16 Jun Reducing agriculture emissions through improved farming practices
McKinsey’s latest report, Agriculture and climate change offers a perspective on how 25 proven GHG-efficient farming technologies and practices could reduce emissions by about 20% by 2050.
This is equivalent to a combined 4.6 GtCO2eq by 2050 compared with business-as-usual emissions. The top 15 measures cover four key areas; energy, animal protein, crops, and rice cultivation. For example; adopting zero-emissions on-farm machinery and equipment, improving animal health monitoring and illness prevention, employing greenhouse gas-focused genetic selection and breeding, and improving rice paddy water management. The top 15 practices would contribute 85% of the emission reduction potential.
The report addresses the issues with greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture, forestry, and land-use change, and recognises that major changes are needed to reduce emissions. These changes may be more challenging for agriculture than for other sectors. In addition to this, the agriculture sector has a complicated set of objectives to consider including global nutrition need, food security, biodiversity and the livelihood of farming communities. This cannot be ignored in efforts to reduce emissions. It is therefore essential to take these suggested efficient farming actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, while still considering the importance of still being able to produce sufficient food to nourish the world with the nutrients they require.
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