While farming is one of humanity’s activities that generates most greenhouse gas, carbon sequestration in farmland is increasingly put forward as a means of limiting climate change. Internationally, initiatives of this type are mushrooming. Is this a miracle solution or just an excuse for not reducing food-related emissions?
CCFD-Terre Solidaire’s new report – "Our land is worth more than carbon", analyses in detail carbon sequestration in soil and the complicated linkage between agriculture and climate change. It examines our agri-food systems both upstream and downstream from production and looks at the challenges in the light of environmental, economic, social and cultural criteria.
Carbon sequestration is not a miracle solution for overcoming the problem of greenhouse gas emissions in farming. The need is, rather, to have the political courage to transform our entire agri-food system completely.
The farming sector faces three major challenges :
- Adapting to climate change
- Reducing its contribution to greenhouse gas emissions (CO2, but especially methane and nitrous oxide)
- Retaining or even increasing the stocks of carbon contained in the soil
These three challenges cannot be handled separately. Yet countries for too long have favoured a silo approach. Financializing the soil to sequester carbon at the expense of small farming communities makes no sense. Rather, we need to invest urgently in the smallholdings and family farming that make up 90% of the world’s farming sector and 80% of total food production. These are the very food producing communities most threatened by food insecurity and climate change. Yet they are the least guilty of emitting greenhouse gas while being the best placed to identify solutions.
Source: CCFD-Terre Solidaire