Reducing emissions from agriculture to meet the 2 °C target

Wollenberg, Eva and Richards, Meryl and Smith, Pete and Havlík, Petr and Obersteiner, Michael and Tubiello, Francesco N. and Herold, Martin and Gerber, Pierre and Carter, Sarah and Reisinger, Andrew and van Vuuren, Detlef P. and Dickie, Amy and Neufeldt, Henry and Sander, Björn O. and Wassmann, Reiner and Sommer, Rolf and Amonette, James E. and Falcucci, Alessandra and Herrero, Mario and Opio, Carolyn and Roman-Cuesta, Rosa Maria and Stehfest, Elke and Westhoek, Henk and Ortiz-Monasterio, Ivan and Sapkota, Tek and Rufino, Mariana C. and Thornton, Philip K. and Verchot, Louis and West, Paul C. and Soussana, Jean-François and Baedeker, Tobias and Sadler, Marc and Vermeulen, Sonja and Campbell, Bruce M. (2016) Reducing emissions from agriculture to meet the 2 °C target. Global Change Biology, 22 (12). pp. 3859-3864. ISSN 1354-1013

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More than 100 countries pledged to reduce agricultural greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the 2015 Paris Agreement of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Yet technical information about how much mitigation is needed in the sector vs. how much is feasible remains poor. We identify a preliminary global target for reducing emissions from agriculture of ~1 GtCO2e yr−1 by 2030 to limit warming in 2100 to 2 °C above pre-industrial levels. Yet plausible agricultural development pathways with mitigation cobenefits deliver only 21–40% of needed mitigation. The target indicates that more transformative technical and policy options will be needed, such as methane inhibitors and finance for new practices. A more comprehensive target for the 2 °C limit should be developed to include soil carbon and agriculture-related mitigation options. Excluding agricultural emissions from mitigation targets and plans will increase the cost of mitigation in other sectors or reduce the feasibility of meeting the 2 °C limit.

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Journal Article
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Global Change Biology
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22 Dec 2016 10:00
Last Modified:
15 Sep 2023 00:32