FOCUS on: the CO2 Study

Interview with Dr. Eberhard Nacke, Project Sponsor of the CO2 Study

CEMA: Can you tell us something about yourself and how you got involved within CEMA?

Dr. Eberhard Nacke (Head of Product Strategy, CLAAS): I have been working together with CEMA on European issues for many years. Since May 2014, I serve as an expert on Precision Farming for the European Innovation Partnership (EIP) on 'Agricultural Productivity and Sustainability'. As one of the initiators to work on a holistic assessment regarding the potential reductions of CO2 emissions in agricultural processes involving farm machinery, my current role with regards to the CO2 Study is to act as the project sponsor with the responsibility to put this idea into practice. In this task, I am being supported by my colleague Beate Fleck.

CEMA: Could you describe in a few lines the key objectives of the CO2 Study?

E.N.: The agricultural machinery industry is committed to support the reduction of CO2 emissions in agricultural processes within the context of the overall reduction targets that have been defined for CO2. Assessing the reduction potential will help to formulate voluntary commitments that can serve as alternative paths to product-centered efficiency and/or CO2 legislation for agricultural engineering.

Together with related organizations from the world of agriculture, consultancy, research, and training, the agricultural machinery manufacturers represented in CEMA have defined the following key points: 

1.            Accentuate the role and responsibility of the agricultural machinery industry

2.            Develop a sustainable contribution of agricultural engineering to climate change mitigation and                    resource protection

3.            Elaborate a comprehensive and results-oriented approach

4.            Provide benefits to society and agriculture

5.            Focus on the CO2 emission of agri-technological products and processes

CEMA: How is the representation from different manufacturers/associations organised within the CO2 study?

E.N.: A detailed assessment of the current situation regarding CO2 emissions and the future reduction potential in agricultural processes is carried out by three working groups for tractors, implements and harvesting machines respectively. These working groups are made up of representatives of different European agricultural machinery manufacturers.

Professor Ludger Frerichs (TU Braunschweig, Germany) is responsible for the overall coordination of the scientific aspects of the study.

In addition to the specialists from the various manufacturers and universities, further agricultural organizations will be involved in the study to ensure a broad, practice-oriented approach.

The European dimension of the model-based approach is ensured by involving international research institutes with horizontal expertise.

In addition, an advisory board will be established, in which representatives from political institutions, trade associations, research institutes, industry, and agriculture will ensure that the development of this theme is goal-oriented and that the professional expertise of relevant stakeholders is sufficiently considered. 

CEMA: Where does the project stand and what has been achieved up to now?

E.N.: The conceptual phase of the project is about to be finalized, so we will soon see the generation of first results.

CEMA: What are the challenges ahead for the study project?

E.N.: At the moment, the primary challenge we see is the availability of the necessary data to calculate the CO2 emissions of the most important agricultural processes in Europe. This is the reason why we focus our efforts on this particular topic at the moment.

CO2 emissions