forcing farmers and peasants to buy their products, while emitting enormous amounts of GHGs. Still YARA claims to be acting responsibly, as their slogan says: “YARA: Responsibly feeding the world and protecting the planet”.
Their fertilizer production plant in Brunsbüttel in Northern Germany is YARA’s second biggest ammonia production plant in Europe and produces 0,5 % of the worlds total production.