Knowledge for better food systems

Showing results for: GHG emission trends

9 November 2015

On October 28 2015 the European Parliament voted for binding targets on emissions of air pollutants with specific targets set for 2020, 2025 and 2030. The bill originally included ammonia and methane (CH4) among other air pollutants – but the Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) voted to exempt enteric methane emissions (emissions directly from farmed animals) from the bill. Setting targets for enteric methane was instead postponed to 2030, to give the agriculture sector time to adapt.

30 October 2015

Brazilian greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) are projected to reach 3.2 gigatonnes (CO2 eq.) by 2020. The government has made a voluntary commitment to reduce these by 40 per cent, and a reduction in deforestation and implementation of beef-related mitigation measures are key components of this commitment. Focusing on the Cerrado core (central Brazilian Savannah), this paper analyses the abatement potential and cost-effectiveness of GHG mitigation measures applicable to livestock production.

3 September 2015

This paper, published in OECD Food, Agriculture and Fisheries Papers is aimed at showcasing the growing evidence base on supply-side (agricultural) greenhouse gas mitigation for reducing the emissions intensity of agriculture while maintaining or increasing production. It does this by reviewing 65 recent international studies of cost-effectiveness covering 181 individual activities and by explaining some of the key concepts involved in this field.

3 September 2015

An international research project co-led by the University of East Anglia suggests that international agencies have overestimated Chinas carbon emissions for more than 10 years. The research team re-evaluated emissions from the burning of fossil fuels and cement production from 1950-2013 and their results suggest that China produced 2.9 gigatonnes less carbon between 2000-2013 than previous estimates of its cumulative emissions.

18 June 2015

The Mediterranean diet is seeing a shift away from traditional diets, threatening health and the environment, say the FAO and the International Centre for Advanced Mediterranean Agronomic Studies (CIHEAM) in a new report.

18 June 2015

A new paper published in Environmental Science and Technology finds that measures to mitigate agricultural GHG emissions potentially risk increasing global hunger more than the impacts of climate change on crop yields itself.  The study draws upon global models to quantify:  a. the impact of climate change on yields in the absence of mitigation, b. the impact of bionergy production (as one mitigation measure) on competition for land and associated food prices and c. finally, the costs associated with mitigating the impacts of climate change by introducing a carbon tax.  Introduction of this tax is assumed to lead to increase in use of renewable fuels (wind, power, geothermal, bionenergy) and ‘abatement from non energy sources’ – which presumably includes agriculture although they do not specify what sort of abatement this would be.

20 May 2015

This article from Nature Climate Change discusses a research project that investigates the impacts of both traditional and transitioning Indian diets on the climate. Funded by Wellcome Trust, the goal is to obtain a detailed picture of what people are eating throughout India and calculate both the climate and health impacts of different types of diets. 

8 May 2015

This paper provides the first estimate of energy and material flows in the world’s 27 megacities (cities with over 10 million inhabitants). These megacities are home to 6.7 per cent of the world's population, but consume 9.3 per cent of global electricity and produce 12.6 per cent of global waste. The authors establish statistical relations for energy use, transport, water use, waste and so forth and factors such as average temperature, urban form, level and type of economic activity, and population growth.  This allows the researchers to evaluate which cities have high versus low levels of consumption and which ones make efficient use of resources.

29 April 2015

In this blog-post Ademola Braimoh, Senior Natural Resources Management Specialist, at the World Bank, argues that quantifying greenhouse gas emissions from agricultural production is a necessary step for climate-smart agriculture (CSA). He writes that greenhouse gas accounting can provide the numbers and data that are important for solid decision making.

19 April 2015

The Sustainable Food Trust recently held an event to discuss the question: ‘What role for grazing livestock in a world of climate change and diet-related disease?’

19 April 2015

Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) reports that the Australian beef industry has reduced its environmental footprint over the past 30 years. The results are presented in a new paper in Agricultural Systems, and in a press-release MLA writes that:

31 March 2015

Some scientists have suggested that Africa's wet savannahs could be ideal for growing crops needed to meet the growing demand for food and bioenergy. In this paper however, researchers from Princeton University and the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) warn that farmland conversion of these savannahs will come at a much higher cost than previously thought.

29 January 2015

This updated version further develops the Planetary Boundaries concept, which was first published in 2009.  In their original outline of the concept the authors identified nine key global processes and systems that regulate the stability and resilience of the Earth System – the interactions of land, ocean, atmosphere and life that together provide conditions upon which our societies depend.  They argued that if these natural processes are disrupted beyond a certain ‘boundary’ point, the consequences could be irreversible and lead to abrupt environmental change, making life on earth very hard for humans.

29 January 2015

This new study finds that GHG emissions from growing crops and raising livestock are now higher than from deforestation and land use change. It combines three global datasets of greenhouse gas emissions for the 'Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Uses' (AFOLU) sector. It includes emissions from different sectors and human activities such as deforestation, clearing and burning biomass, and from raising and feeding livestock.

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