Carbon Farming

The approach of carbon farming – the carbon enrichment of agriculturally used soils – brings us closer to achieving the goal of regenerative agriculture.
Carbon markets facilitate the most efficient possible implementation of climate action. Market-based climate instruments create incentives so that greenhouse gas emissions are reduced first in sectors where reduction is most cost-effective. This is why the German government supports the gradual development of a global carbon market.
After discussing the Farm2Fork-strategy within the European Green Deal in the previous panel, we want to go on and discuss carbon farming. Carbon Farming is a new way of farming to sequestrate carbon in the soil and in crop roots, wood and leaves, that otherwise would end up as CO2 in the atmosphere, causing climate change. It is successful when carbon gains resulting from enhanced land management and/or conservation practices exceed carbon losses.



Liam Condon has been a member of the Board of Management of Bayer AG and President Crop Science Division, headquartered in Monheim, Germany, since January 1, 2016. He is also responsible for the regions Latin America and Africa.

Condon was born in Dublin, Ireland, on February 27, 1968. He studied international marketing and languages at Dublin City University and at the Technical University of Berlin. As well as English and German, he also speaks Gaelic, French, Japanese and Mandarin (Chinese).

After graduating, Condon joined the former Schering AG and held various sales and marketing positions in the gynecology business in Germany. He then served five years as head of a business unit in Osaka, Japan. On his return to Germany, Condon became Regional Marketing and Medical Director for the Asia-Pacific and Middle East regions at Schering in Berlin. In February 2005, he was appointed Managing Director of Schering in China.

Following Bayer’s acquisition of Schering, Condon was named Vice President of Bayer HealthCare China in November 2006. Between 2007 and 2009, he was Managing Director of Bayer HealthCare and General Manager of Bayer Pharma in China. In January 2010, Liam Condon was appointed Managing Director of Bayer HealthCare in Germany and country representative for Bayer Schering Pharma in Germany. From December 1, 2012, until his appointment to the Board of Management of Bayer AG, Condon was Chairman of the Bayer CropScience Executive Committee

Since 2016 Condon is a member of the Governor’s Panel for Consumer Industries at the World Economic Forum and since September 2017, Condon is also the Chairman of the Board of Directors of CropLife International, the R&D based agricultural industry association.

Liam Condon is married and has two sons. He holds both Irish and German citizenships.


Ertharin Cousin is a member of the Supervisory Board of Bayer AG. Cousin, a U.S. citizen who holds a doctorate in law, served as executive director of the UN World Food Programme in Rome from 2012 until 2017 and is an internationally renowned expert in the area of nutrition and agriculture.

Ertharin Cousin is currently a Distinguished Fellow at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, a think tank dedicated to topics such as global food security and nutrition, urbanization, energy and water supply. Cousin also serves as a Visiting Scholar in the Stanford University Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, Center for Food Security and Environment. Before taking up her position as executive director of the UN World Food Programme, Cousin was appointed as the U.S. ambassador to the UN Agencies for Food and Agriculture from 2009 to 2012. During her career, Cousin also served as the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the aid organization America’s Second Harvest (now called Feeding America). She also worked in several corporate leadership roles including Senior Vice President of Public Affairs and Chief Information Officer at the U.S. supermarket chain Albertsons. During the Clinton administration, she served as the White House Liaison to the State Department, where she earned a Meritorious Service Award for her work. From 1987 to 1989, she held various positions at the Illinois Attorney General’s office, including Assistant Attorney General.

… UN Secretary-General´s Special Envoy

Since 2014, Dr. Kalibata has  served as President of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), where she leads the organization’s efforts with public and private partners to ensure a food secure and prosperous Africa through rapid, sustainable agricultural growth, improving the productivity and livelihoods of millions of smallholder farmers in Africa.

In 2019, the UN Secretary-General appointed Dr. Kaliata, Special Envoy for the 2021 Food Systems Summit. In this role, she works with the United Nations system and key partners to provide leadership, guidance, and strategic direction towards the Summit. She is responsible for outreach and cooperation with key leaders, including governments, to ensure the Summit serves as a catalytic process within the Decade of Action to improve food systems around the world to deliver on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Paris Agreement.

Prior to joining AGRA in September 2014, Dr. Kalibata was Rwanda’s Minister of Agriculture and Animal Resources from 2008 to 2014, where she drove programs that moved her country from a food insecure to a food secure status and became a reference point for other countries that sought to deliver agriculture transformation. Dr. Kalibata has held several other leadership positions, including Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Agriculture and Deputy Vice Chancellor of University of Rwanda. She also worked for the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture in Uganda, and various other agricultural development organizations. She sits on various boards, councils and commissions including the Global Commission on Adaptation, the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate, the Global Agriculture & Food Security Program (GAFSP), the Global Agenda Council of the World Economic Forum, the Architecture for REDD+ Transactions, among others.

Dr. Kalibata has a distinguished track record as an agricultural scientist, policy maker and thought leader. She was awarded the Yara Prize, now the Africa Food Prize, in 2012, an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Liège in 2018,  an Honorary Doctorate from McGill Univeristy in 2019, and the National Academy of Sciences’ Public Welfare Medal in April, 2019 for her work to drive Africa’s agricultural transformation through modern sciences and effective policy thereby improving livelihoods of stallholder farmers. Dr. Kalibata holds a doctorate in Entomology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. 

Interview and Panel

1980-86 Diploma Agronomy (TU München-Weihenstephan)

1990 PhD (TU München-Weihenstephan)

1990-95 Research Assist. (GSF Institute of Soil Ecology, Neuherberg)

1995-2009 Assistant Professor, Professor (Soil Science, Univ. Göttingen)

2001 Habilitation (Univ. Göttingen)

since 2009 Director and Professor, Thünen Institute of Climate-Smart Agriculture (Braunschweig)


  • Carbon and nitrogen dynamics in soils
  • Greenhouse gas emission from agriculture
  • Greenhouse gas reporting of Germany (agriculture and LULUC)
  • Climate protection in agriculture
  • National inventory of agricultural soils
  • Soil organic matter and climate pro

Is Carbon Farming the new way of farming to sequestrate carbon in the soil and in crop roots, wood and leaves, that otherwise would end up as CO2 in the atmosphere, causing climate change? We wanted to take a closer look at the variety of agricultural methods within this concept and talked about its potentials and challenges Speaker: Liam Condon – Member of the Board of Management of Bayer AG and President of the Crop Science Division Ertharin Cousin – Ambassador, Visiting Scholar at the Center on Food Security and Environment at Stanford University Dr. Agnes Kalibata – Rwandan agricultural scientist and policymaker, and president of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), UN Secretary-General´s Special Envoy

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