Activities that put food on our table cause 37% of all greenhouse emissions: IPCC report -Amitabh Sinha

-The Indian Express

The new report on ‘Climate Change and Land’, released on Thursday afternoon, is second in the series of special focused reports that IPCC has been preparing on the specific request of governments and other organisations.

Pune:
Agriculture and associated land activities related to food production could be contributing over a quarter of the global emissions of greenhouse gases, a new major report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has said.

If outside-the-farmgate activities, like transportation, energy and food processing industries, are included, emissions from global activities that put food on our table could account for as high as 37 per cent of all greenhouse gas emissions. The report urges more sustainable agriculture and land-use practices.

“If emissions associated with pre- and post-production activities in the global food system are included, the emissions are estimated to be 21 to 37 per cent of total net anthropogenic (man-made) GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions,” the report says.

It also says that over a quarter of the food produced is either lost or wasted. Even in its decomposition, it releases emissions.

This new report on ‘Climate Change and Land’, released on Thursday afternoon, is second in the series of special focused reports that IPCC has been preparing on the specific request of governments and other organisations. The first in the series was the Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5 degree Celsius that was released in October last year.

The land report released today is an assessment of how land systems are contributing to global warming and are in turn being impacted by the resultant climate change. It also suggests more sustainable land management pathways.

The report says that human beings use nearly 70 per cent of the global ice-free land for various purposes. Activities on land, like agriculture or forestry, are sources of greenhouse gas emissions. At the same time, the soil, trees and vegetation also absorb carbon dioxide, thus acting as carbon sinks.

Agriculture, forestry and other land uses together accounted for about 23 per cent of all greenhouse gas emissions, globally, between the years 2007 and 2016, releasing at least 12 billion tonnes of CO2-equivalent (all greenhouse gases) in the atmosphere every year during this period. This included about 13 per cent of all carbon dioxide, 44 per cent of all methane, and 82 per cent of all nitrous oxide being emitted every year. During the same time, soil, vegetation and forests absorbed nearly 11.2 billion tonnes of CO2 every year.

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The Indian Express, 8 August, 2019, https://indianexpress.com/article/india/global-food-systems-account-for-a-third-of-all-greenhouse-gas-emissions-new-ipcc-report-5888392/?fbclid=IwAR3r2KhzaVAVHjb2ag

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