Tackling climate change in agriculture- key mechanisms in GHG mitigation

Adrian Leip, Gema Carmona-Garcia, Simone Rossi

1 European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Institute for Environment and Sustainability, Via Fermi 2749, TP 266/040

I-21027 ISPRA (VA), Italy, https://ec.europa.eu/jrc/en, adrian.leip@jrc.ec.europa.eu


We assessed the question of side effects and of the accountability of mitigation measures in the Agriculture, Forestry, and Other Land Uses (AFOLU) sector in national greenhouse gas inventories, proposing a novel classification system of available mitigation measures on the basis of ‘mitigation strategies’ and ‘mitigation mechanisms’. While the first differentiates measures which require collection of data from those for which specific emission factors or parameters need to be developed, the second groups mitigation measures according to the ‘term’ that is exploited to achieve emission reductions. We find that current IPCC methodologies provide a good basis to account for the majority of mitigation measures. Most of them will be reflected in national greenhouse gas inventories if default tier 1 approaches or (in some cases) national level tier 2 approaches are used (according to IPCC terminology). Efforts should be concentrated on improving data availability especially about management options, which is often the major obstacle in accounting for the effect of mitigation efforts. Examples include mitigation measures focusing on the improvement of feed intake of animals, or actions aimed at incrementing the soil organic carbon stock in agricultural soils through appropriate management practices. We conclude that simple farm level tools may have a good potential in collecting the data required, and offer the opportunity of full flexibility for the farmers to select concrete farm practice changes and monitor their performance.