Agriculture's greenhouse gas emissions on the rise
11 April 2014, Rome-- New FAO estimates of greenhouse gas data show that emissions from agriculture, forestry and fisheries have nearly doubled over the past fifty years and could increase an additional 30 percent by 2050, without greater efforts to reduce them. Agricultural emissions from crop and livestock production grew from 4.7 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2 eq) in 2001 to over 5.3 billion tonnes in 2011, a 14 percent increase. The increase occurred mainly in developing countries, due to an expansion of total agricultural outputs. The new FAO data also provide a detailed view of emissions from energy use in the agriculture sector, including electricity and fossil fuels burned to power agricultural machinery, irrigation pumps and fishing vessels. These emissions exceeded 785 million tonnes of CO2 eq. in 2010, having increased by 75 percent since 1990.
Francesco Tubiello is a Natural Resource Officer in FAO’s Climate, Energy and Tenure Division. In the following interview he elaborates on what this data is telling us and what it provides to governments.
Produced by: Sandra Ferrari