New United Nations Report Suggests the Way Agriculture Uses the Land is Contributing to Climate Change

Aug 16, 2019

by ASME.org

The United Nations (UN) Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) recently released a new report stating that modifying the way land is used can help mitigate the effects of climate change.

“Prompt action on climate mitigation and adaptation aligned with sustainable land management and sustainable development depending on the region could reduce the risk to millions of people from climate extremes, desertification, land degradation and food and livelihood insecurity,” the report notes, further explaining that if the changes are implemented now, this will help slow down adverse changes more expediently.

However, some of these changes call for actions beyond first degree interaction with the land, such as modification in diet by moving away from meat-heavy to more plant and grain-based options. Other actions also include reallocating more land back to natural habitats, and reconfiguring the food production process to reduce the amount of food that requires croplands over pastures.

In the U.S., agriculture has been identified as one of the industries where the U.S. can reduce its carbon output. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states that agriculture currently accounts for about nine percent of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. The IPCC report calls on the industry to ramp up its efforts to reduce this number and absorb more carbon-based emissions through plants and soil that can absorb harmful pollutants in the air.

“The message is clear that as much as agriculture disrupted the environment, it’s probably the part of society most capable of solving the challenge,” said Benjamin Houlton, a professor and director of the University of California Davis John Muir Institute of the Environment who studies the intersection of agriculture and climate change. “It’s the only part of our world that can create negative emissions in a way that’s economically feasible and has co-benefits.”

For further information and to view the report in full, click here: https://unfccc.int/news/land-is-part-of-the-climate-solution-ipcc?utm_medium=email&utm_source=FYI&dm_i=1ZJN,6FEJJ,E29O8W,PGZ5N,1