Addressing black carbon and methane emissions from the Agriculture sector

About

Crop production, livestock production and related land use activities make the agriculture sector one of the largest sources of short-lived climate pollutants. Combined, the agriculture and forestry sectors are responsible for 24% of all greenhouse gases emitted worldwide, including roughly 40% of global black carbon emissions and half of all anthropogenic methane emissions.

As powerful greenhouse gases and air pollutants, short-lived climate pollutants negatively impact the productivity of some of the world’s most important crops and endanger the health and livelihoods of millions of people.

According to a report by the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) and United Nations Environment (UNEP), actions to reduce short-lived climate pollutant emissions - both in the agriculture sector and globally - have the potential to prevent over 50 million tonnes of annual crop losses for the staples corn, rice, soy, and wheat by 2030, leading to total economic gains of US$4-33 billion. These actions can also help slow the rate of global warming by as much as 0.5˚C by 2050 and prevent the nearly two million annual premature deaths linked to air pollution by 2030.

Coalition partners are currently working to advance methane and black carbon abatement or recovery practices from four key emission sources in the agriculture sector:
 

  • Enteric fermentation: Methane expelled from livestock such as cattle, sheep, goats, buffalo, etc., as natural part of the digestive process -- responsible for close to 30% of global anthropogenic methane emissions
  • Paddy rice production: Methane emissions from the anaerobic decay of organic material in continuously flooded rice paddies -- responsible for 10% of global anthropogenic methane emissions
  • Livestock and manure management: Methane emissions from the storage of (especially liquid) manure -- responsible for 4% of global anthropogenic methane emissions; and 40% black carbon emissions from the burning of dung as heating and cooking fuel
  • Open burning of agricultural crops: The single largest source of black carbon emissions globally -- responsible for over a third of all emissions, with agricultural fires comprising 10-20% of all open fires

Top facts

The agriculture and forestry sectors (including land use change) contribute approximately 24% of all global greenhouse gas emissions
The agriculture sector is responsible for approximately 40% of global black carbon and anthropogenic methane emissions
Bold action to reduce short-lived climate pollutant emissions could avoid 52 million tonnes of staple crop losses annually by 2030

Top facts

  • The agriculture and forestry sectors (including land use change) contribute approximately 24% of all global greenhouse gas emissions
  • The agriculture sector is responsible for approximately 40% of global black carbon and anthropogenic methane emissions
  • Bold action to reduce short-lived climate pollutant emissions could avoid 52 million tonnes of staple crop losses annually by 2030

News feed

News feed

Initiative contacts

Agriculture & Bricks Initiative Coordinator
Catalina.Etcheverry [at] un.org

Plan, action and progress

Vertical Tabs

Who is involved

Partners (11)

Bangladesh
Lead
Canada
Lead
European Commission
Lead
Ghana
Lead
Japan
Lead

Partners (11)

Bangladesh
Lead
Canada
Lead

Actors

26

Get involved in this initiative

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.

CCAC Secretariat
ccac_secretariat [at] unep.org
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