Our Agriculture Initiative supports countries to identify increasingly ambitious actions, policies and targets across the food system.

Guided by a priority to enhance food security and livelihoods, we demonstrate solutions to reduce short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs) that deliver quick benefits for the climate and air quality.

There are many practical options that improve resilience while reducing emissions in the agriculture, forest and land use and sector, and there are economic, environmental and social co-benefits that can accompany more ambitious immediate action.

- Qu Dongyu, FAO Director-General, at the CCAC 2019 High Level Assembly


Agriculture contributes around 11% of total anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. With land-use change, this rises to around 25%. 

The effects of a changing climate are already negatively impacting agricultural production, increasing hunger and hurting farmers.

Transforming the agriculture sector, and our global food system, to emit less and be more resilient is critical to ensuring food security and preserving the livelihoods of millions of farmers and food workers.


Our work ultimately aims to raise ambition in 2030 Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to include actions to reduce agricultural SLCP emissions. (The practices we promote for this are below.)

To get there, we are building a group of leaders in the field and raising awareness about the actions that can be taken now.

We assist countries with tools and capacity-building to identify increasingly ambitious actions, policies and targets, while also supporting strengthened coordination at the national level.

To unlock the potential for scale-up, we work to marshall evidence that enables financing for large-scale climate impact.

The CCAC’s Agriculture Initiative can assist partners to set ambitious but realistic targets for their agricultural emissions.

- Aupito William Sio, New Zealand's Minister for Pacific Peoples, at the 2019 CCAC High Level Assembly

Top facts

The agriculture and forestry sectors* contribute around 24% of all global greenhouse gas emissions (*including land use change)
The agriculture sector is responsible for around 40% of global black carbon and anthropogenic methane emissions
Bold action to reduce short-lived climate pollutant emissions could avoid 52 million tonnes of staple crop losses annually by 2030



In order to raise ambition in Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) we showcase best practices to reduce agricultural methane and black carbon emissions. 


  • Enable increased productivity from livestock products while reducing methane (from enteric fermentation) per unit of product
  • Save water and reduce methane from paddy rice production
  • Reduce or capture methane as a resource from livestock manure
  • Offer alternatives to agricultural burning that will reduce black carbon emissions


In addition to helping reduce the rate of near-term warming, these practices can provide immediate benefits for public health, food security and economic development.

Many of the practices will also lead to increased agricultural productivity, and contribute to the implementation of countries’ Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). That means they are also aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and low-emissions agricultural development.


Location of activities

  • Asia and the Pacific
    • Bangladesh
    • Vietnam
  • Latin America and the Caribbean
    • Peru

Description of activities

Workstream | Agriculture
Enteric fermentation is a natural part of the digestive process in ruminant animals such as cattle, sheep, goats, and buffalo. Microbes in the digestive tract, or rumen, decompose and ferment food,...
Ruminant production and enteric methane
Workstream | Agriculture
Poor manure management practices are common on much of the world’s farms, as farmers lack awareness about the value of livestock manure as a fertilizer and fuel. Manure is often disposed of in piles...
Manure management
Workstream | Agriculture
Paddy rice is a staple crop for much of the world’s population. It is also a key source of the greenhouse gas methane, responsible for about 40 million tonnes, or 10% of global emissions , each year...
Paddy rice production
Workstream | Agriculture
Farmers in many parts of the world set fire to cultivated fields to clear stubble, weeds and waste before sowing a new crop. While this practice may be fast and economical, it is highly unsustainable...
Open agricultural burning
Activity | Agriculture
Bangladesh | Ongoing
For rice growing countries such as Bangladesh, the methane produced by rice paddies is a significant portion of their total greenhouse gas emissions. Growing rice in flooded paddies produces methane...

Progress & Success

Our Agriculture Initiative started in 2013, with activities in four focus areas starting in 2014 (enteric, rice, manure, burning).

In 2019 work started to help countries enhance agricultural climate action in their NDCs. > Read about our recent Oct 2019 meeting here


Making the right choices in major World Bank and GEF investments 

In collaboration with the FAO, World Bank and Global Environment Facility, the initiative is supporting three large national livestock management programmes with more than $460 million in Uruguay, Ethiopia and Bangladesh. The programmes incorporate mitigation options for the livestock sector assessed by the initiative and have the potential to reduce approximately 4 million tonnes of methane per annum. > Read Uruguay's story

To make this case we funded work to show how low-cost strategies to reduce enteric methane emissions can contribute to short- and long-term social and economic development, as well as climate action. This uses the FAO's model "GLEAM."

Readily available practices in livestock feeding and manure management, and better use of technology like biogas generators, could help the sector cut the output of greenhouse gases by up to 30% immediately. So low carbon livestock is not only possible, it’s possible now.

- José Graziano da Silva, former FAO Director-General, at the CCAC 2017 High Level Assembly 


Policies and finance, plus training paddy rice farmers, to save water and reduce methane

With IRRI and UNEP, the initiative supports Bangladesh, Colombia, Thailand and Vietnam to encourage uptake of sustainable rice production methods, through policies, access to finance, and training of farmers.

Vietnam is taking decisive steps to achieve a low-carbon rice production as a part of our NDC.

- Chu Van Chuong, Deputy Director-General, Vietnam's Ministry of Agriculture, at the CCAC 2017 High Level Assembly

Our work in Vietnam, for example, is helping with MRV from paddy rice, with GEF support for implementation of the country's NDC -- plus baselines from the work will be used by the World Bank in their sustainable agricultural transformation project in the country.

In Bangladesh we have helped the government set a target to train 50,000 farmers on alternate wetting and drying methods in rice cultivation. > Read Bangaldesh's story



  • Manure management practice changes identified for Argentina, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Malawi, Vietnam, and regionally in Central America
  • 3 countries - Vietnam, Bangladesh, Colombia - participate in suitability assessments for alternate wetting and drying rice production
  • Alternatives to open agricultural burning projects started in India and Peru
  • 13 countries developed baseline and mitigation assessments for enteric fermentation in the dairy and livestock sector using the Global Livestock and Environmental Assessment Model (GLEAM)
  • Strategic Support Groups created in the Andes and Himalaya countries to help governments and local farmers find alternatives to open burning
  • Tools developed for Vietnam to measure, report, and verify greenhouse gas emissions from paddy rice, and support NDC implementation in the rice sector

Initiative contacts

James Morris,
Programme Management Officer
James.Morris [at] un.org
Catalina Etcheverry,
Agriculture & Bricks Initiative Coordinator
Catalina.Etcheverry [at] un.org

Related initiatives

Who's involved

The CCAC Agriculture Initiative is currently co-chaired by New Zealand and ICCI

CCAC country partners and key organisations like the FAO and World Bank are engaged in our work. 

Our work also builds on important strategic partnerships with the Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases (GRA), and the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS).

Lead Partner: A Coalition partner with an active role in coordinating, monitoring and guiding the work of an initiative.

Implementer: A Coalition partner or actor receiving Coalition funds to implement an activity or initiative.

Partners (26)



2020 | Policies, Plans & Regulations

Viet Nam submitted its updated nationally determined contribution (NDC) on 11 September, becoming the 12th country do so in 2020. Viet Nam updated its mitigation and adaptation contributions...

2019 | Reports, Case Studies & Assessments
, Tran,V.T; Van T.N; Thi Dieu T.L.; Hoang A.R.; Meryl S.; Leocadio S.; Wollenberg, E.; K.Vu, D.Q; Sander, B.O

Rice production is integral to agriculture and food security in Vietnam, but it also contributes greenhouse gas emissions. In 2010, paddy rice production emitted 44.61 million tons carbon dioxide...

2020 | Reports, Case Studies & Assessments
, Melanie Connor, Annalyn H. de Guia, Reianne Quilloy, Hung Van Nguyen, Martin Gummert, Bjoern Ole Sander

Rice farmers in the Mekong Delta are not only experiencing challenges due to climate change but are also expected to increase production through sustainable intensification. Increased production...

2020 | Guidelines & Tools

El proyecto “Producción ganadera climáticamente inteligente y restauración de suelos en pastizales uruguayos” (GCP/URU/034/GFF), conocido como “Ganadería y Clima” se implementa desde marzo de 2019...

The first part of the event features the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) work that promotes ambitious and directed inclusion of agriculture and food systems in enhanced NDCs...

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