Gary Lanigan | Agricultural Greenhouse Gases – Emissions Intensity, Key Uncertainties and Mitigation
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Gary Lanigan | Agricultural Greenhouse Gases – Emissions Intensity, Key Uncertainties and Mitigation

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Presented at the 4th International Conference on Carbon Accounting

Presented at the 4th International Conference on Carbon Accounting
25th November 2011
www.icarb.org

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  • Nevertheless, it is inevitable that agriculture will be expected to reduce its emissions further While further reductions are possible, we should do so with great care: there is a “right way” and a “wrong way” of reducing emissions: If we try to reduce emissions by capping productivity (e.g. reducing livestock numbers), then this may inadvertently lead to an increase in emissions at global scale: Demand for food in the world is increasing (CLICK ANIMATION 1) , not decreasing. Not only are population numbers increasing, but also consumption per capita. In this light, as we have seen from today’s presentations, if we reduce our food production in Ireland in an attempt to reduce total GHG emissions, it is inevitable that other countries will compensate for this reduction by increasing their production. This may lead to a scenario where our own Carbon-efficient production systems are replaced by less efficient systems in other parts of the world. CLICK ANIMATION 2: these are figures from an FAO report, published in the last two months, which compares the C-emissions per kg milk for contrasting production systems around the world. The green circle represents the grass-based temperate dairy production systems we operate in Ireland: the FAO finds that these have the lowest C-footprint in the world.

Gary Lanigan | Agricultural Greenhouse Gases – Emissions Intensity, Key Uncertainties and Mitigation Gary Lanigan | Agricultural Greenhouse Gases – Emissions Intensity, Key Uncertainties and Mitigation Presentation Transcript

  • Agricultural Greenhouse Gases – Emissions Intensity, key uncertainties and Mitigation Dr. Gary J. Lanigan, Teagasc, Soils Environment & Land-Use Centre, Johnstown Castle, Wexford, Ireland
  • B e Careful What You Wish For…….
  • Global & National Emissions
    • Agriculture comprises 13% of Global GHG Emissions (CH 4 & N 2 O)
    • Land-use, land-use change to forestry (LULUCF) contributes 15% (CO 2 & N 2 O)
    • Agriculture accounts for 30.4% of Irish national emissions (EU = 9%)
  •  
  • The Paradox: Emissions reduction and global demand
    • Emissions need to be reduced drastically – 50% -80%
    • World Population is set to increase from 7 billion (2011) to 8.9 billion by 2050
    • Rate of Global Demand for Agricultural products (52%) outstripping World Population Growth (35%)
  • Issues for Life-cycle analysis and assessing Emissions Intensity
    • Systems boundary: Is the analysis only up to the farm gate? Are upstream emissions (from input manufacture) and downstream emissions (from product processing included)? Meat production less sensitive to this issue as 85% of emissions are on-farm. Tillage is much more sensitive to upstream emissions – particularly fertiliser manufacture
    • Relevant emission factors: High degree of uncertainty associated with some EF’s (esp. N 2 O)
    • IPCC approach or full LCA: If IPCC rules are applied to C footprinting, the emissions associated with imported inputs (fertiliser, etc) do not count in the analysis. This can lead to skewed results – particularly when comparing extensive grazing vs. feedlot systems where concentrates may be imported.
    • Carbon sinks/source inclusion: Pastures can sequester considerable amounts of atmospheric CO 2 in the soil. So might on-farm pasture conversion to forestry. Alternatively, conversion of pasture to tillage for animal feed production is a source of CO 2 . Should these activities be included.
    • Allocation of emissions: There can be issues allocating emissions between products (eg: allocatting beef and dairy emissions to a dairy cow, or allocation of dairy emissions between different produce (butter, cream, etc).
    • Cross-compliance: Other Directives so GHGs should be Incorporated into a sustainability index:
  • Fertilizer Concentrates Other inputs Energy Soils Livestock Pasture Excreta U P S T R E M O N F A R M Milk Meat Processed products Processed products Down- stream Methane: Enteric Fermentation, Manure Management N2O: Manure Landspreading, Mineral fert., Pasture Excretion CO2 emissons : Fuel and liming CO2 uptake : Pasture Sequestration & C input from manure CO 2 Energy & transport N 2 O & CO 2 (Production & transport) Silage Manure management Housing Landspreading Fertilizer Concentrates Other inputs Energy Generated outside the State Farm gate analysis IPCC-based LCA Full LCA
  • A comparison of published analyses of GHG emissions from beef production systems (LCA and systems analysis) Crosson et al. 2011 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 Williams et al. (2006) - English national Williams et al. (2006) - English organic Williams et al. (2006) - English suckler Williams et al. (2006) - English lowland Williams et al. (2006) - English upland Pelletier et al. (2010) - American feedlot Pelletier et al. (2010) - American store to feedlot Pelletier et al. (2010) - American grass finished Peters et al. (2010) - Australia grass finished Peters et al. (2010) - Australia grain finished Beauchemin et al. (2010) - Canada crop/livestock Casey and Holden (2006c) - Ireland national Casey and Holden (2006d) - Ireland conventional Casey and Holden (2006d) - Ireland extensive Casey and Holden (2006d) - Ireland organic Cederberg and Stadig (2003) - Sweden Phetteplace et al. (2001) - American cow-calf Phetteplace et al. (2001) - American stocker Phetteplace et al. (2001) - American feedlot Phetteplace et al. (2001) - American cow-calf to feedlot White et al. (2010) - New Zealand lowland White et al. (2010) - New Zealand hill Veysset et al. (2010) - France cow-calf Veysset et al. (2010) - France cow-calf to beef Cederberg (2009) – Brazil beef Subak (1999) - African pasture Foley et al. (2010) - Ireland national Foley et al. (2010) - Ireland research farm GHG emissions (kg CO2e/kg carcass)
  • A comparison of published analyses of GHG emissions from milk production systems (LCA and systems analysis) 0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5 Williams et al. (2006) - England, conventional Williams et al. (2006) - England, high maize Williams et al. (2006) - England, split-calving Casey and Holden (2006b) - Ireland, average Casey and Holden (2005a) - Ireland, conventional Thomassen et al. (2008) - Netherlands organic Haas et al. (2001) - Germany extensive Basset-Mens et al. (2009) - New Zealand national Basset-Mens et al. (2009) - New Zealand intensive N Gerber et al. (2010) - Global average Gerber et al. (2010) - North America Lovett et al. (2006) - Ireland low genetic merit Lovett et al. (2006) - Ireland high genetic merit Lovett et al. (2006) - Ireland medium concentrate Lovett et al. (2008) - Ireland free draining soils Olesen et al. (2006) - European conventional Schils et al. (2005) - Netherlands grass/fert N Beukes et al. (2010) - New Zealand O'Brien et al. (2010) - Ireland high fertility O'Brien et al. (2010) - Ireland moderate stocking rate O'Brien et al. (2010) - Ireland high concentrate GHG emissions (kg CO2e/kg milk) Crosson et al. 2011
  • Composition of agricultural emissions
    • Livestock production: Methane from enteric fermentation/ manure management and N 2 O from soils comprise the majority of emissions
    • Pig/poultry production : Most emissions from manure management , indirect N 2 O and energy use
    • Tillage: Soil Carbon loss and N 2 O from fertiliser manufacture and application dominate
  •  
  • N 2 O (indirect) N 2 O (soils) Manure management Enteric Fermentation Kg CO 2 -eq kg -1 product System Beef IPCC boundaries O’Brien et al. 2010 0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1 1.2 Grass Concentrate Dairy
  • Kg CO 2 -eq kg -1 product Dairy Beef Full LCA Foley et al. 2010 0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1 1.2 Grass Concentrate 0 6 12 18 24 NFS Steer MSR Energy Concentrate production Fertiliser manufacture N 2 O (indirect) N 2 O (soils) Manure management Enteric Fermentation
  • LCA of Tillage Kg CO 2 -eq kg -1 product Absolute emissions: 3.2 tCO 2 ha -1 winter wheat 2.8 tCO 2 ha -1 spring barley Lanigan et al. 2011
  • LCA of Tillage including SOC loss Kg CO 2 -eq kg -1 product Absolute emissions: 5.8 tCO 2 ha -1 winter wheat 6.5 tCO 2 ha -1 spring barley Lanigan et al. 2011
  • Effect of C sequestration inclusion No sequestration With sequestration
  • Duration of slurry in tanks B o & MCF (15 – 30%) Key Uncertainties : Methane Dry matter intake (15-30%) Effect of breed/animal selection (unknown) Silage Manure management Housing Landspreading Soils Livestock Pasture Excreta
  • Key Uncertainties : N 2 O Soils Livestock Pasture Excreta EF 3 Leached & volatilised N Fertiliser EF 1 EF 4 & 5 Frac GRAZ F SN F AM EF uncertainty >100% Volatilised N Frac GASM N ex Silage Manure management Housing Landspreading
  • Key Uncertainties: C sequestration
    • Sequestration is decadal – makes measurement and verification difficult
    • Large variations in ecosystem C sink/source can occur
    • Unclear how long sequestration can last after management/land-use change
    • Only forestry has moved to Tier 2
  • Mitigation Strategies: What can we include in NIR currently?
    • Methane:
    • Strategies that affect animal intake or excretion
    Li, Lanigan, Humphries 2011
    • N 2 O:
    • Measures that increase N efficiency and are reflected in reductions in S Fertiliser sales
    • Dietary changes that affect animal N excretion
    • SOC:
    • Land-use change to forestry
    • Land-use change from arable to grassland
    Milk production (ton ha-1 yr-1) 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 GG+FN GWC+FN GWC-FN G-B WC-B 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 Measured Simulated Milk production N 2 O (kg N ha -1 yr -1 )
    • Improvements in genetic merit of animals
    • Duration of manure storage
    • Strategies that affect the N2O emission factors – shift of usage from Ammonium Nitrate to urea, nitrification inhibitors, strategies that reduce indirect emissions (leached N, ammonia)
    • Land management change (improved pastures, reduced tillage intensity, etc)
    Mitigation Strategies: What can we NOT include in NIR currently?
  • Cross-compliance and stakeholder buy-in
    • Strategies must NOT result in perverse outcomes for other environmental measures
    • Nitrates Directive
    • Water Framework Directive
    • Habitats Directive
    • National Emissions Ceilings Directive
    • Animal Welfare
    • This may be difficult – reduced N2O may result in increased nirate leaching
    • Reductions in ammonia can result in INCREASED N 2 O
    • Need to develop weighted sustainability indices
    • Downstream:
    • Need to develop easy to use decision management tool for farmers
    • Eg. OVERSEER
    • Need to emphasise that increased efficiencies will reduce emissions Eg. N budgeting / maximum utilisation of on-farm N, targeted intensification allied to C-offsetting
  •  
  • Going Forward: Combining Research Efforts
    • National Platforms & Networks:
    • Agricultural GHG Platform (DEFRA, UK)
    • NZ Agricultural GHG Research Centre (MAFF, NZ)
    • GRACE-NET (USA)
    • Agricultural GHG Research Initiative-Ireland (DAFM, Ire)
    • European Networks:
    • ICOS
    • Joint Programming Initiative
    • FP7 Large Projects – GHGEurope, AnimalCHANGE, LegumesFUTURES
    • Global Networks:
    • Global Research Alliance
    • GCOS
  • Summary
    • In order to properly assess emissions intensity of agricultural produce – all upstream and downstream emissions must be included
    • In terms of livestock production, 80-90% of emissions are at the farm-gate – highest in pasture-based systems
    • Higher Tier emission factors MUST be included in national inventories to increase flexibility for mitigation strategies.
    • Constraining N 2 O and SOC factors are the most urgent
    • Require a mosaic of solutions – development of whole farm systems