An unavoidable step after Paris: Cutting emissions from farming

In the EU, food production accounts for at least 15% of net greenhouse gas emissions – not to mention the significant emissions embedded in imported livestock feed and other inputs. This means that limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees will only be possible if the agriculture sector plays its part and significantly reduces its emissions – just as many other industries are doing. Public policy and farm subsidies need to drive the just transition to climate-neutral agriculture.

There are several ways this can be done, including:

  • Reduce farm animal numbers in Europe
  • Promote EU-wide adoption of agroecological farming practices – a nature-friendly and climate-neutral approach to farming
  • Enforce best practices in nutrient management
  • Protect and manage permanent grasslands, climate and biodiversity
  • Ensure the conservation and fund the restoration of wetlands, peatlands and forests
  • Help farmers adapt to a changing climate by building a resilient and diversified agriculture sector

Given that climate change and the enormous global loss of biodiversity are closely linked, we must avoid narrow-minded climate action that has knock on negative impacts on biodiversity. It is also essential to mainstream climate action with trade and agricultural policy.

To assess how well policy is currently driving climate action in agriculture and advocate for more action, the European Environmental Bureau, with support from BirdLife Europe, is implementing the EUKI-funded project ‘An unavoidable step after Paris: cutting emissions from farming’. The project was launched in November 2017 and will conclude in February 2020.

The national affiliated partners in the target countries are:

Through this project, we have developed the following resources: