If we want to combat our changing climate, we need to rethink the way we produce food, says new report by the United Nations.

The Problem

A new report released by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which examines how land use changes have contributed to the warming of Earth’s atmosphere, has concluded that agriculture and forestry have contributed nearly a quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions.

While fossil fuel usage is still identified as the largest driver of climate change, emissions from livestock, nitrogen fertilizers, and deforestation have significant effects on the warming of the atmosphere.

The only way to keep global warming below the 2-degree Celsius threshold is to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions, partly by changing the way we use land and produce food.

The report underscores the urgency of adopting regenerative and holistic farming techniques that are able to sequester carbon, increase soil health, and reduce fossil fuel use.

Climate change can also negatively affect agriculture, states the report. As the Earth experiences more extreme weather events, agricultural systems must be resilient to flooding, droughts, and other meteorological anomalies in order to continue feeding the population.

Read the Report Executive Summary

The Solution

Regenerative organic farming prioritizes working with natural systems to produce food, instead of relying on synthetic inputs, which can help mitigate climate change.

Rodale Institute’s Farming Systems Trial has found that organic systems use 45% less energy, release 40% fewer carbon emissions, and have the potential to produce yields up to 40% higher in times of drought over conventional systems.

Utilizing methods like organic no-till allows the soil to remain undisturbed, capitalizing on its potential to sequester carbon in the ground and return nutrients to our food.

As illustrated by the IPCC’s report, changing our land use practices while maintaining food security is critical for the future of our society. Regenerative organic agriculture is one solution for the problem of continuing to feed the world while healing our planet.

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One thought on “Report Finds Agriculture A Leading Cause of Climate Change

  1. As a returning Viet Nam veteran and after finishing my schooling I got a job with a Dow 30 company. I learned that our government was at war and mainly what appeared for political reasons when after soap companies forcing them to reduce their usage of Phosphate and they left the agricultural companies alone even though they consumed 97% of the Phosphate’s at that time. The government appears to have appeared to fix their sites on the petroleum industry as the enemy as the major cause of climate change; I am glad to see someone focusing on another more probably cause of the perceived problem.
    I have been following and experimenting with regenerative farming practices and believe them to be solutions to many of the current issues our world is facing.

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