Agriculture is the backbone of human civilization. For millennia the production of food, fibres and other bio-products has supported the livelihood of billions of people. It provides the food security that allows civilisations to flourish and fuels well-being of people everywhere. However, as a biological activity reliant on soils, water, animals and plants, agriculture is a net emitter of green-house gasses (GHG), including methane and other short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs).
While improvements in management practices, new technologies, and growing producer awareness in many parts of the world have increased the efficiency of agriculture and reduced GHG emissions per unit of production, further progress is needed. The agriculture and forestry sectors (including land use change) contribute approximately 22% of all global GHG emissions, including roughly 40% of global black carbon emissions and approximately 40% of global anthropogenic methane emissions.
And yet the agriculture sector is itself vulnerable to the climate change impacts from GHG emissions. These include: altered rainfall patterns, extreme weather events, and increasing concentrations of harmful tropospheric ozone, which negatively impact crop production. Reducing SLCP emissions can reduce near-term warming, improve air quality, and limit damage to agricultural productivity. This is particularly important for crops in South and East Asia where emission levels are often highest. It has been estimated that bold action to reduce SLCP emissions globally has the potential to avoid approximately 50 million tons of staple crop losses annually by 2030. The economic gains for crops like corn, rice, soy, and wheat in all regions ranges between US$4billion and US$33 billion, of which US$2–28 billion would accrue in Asia. It would also help avoid nearly 0.5˚C of additional global warming by 2050.
The CCAC agriculture initiative has four ‘components’, or workstreams. These are:
1) livestock & manure management;
2) open agricultural burning;
3) paddy rice cultivation; and
4) enteric fermentation.
Cross-cutting outreach and communications are also under development.
If you want to collaborate with us to reduce short-lived climate pollutants, we encourage you to explore engagement options on this website and to contact the Secretariat to discuss further.