Farms in Brazil are the world’s largest producers of beef, soybeans, sugar cane, coffee, rice, and more. However, there are also large producers of emissions of greenhouse gases.
Two new resources are aimed at reducing the emissions intensity of the agricultural sector in Brazil. Today, the Protocol Greenhouse Gas Calculation Tool Launches Guidance and agricultural emissions, which will help farmers and ranchers Brazilian measure their emissions of greenhouse gases at farm level. By taking stock of complete emissions from operations, property managers can identify the main sources of emissions, develop plans to reduce and eventually mitigate their climate impact.
To understand the importance of these new resources are for agricultural and Brazilian companies as a whole-it is important to understand the evolution of the country’s agricultural landscape.
Impacts of greenhouse gases Brazilian Agriculture
Brazil is the fifth largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world, largely due to the impacts of agriculture. Agricultural emissions increased 20 percent from 2005-2010 and now represent more than a third of the national total. Without interventions, which are on track to grow another 18 percent by 2030.
Country Farms also drive another source of land-use emissions. Brazil has lost 36 million hectares of forest in the last 12 years, mainly due to the destruction of the rainforest for cattle ranching and other agricultural activities. While the loss of trees in the country has declined in recent years, deforestation still accounted for 22 percent of Brazil’s emissions in 2010.
These gases impacts greenhouse led the Brazilian government to create a National Plan for low carbon agriculture, colloquially known as the “Plan of ABC.” Enacted in 2010, the ABC Plan provides incentives for sustainable agriculture as by opening credit lines for farmers adopting intensive practices greenhouse gases less. It also aims to eliminate illegal deforestation and encourage research on crops resistant to climate change, among other initiatives.
The problem was that government officials lacked a mechanism to monitor actual emissions reductions on individual farms. Unlike emissions from other sectors-such as energy or agriculture industry emissions are notoriously difficult to measure. They are highly influenced by environmental conditions such as soil moisture and temperature. And in other cases, activities such as agriculture-tillage and reduced-tree planting can not reduce emissions immediately.
This lack of understanding also hinders the management of greenhouse gases by the producers and the largest agribusinesses. For example, only a quarter of agricultural enterprises run by climate change reality CDP questionnaire reported their emissions of greenhouse gases ..
New resources for measuring and managing agricultural emissions
That’s where the new resources come on. Developed in collaboration with Embrapa and Unicamp-and with input from more than 100 experts from business, academia, nongovernmental organizations, and government agencies guide and calculator tool will enable agricultural companies in Brazil to more accurately measure their emissions. It will also allow government officials to track the emissions impacts of national policies in Brazil, including the ABC Plan. The guide provides a framework for emissions accounting for all companies with operations-whether agricultural produce animals or plants for food, fiber, biofuels, drugs, or other purposes. The calculation tool drills down into specific practices and emissions intensive subsectors such as soybeans, corn, cotton, wheat, rice, sugarcane and cattle. And both include methodologies for measuring and reporting on land use change emissions.