Agriculture is an important stimulus of global climate change actor. The sector is already responsible for at least 10 to 12 percent of global greenhouse gases (GHG), and is expected to emissions from agriculture to increase by more than 50 percent by 2030.
Mitigating agricultural, then, emissions would go a long way towards mitigating global climate change. Protocol Greenhouse Gases is currently developing a Guidance to help companies measure and reduce agricultural emissions. We have just released a second draft of the Guide to the open comment period, which will be held on May 31, 2013.
Key challenges for measuring agricultural emissions
Notification of agricultural emissions in the GHG inventory is a decidedly complex endeavor, which can hinder reduction efforts. For example, agricultural emissions are strongly affected by the time and therefore are often calculated with a large amount of uncertainty. This ambiguity makes it difficult to establish and track progress toward reduction goals. The carbon stored in biomass and soils can often be emitted to the atmosphere, so it is imperative that companies not on or sub-account of the impact of agricultural practices in carbon stocks. And companies vary greatly in how they control different parts of the chains of agriculture-such as the production of goods delivery, processing and retail So it is difficult to maintain consistency in the way in which it was reported inventories. To help address these challenges, the new draft Agricultural Guidance provides guidance on the following areas:
How will changes in carbon stocks must be reported in inventories, both in the context of activities-such as agriculture tillage and crop residue management and use of land change-such as converting forests for agricultural production;
Establish inventory limits in relation to agricultural production contracts, leases and other business relationships to determine whether specific transactions should be reflected in the inventory;
The types of tools available to calculate or help in calculating agricultural emissions; and
The types of information that must be reported in inventory to ensure the usefulness and transparency of inventories.
The new project incorporates input from stakeholder consultations held between April 2012 and February 2013-including three review workshops in the United States and Brazil, as well as feedback from over 80 organizations in more than 10 countries. The project has received funding from the United States Agency for International Development, and Unilever, while the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the United Kingdom and the Ford Foundation are supporting an intensive review process in Brazil.
Your comments on the Draft Guidance
Comments from a variety of stakeholders will help ensure that our guidance is strong, effective and generally applicable. For comments, please download the draft guidance and use the comment form available on our website. Please send all comments by email to WRI [email protected] by Friday, May 31, 2013.
Coinciding with the open comment period, WRI is road testing the project in some companies in the sectors of livestock and crops. To test the highway project, please contact us at [email protected]
IRG will release a new draft guidance around October 2013 which incorporates feedback from both the open comment period and road tests. A summary of the feedback and explanation of how the issues are addressed and comments will be posted on the website of the GHG Protocol.