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Research Shows Agriculture Needs To Do More To Reach Paris Climate Agreement Targets

Scientists from the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), the University of Vermont, and partner institutions have stated that emission reductions in other sectors such as energy and transport will be insufficient to meet the new climate agreement. They argue that agriculture must also play its part.

Scientists say the agriculture sector must reduce non-CO2 emissions by 1 gigatonne per year in 2030. Agriculture contributes an average of 35% of emissions in developing countries and 12% in developed countries today.

They argue that agriculture must also play its part, proposing that the global institutions concerned with agriculture and food security set a sectoral target linked to the 2°C warming limit to guide more ambitious mitigation and track progress toward goals.

Lini Wollenberg, leader of the CCAFS Low Emissions Development research program, has said “This research is a reality check,”

“Countries want to take action on agriculture, but the options currently on offer won’t make the dent in emissions needed to meet the global targets agreed to in Paris. We need a much bigger menu of technical and policy solutions, with major investment to bring them to scale.”

Professor Pete Smith, Theme Leader for Environment & Food Security at the University of Aberdeen and co-author of the paper, has said “Reducing emissions in agriculture without compromising food security is something we know how to do. A lot can already be done with existing best management practices in agriculture. The tough part is how to reduce emissions by a further two to five times and support large numbers of farmers to change their practices in the next 10 to 20 years.”

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