October 09th 2015

Food, environment, climate, life.

Our future between market, technology, and politics
Andrä Rupprechter, Federal Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management

Within the scope of the MCI Alumni & Friends series of lectures, the Entrepreneurial School® was allowed to welcome the Federal Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management Andrä Rupprechter. Right at the beginning of his talk held at the MCI Technikstandort, the Tyrolean-born minister emphasized the importance of study programs in food technology, biotechnology and mechatronics. He believes these subjects to offer a range of possibilities for cooperations with the large field of environmental technology.

Rupprechter moves on to forge a bridge between climate change and the current migrant crisis: One of the causes for the Syrian Civil War is a drought period which has already lasted for three years. Many farmers have lost their livelihood due to the harsh conditions. Rupprechter consequently shifts the focus of attention to the climate negotiations which took place as part of the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in December 2015. The overall goal of the conference was to reach an agreement on the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. By 2030 the emissions should have decreased to a level which would limit global warming to less than two degrees Celsius until 2050. The agreement is meant to aid the creation of a basis for sustainable development and an agriculture which is able to counteract the spreading of famine.

Later in his talk Minister Andrä Rupprechter draws on Laudato si’, Pope Francis’ second encyclical composed just before the climate negotiations of Paris. It is the first encyclical to address all humans and decision makers alike. In his scientific contemplations Pope Francis identifies anthropocentrism, the belief that human beings are the center of the planet, as the obvious cause for all negative climate developments. Rupprechter agrees that we may be allowed to use the world’s resources, but only according to our responsibility for future generations. In this context, he also emphasizes the need for a regulatory framework for political action, such as in the sense of an eco-social policy.

During the lively discussion, which is moderated by MCI Rector Andreas Altmann at the end of the lecture, the Minister argues in support of water power utilization and expresses his confidence in further climate negotiations.