Land use change and agriculture account for 24-30% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Deforestation and forest degradation are estimated to be responsible for at least 11 of that amount. If sequestration from reforestation and afforestation are excluded, the share of global GHG emissions rises to nearly 20%. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, agricultural production accounts for about 10-12% of the total global anthropogenic emissions of GHGs or between 5.1 and 6.1 GtCO2e per annum. Between 1990 and 2010, emissions increased by around 18%, with a greater increase after 2005. Emissions are expected to continue to increase due to increased demand for food as populations grow, and higher income leads to dietary shifts resulting in more meat consumption.
Author: Anette Engelund Friis (WFO); Henry Neufeldt (ICRAF); Reuben Sessa (FAO); Louis Verchot (CIFOR)