The Agrocovenant is a voluntary public-private agreement between the government of the Netherlands and a variety of agricultural sector organisations. It sets a policy framework for energy efficiency, renewable energy and greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions for specific agricultural sectors including agro-food industry, agro-logistics and a range of primary agro-producers.
Though the Dutch and German agricultural sectors are comparable in their structure and production, they do differ on some key points. These are namely that the Dutch agriculture is more energy-intensive and more export oriented. Despite these differences, there are enough similarities to suggest that the Agrocovenant would be beneficial in a German context by offering a flexible, cost-efficient and politically feasible way of achieving emission reductions by fostering activities that increase the efficiency and sustainability of the sector while also aiming at higher productivity. The overall impact on GHG emission reductions is uncertain, and implementation of such a voluntary agreement should be weighed against more direct, but potentially more difficult and costly regulations.
The present study forms part of a series of publications within the project “Bridging European and Local Climate Action (BEACON)”. As part of this project, scientific analyses were conducted of national policy instruments that successfully led to greenhouse gas emission reductions in European countries in the building, transport, agriculture and small-industry sectors. The analyses particularly focused on the instruments’ effectiveness and their potential transferability to the German context.