What are the most important terrestrial carbon sinks? What might be the most efficient terrestrial carbon sinks for managing climate change mitigation? What might be the best manageable sinks? What are good and realizable approaches/ management options for those sinks? What are cost-efficient approaches? What are relevant financing options and mechanisms? What are practically applicable MRV options? What should be policy priorities for managing of terrestrial carbon sinks for climate change mitigation? How is the climate change mitigation objective for terrestrial carbon sinks aligned with country policies and Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs)? What are the challenges to align the climate change mitigation objective for terrestrial carbon sinks with other development priorities such as biodiversity conservation, improving agricultural productivity, increasing food security, eliminating poverty, etc.?
Forests as terrestrial carbon sinks: Conservation of forests including IFL Forest management Afforestation/Reforestation Soils as terrestrial carbon sinks: Preservation and restoration of peat soils and grasslands Restoration of degraded soils and avoidance of soil degradation Agricultural land management and agro-ecological approaches (conservation agriculture, agroforestry, etc.) (Other Intertwining concepts and landscape approaches (e.g. forest landscape restoration))
Scientifically based overview of terrestrial carbon sinks and their potential MRV (measuring, reporting and verification) system for terrestrial carbon sinks and connected challenges
5.4Gt CO2e/yr annual emissions
why and how CCAFS is supporting work in this line would help give a high-level overview of the background to this initiative.
Flagship 3 has 3 goals: Improve quantification of smallholder farm emissions and mitigation options Provide tools and approaches to assess mitigation options (mainly to governments, but we work with private sector as well) Support national low emissions development plans and finance (e.g. NAMAs) and other ways to scale up low emissions development
Turning to mitigation, We can also ask whether intensification and increasing productivity can achieve mitigation goals,
CCAFS, working with FAO, examined the mitigation co-benefits of IFAD and USAID’s agricultural investment portfolios.
This figure shows the USAID analysis, for 25 diverse agricultural development projects and several dozens of practices across 15 countries in 3 continents.
You can see that across the entire portfolio,blue is negative emissions, yellow is positive, that ag investments resulted in substantial net mitigation co-benefits, 2.6 MtCO2e/yr. Looking at interventions across categories you can see that the major source of emissions was livestock and secondarily fertilizer use, but that this was offset by land use change and rice and crop management.
So current trajectories of agricultural development can yield substantial mitigation co-benefits, especially when considered at the larger portfolio level.
That is the good news…
Landscape and crop transitions 1) Landscape transitions- Within the agricultural development projects, project interventions focused on both avoided land conversion (avoided change from forest) and active land conversion (agricultural or degraded lands changed to forest). 2) Crop transitions- This area include transitions to perennial crops or agroforestry. Also transitions from flooded rice systems to other crops such as wheat. Transitions land into irrigated rice. (Check why 5802 in positive)
Management practice improvements 1) Rice crops- AWD, UDP, Short Duration Rice 2) Crops- Soil, manure, and water management improvements- also includes crop residue burning reduction and perennial management. 3) Fertilizer- increases and decreases 4) Livestock- herd size management, feed quality and breeding improvements. Grassland increases. With better feeding practices and increases in cow weight comes increased emissions.
Range of estimates 8 to 28 Gt C over 20 years (Lal 2001, Smith et al. 2008) 88 Gt C (Sanderman et al. 2017)
2.57 Gt CO2E (Roe et al.)
Sanderman et al. 2017 PNAS Median loss of SOC in agricultural soils: 26% in upper 30 cm and 16% for upper 100 cm
Global SOC loss on agricultural land 133 Gt C (previous 30-62 Gt C) Assuming 2/3 of loss can be recovered: 88 Gt C (322 Gt Coe) (Sanderman et al. 2017)
Bottom-up estimates (Lal 2001, Smith et al. 2008) 0.4 to 1.4 Gt C/yr 8 to 28 Gt C over 20 years
Additional opportunities in the value chain: decrease emissions of transport or processing and energy use (dairy, coffee) reduce PHL, recycle waste such as biogas
Increasing NUE from 19 to 75%, decreases emissions intensity by 56% (12.7 to 7.1 g N2O-N/kg N uptake) Groenigen et al. n.d.
Fertilizer manufacturing leads to 282 to 574 MtCO2e/yr or 5 – 10% of agricultural emissions (Vermeulen et al. 2012 Annu. Rev. Environ. Resourc. 2012.37:195-222)
Oenema: A food system approach for reducing N2O emissions in the production, processing and consumption of food. The cylinders represent ‘N2O-leaky’ compartments of the food system. The big grey arrow at the left indicates nitrogen inputs via fertilizers, biological nitrogen fixation (BNF) and atmospheric deposition. Smaller grey arrows indicate the flow of nitrogen in food and feed from production to consumption in households. Dashed black arrows indicate recycled nitrogen in manure, residues and wastes (based on Ma et al. [ 50•]). The grey box at the bottom highlights the mitigation strategies discussed in this paper.
De Vries M, Wouters AP, Vellinga TV. 2017. Environmental impacts of dairy farming in Lembang, West Java; Estimation of greenhouse gas emissions and effects of mitigation strategies. CCAFS Working Paper no. 221. Wageningen, the Netherlands: CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS). Available online at: www.ccafs.cgiar.org
Using data from a survey of 300 dairy farmers in Lembang in 2016. Total GHG emissions were 33 ton CO2e. per farm/year, and emission intensity was 1.9 kg CO2e per kg of fat and protein corrected milk (FPCM) and 8.8 kg CO2e per kg live weight.
Feeding and manure management interventions evaluated in a scenario analysis in this study changed total GHG emissions by -12 to +24%,
Largest reductions in GHG emission intensity were found in the scenarios with maize silage feeding, improved manure management, and an increased amount of roughage in the diet.
Global parnerships- World Bank. IFAD, FAO, GRA
Figure 3. Countries’ annual GHG mitigation targets (% of 2030 baseline emissions) for agricultural emissions by 2030 calculated by distributing a global mitigation target of 1 GtCO2e yr−1 on the basis of: (a) cumulative GHG emissions from all sectors since 1890 (CE1890), (b) cumulative agricultural GHG emissions since 1960 (CA1960), (c) cumulative agricultural GHG emissions since 1960 and current GDP (CAGDP), (d) cumulative agricultural GHG emissions since 1960 and current HDI (CAHDI), (e) equal agricultural emission per capita in 2030 (EQ2030), (f) equal agricultural emission per capita in 2050 (EQ2050), (g) responsibility and capability indicator (RCI) per Kemp-Benedict et al. (2017Kemp-Benedict, E., Holz, C., Baer, P., Athanaisou, T., & Kartha, S. (2017). The climate equity reference calculator. Berkeley, CA: Climate Equity Reference Project (EcoEquity and Stockholm Environment Institute). Retrieved from https://calculator.climateequityreference.org [Google Scholar]), (h) equal per capita cumulative agricultural emissions with convergence in 2030 (EPPCE2030), and (i) equal per capita cumulative agricultural emissions with convergence in 2050 (EPPCE2050). Emission reductions are calculated against baseline agricultural emissions of approximately 8.3 GtCO2e yr−1 in 2030.
Agriculture contributes average of 30% of total emissions per country. (12% in Annex 1 compared to 35% in non-Annex 1 countries) Emissions from agriculture contribute more than 50% of national emissions in 42 countries and more than 20% in 89 countries.
Mitigation as a co-benefit of ecological farming
Biovision-CCAFS workshop, Zürich 16 March, 2018
Mitigation as a co-benefit of
Lini Wollenberg, CCAFS Low emissions agriculture
Why mitigation in agriculture and
• 10-12% of global emissions
• Agriculture contributes on
average 30% of countries’ total
Reductions in other sectors will
not be enough to achieve 2 °C
and 1.5 °C targets
Many practices are compatible
with SDGs, hence the
possibility of “low emissions
Roe et al. 2017
(non rice) Fertilizer Livestock
Mitigation benefits of USAID’s agricultural development portfolio
LED can be consistent with
ecological farming principles
Soil health: soil carbon sequestration
Agriculture is the major driver of soil carbon loss – 133 Gt C (488 Gt CO2e)
(Sanderman et al. 2017)
But can also increase soil C by 8-88 Gt C (over 20 years): e.g. reduced burning,
legume intercropping, agroforestry, compost, manure, deep-rooted plants.
Issues: ambitious potentials, competition for biomass, reversibility, MRV, prioritize
avoiding further loss.
….4 per 1000 Initiative catalyzing global effort
Modeled SOC change in top
2 meters of the soil.
Histogram is of SOC loss (Mg
C/ha), positive values
Sanderman et al. 2017
Oenema et al. 2014
Efficiency and reduced waste in value chains
Reducing water use
Water saving in paddy rice
Alternate wetting and drying
reduces emissions by up to 38%
• Global information hub
• National suitability maps
• Multistakeholder planning of investment and
In collaboration with the Climate and Clean Air
Conclusions and looking ahead
• Applying ecological principles can support climate change mitigation
o Ecological services via soil organic carbon and agroforestry
o Input efficiency and low GHG inputs
o Waste reduction and recycling
o Water saving
• Recognize and quantify the mitigation benefits from ecological farming
to show how it contributes to the 2 °C and 1.5 °C targets
• Include GHG reductions and efficiency as a principle
• Stabilization pathways require net zero emissions in 20-30 years
-Support countries NDCs and ramp up
private-public action on finance and
CCAFS Key outputs and outcomes
Global mitigation target (2015)* CLIFF PhD program 2011-
present, 40+ students trained*
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How much should countries reduce their agricultural
emissions to meet the Paris Agreement goals?
Globally, the agriculture sector must reduce methane and nitrous oxide emissions by
1 Gt CO2e per year by 2030 to stay within the 2°C limit.
There are multiple ways to allocate this target to countries . . .
If the target was allocated according to each
country's historical contribution to emissions from
agriculture, most countries would have mitigation
targets between 0-30%.
0% 50% 100% -50% 0% 50% 100%
If the target was allocated such that all countries
have equal cumulative emissions from agriculture
by 2050, many developing countries could increase
their emissions from agriculture and still meet their
The 11 countries that estimated
mitigation targets from
agriculture and land use in their
NDCs were aligned with the
ambition needed to limit
warming to 1.5 or 2°C.
It will take similarly high levels
of ambition from other countries
to meet the 1.5 or 2°C targets.
Read the full article:
Least developed countries
Other developing countries
Median mitigation target in 2030 (reduction against baseline emissions)
Country mitigation targets for 2°C
• The distribution of effort among countries varies from more even (cumulative
agricultural GHG emissions since 1960) to highly uneven (equal cumulative per capita
emissions from 1960 to 2050) depending on the criterion.
• Total minimum reduction of 1.9 GtCO2e yr−1 above the 2030 baseline to maximum of
4.6 GtCO2e in 2030, (vastly exceeding the 1 GtCO2e yr−1 global target).
Country targets can be calculated with a range of criteria such as historical or
future emissions, cost effectiveness, or capability. Results can guide NDCs.
Richards et al. 2018
Food system: ~19-29% of global
Vermeulen et al. 2012 Annu. Rev. Environ.
Agricultural emissions are also significant within
an average of 30% of
-42 countries ≥ 50%
-89 countries ≥ 20%
(Data based on
Richards et al. 2015)