Sustainable agricultural policies are taking the stage at the COP26 summit. Twenty-six nations pledged to shift to low carbon farming practices to become greener and less polluting.
New investments into farming were also announced to expand the research needed for reducing emissions and protecting food supplies against climate change.
Countries like Brazil, India, The UK, Colombia, Vietnam, Germany, Ghana, and Australia agreed to implement low carbon farming programs and initiatives.
Low Carbon Farming Goals
Brazil announced scaling up of its ABC+ low carbon farming program to 72 million hectares. Right now the program’s goals include rehabilitating 15 million hectares of degraded pastures and increasing the area under zero tillage from 25 million hectares to 33 million hectares. The upgraded target could save a billion tons of emissions by 2030.
Germany committed to cut emissions from land use by 25 million tons by 2030. The UK aims to engage 75% of farmers in low carbon practices by 2030. The country will also set aside $675 million (£500 million) to support the Forest, Agriculture and Commodity Trade (FACT) Roadmap launched during the conference earlier this week. The FACT Roadmap for action aims to promote sustainable development and trade of agricultural goods.
The World Bank also said it will spend $25 billion in climate finance annually to 2025 via its Climate Action Plan that has a focus on agriculture and food systems.
“The commitments being made today show that nature and land use are being recognized as essential to meeting the Paris Agreement goals,” said COP26 President Alok Sharma.
Some of the ways that farming can facilitate the reduction of emissions are using fertilizer more efficiently, tilling the ground less, or applying best management organic agriculture practices. Some studies are showing fertilizers in conventional farming are responsible for 75% of greenhouse gas emissions of food crop production. There are opportunities to increase the capture of carbon in soil and crops that provide an efficient way of mitigating climate change.