Achieving Net Negative Emissions in a Productive Agricultural Sector: A Review of Emissions Sources and Mitigation Options
By 2050 global demand for food is projected to increase by 70% leading to demand for increased agricultural production in Australia. This growth is to occur while Australia reduces its greenhouse gas emissions to achieve its commitments under the Paris agreement. However, Australian agricultural emissions are projected to increase, with estimates ranging from 78 to 112 Mt CO2eq by 2030 (increases of 11.4% to 43.6%). This presentation will review emissions from the agricultural sector, including those associated with land use and land use change and sector-based information on emissions intensity that includes pre- and post-farm emissions. Within this context, the potential of mitigation options to address these emissions sources are reviewed including emission reduction estimates, likely co-benefits, potential trade-offs, and knowledge gaps. The mitigation options covered will include those associated with methane, nitrous oxide, land-based CO2 as well as use of renewables on farm and the role of agriculture in the bioenergy/biofuel sector. This information is used to discuss the extent to which available mitigation options can be expected to achieve net negative emissions in the agricultural sector.
Rachelle Meyer's research interests include adaptation and mitigation in the land sector. For her recently subitted PhD thesis, she used a whole-farm system modelling approach to quantify the agro-ecosystem benefits and mitigation implications of soil carbon in grazing systems in western Victoria. This included calculating net greenhouse gas balances and investigating the impact of climate change on the potential of soil carbon as a mitigation option.