About

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 climate change 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.

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

Factsheets

How we work

Our work aims to raise ambition in 2030 Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to include actions to reduce agricultural SLCP emissions. 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

Objectives

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

The practices we promote:

  • 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.

Activities

Location of activities

  • Africa
    • Ethiopia
    • Kenya
    • Nigeria
  • Asia and the Pacific
    • Bangladesh
    • China
    • India
    • Indonesia
    • Vietnam
  • Latin America and the Caribbean
    • Costa Rica
    • Peru
    • Uruguay

Description of activities

Workstream | Agriculture
Ongoing
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
Ongoing
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
Ongoing
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
Ongoing
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
Vietnam | Closed
The Coalition's Solution Centre provided assistance to Vietnam's Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) to survey methane mitigation options in livestock production and identify...
Cows in Vietnam. Photo: margavanderkroon/Pixabay
Activity | Agriculture
Nigeria | Ongoing
With funding from the Coalition's Solution Centre, the International Cryosphere and Climate Initiative (ICCI) and researchers from Miami Ohio University and Michigan Technolgical University are using...
Open burning map Nigeria
Activity | Agriculture
Ethiopia | Ongoing
Ethiopia’s dairy cattle sector is responsible for about 116.3 megatonnes of CO2 eq. Enteric methane represents about 87% of the total GHG emissions from dairy production. Ethiopia is working with the...
A farm in Oromia Region, Ethiopia

Achievements to date

The Agriculture Initiative supports increasingly ambitious actions, policies and targets across the agriculture sector in four focus areas: enteric methane, rice, manure, and burning. Our key achievements include: 

National policy

  • At COP25 the CCAC, WRI and Oxfam launched the paper Enhancing NDCS: Opportunities in Agriculture.  It identifies actions that benefit adaptation and mitigation priorities in the agriculture sector and offers practical examples for how to include them in enhanced Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).  

Paddy rice

  • We funded research by the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) that Vietnam is using to design, finance and implement the low-carbon rice production technique - alternate wetting and drying (AWD) - as part of its NDC.  
  • With IRRI we promoted the AWD technique in Bangladesh. By early 2020, the multi-sectoral Focal Area Network (FAN) had worked with an estimated 13,000 farmers and cut of methane emissions equivalent to approximately 19,500 tons of carbon dioxide per year through the adoption of the AWD technique. Read Bangladesh's story 

Livestock

  • With FAO, World Bank and Global Environment Facility, we supported three large national livestock management programs of more than $460 million in UruguayEthiopia and Bangladesh that can reduce approximately 4 million tons of methane each year. Read Uruguay's story 
  • Together with the FAO, we strengthened Kenya's capacity to develop the Inventory of Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Dairy Cattle in Kenya 1995-2017, which applied IPCC Tier 2 methods for collecting data and calculating emissions.  
  • In Vietnam, we surveyed mitigation options for livestock production and identified using biogas systems for livestock waste treatment as a priority measure for Vietnam's updated NDC.  
  • 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). 

Open burning

Other

  • We funded or supported activities in 47 countries.
  • We supported 18,672 person days of training and 41 institutional strengthening activities. 
  • We supported 283 technology and practice changes that led to SLCP reductions in the four focus areas.
  • We produced 60 knowledge resources

Funding (as of Oct. 2020): US$8.5 million 
Co-funding (as of Oct. 2020): Over US$1.8 million 
Catalyzed funding (as of Oct. 2020): US$1.1 million 

Initiative contacts

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

Related initiatives

Who's involved

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 (7)

Resources

2007 | Policies, Plans & Regulations
, Center for Policy Dialogue

Bangladesh is going to celebrate its 50 years of independence in the year 2021. The objective of preparing Bangladesh Vision 2021 is to try to present a framework of a future...

2019 | Awareness Materials
, Guzmán, Ing. J.E., Ministerio de Agricultura y Ganadería (MAG)

La ganadería en Costa Rica tiene más de 500 años de desarrollarse, extendiéndose a lo largo y ancho del territorio nacional, es una actividad que genera empleo (principal fuente en el sector...

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