Low-Carbon Technologies: Agriculture Across All Regions

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Agriculture contributes to carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), and nitrous oxide (N20) emissions, but it can also be used to mitigate CO2 emissions by sequestering carbon and by producing bioenergy.  Furthermore, sustainable agricultural practices can prevent soil erosion, enabling soil carbon sequestration.  A major component of agriculture’s CO2 emissions comes from converting native ecosystems to agricultural uses in the tropics.  Worldwide, agriculture contributes to 13% of all anthropogenic emissions, including 52% of anthropogenic methane and 84% of anthropogenic nitrous oxide emissions.

Adopting a strategy to use agriculture to mitigate carbon emissions is recommended as a temporary measure before more effective mitigation policies can be implemented.  An estimated 500 million tons of CO2 emissions could be eliminated by increasing energy efficiency in agriculture.