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Next Steps for Climate Change Mitigation in Agriculture

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Type of Publication:
Working Papers & Briefs
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Focus Topic:
Climate / Weather / Environment
Negra, C.; Wollenberg, E.

Agriculture is both a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions and a potential sink for carbon. Shifts in agricultural practices can significantly affect climate change. Yet mitigation of climate change in agriculture has been limited to date. What is needed to advance? Evidence strongly suggests that climate change mitigation in agriculture is feasible and can be significant at large scales. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, agricultural emissions can be managed by: (1) reducing emissions from methane and nitrous oxide, (2) greenhouse gas removals from the atmosphere through carbon sequestration, and (3) avoiding or displacing emissions, e.g. by maintaining existing biomass or soil carbon, or increasing energy efficiency.

This policy brief proposes that action is needed in six areas:

  1. international and national policy support;
  2. implementation options and effective governance;
  3. developing tools and technical guidelines;
  4. financing and economic incentives;
  5. strengthening national capacities; and
  6. ensuring co-benefits for the environment and poverty alleviation.