National planning for GHG mitigation in agriculture: A guidance document

Now available in Spanish

MICCA Series 8 
National planning for GHG mitigation in agriculture: A guidance document
is now available is Spanish:
Planificación nacional para la mitigación de GEI en la agricultura: Documento de orientación

The guidance document provides national policy makers, advisors and other stakeholders in the agriculture sector with an introduction to the main mitigation planning approaches and the key elements that may need to be considered in the planning process.

New FAO Estimates of GHG Emissions from Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land use

A new FAO Report provides the most comprehensive knowledge to date on the regional and sectoral distribution of anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from agriculture, forestry and other land use (AFOLU) activities. The data is made available for free through the FAOSTAT Emissions database. The FAO GHG data are an integral part of the Working Group III contribution to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The new analysis highlights the role of agriculture in climate change, helping to clarify the critical importance of crop and livestock production, deforestation and peatland degradation.

Better information on AFOLU emissions is critical in many developing countries, given the potential to identify and fund mitigation actions that can usefully bridge national food security, resilience, mitigation and development goals into one coherent package.

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Tackling climate change through livestock

An important emitter of greenhouse gases (GHG), the livestock sector also has a large potential to reduce its emissions. This is the main conclusion drawn by the report “Tackling climate change through livestock”. This newly released report provides the most comprehensive global assessment made to-date of the livestock sector’s GHG emissions and its mitigation potential.

The report also presents a detailed assessment  of the magnitude, the sources and pathways of emissions from different production systems and supply chains. Relying on life cycle assessment, statistical analysis and scenario building, it identifies concrete options to reduce emissions.

It comes at a time when the world needs to urgently reduce GHG emissions to avert catastrophic climate change. The livestock sector can make an important contribution to such international efforts by offsetting some of the sector’s emission increases, which are expected as demand for livestock products is projected to grow by 70 percent by 2050.

Two new publications on Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions in agriculture

A guidance document to give support to planning

The guidance document provides national policy makers, advisors and other stakeholders in the agriculture sector with an introduction to the main climate change mitigation planning approaches and the key elements that may need to be considered in the planning process for agricultural systems.

It  describes two of the main approaches to greenhouse gas mitigation planning in developing countries: Low-Emission Development Strategies (LEDS) and Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs). It explains the possible relationships between them and their status within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The review paper and the report offer both building blocks for NAMAs, and a step-by-step approach for designing them. The need to align NAMAs with agricultural development goals is highlighted. 

National mitigation planning processes have policy, technical and institutional dimensions that need to be addressed in an integrated manner.  The guidebook provides examples from mitigation planning processes in developing countries to illustrate the range of options for addressing these key elements in country-specific ways.

Review paper on agricultural NAMAs and LEDs

This review of national greenhouse gas mitigation planning in the agriculture sector provides national policy makers and others in the agriculture sector with an overview of national mitigation planning processes and aids them in identifying the relevance of these processes for promoting agricultural development. It also provides policy makers and advisors involved in low-emission development planning processes with an overview of mitigation planning in the agriculture sector and highlights the relevance of agriculture to national mitigation plans and actions.

These recent publications are both based on input from a workshop, ’National mitigation planning and implementation in agriculture’, organized by the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) and FAO held at FAO headquarters in July 2012.

Greenhouse gas emissions from the agriculture sector presented for the first time in FAO Statistical yearbook 2013

The 2013 edition of FAO's Statistical Yearbook released today sheds new light on agriculture's contribution to global warming, trends in hunger and malnutrition and the state of the natural resource base upon which world food production depends.
Greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture grew 1.6 percent per year during the decade after the year 2000, new FAO data presented in the yearbook show, with the sector's total annual output in 2010 reaching 5 billion tons of carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2 eq, a measure used to compare and aggregate different greenhouse gases). This equals 10 percent of all anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions.

To view the FAO Statistical yearbook 2013, click here.

Mitigation of Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Livestock Production -  A review of technical options for non-CO2 emissions


This report presents a unique and exhaustive review of current knowledge on mitigation practices for greenhouse gas emissions in the livestock sector. It focuses specifically on non-CO2 emissions from enteric fermentation and manure management.

It is part of a stream of activities being  carried out by FAO to identify low greenhouse gas emission pathways for the livestock sector. The report references over 900 publications on the mitigation of direct nitrous oxide and methane emissions and highlights the most promising options, given their demonstrated effectiveness and feasibility for adoption. The review was deliberately limited to in vivo experiments to reflect what can be achieved with available mitigation practices.

This in-depth assessment will inform the livestock industry, academia, governmental and  non-governmental organizations that are interested in identifying and designing mitigation  interventions for the sector. It will also help to identify research and development priorities
in the area.

To view the report click here.

last updated:  Wednesday, July 23, 2014