Science-based GHG emissions targets

For agriculture and forestry commodities

Published: 31/01/2017

Climate action by the Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land-Use (AFOLU) sector is crucial in limiting global warming well below 2°C. The Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions of AFOLU represent approximately a quarter of global anthropogenic GHG emissions (10 - 12 GtCO2eq per year) and need to be halved by 2050. At the same time, agricultural production is expected to double. To meet this challenge, companies need to act fast and need guidance to align their GHG emission reduction with climate science.

Funded by the KR foundation, the University of Aberdeen, PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency and Ecofys have developed a target setting methodology for key commodities of the AFOLU sector, i.e. meat, dairy, pigs, chicken, rice, maize, wheat, soy, palm oil and round wood. The methodology is based on the Sectoral Decarbonization Approach developed under the Science Based Targets initiative by CDP, UN Global Compact, the World Resources Institute (WRI) and WWF with technical support from Ecofys. The new methodology provides GHG emissions (CO2 and non-CO2) intensity pathways towards 2050 for the key agriculture and forestry commodities.

As scope and boundary for analysing the GHG emissions of these commodities, a crade to farm gate approach was applied, with and without CO2-emissions arising from Land-Use-Change (LUC-CO2) related to the production of these commodities. Various Marginal Abatement Cost Curves (MACCs) were updated per commodity and region and fed into the IMAGE model, which was used to simulate a mitigation scenario across 26 regions, consistent with keeping global warming well below 2°C.

Stakeholder and expert reviews were used to optimise and verify the developed methodology in order to increase its adoption and integration in corporate practices.

The project team also created an >> online target setting tool for agricultural companies.

Your contact

Giel Linthorst
Sustainable Industries and Services
+31 (0)6 11 366 935