By allowing countries to decide how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the landmark Paris climate agreement opened the door to new solutions. And over the past year, many countries, particularly in the developing world, decided that an especially effective way to reach those targets is through their farms. Nearly 80 percent of the countries said they would use agricultural practices to curb climate change, and more than 90 percent said they would use those practices in addition to changes in forestry and land use linked to farming…
…the UNFCCC launched a program that pays developing countries to preserve their carbon-absorbing forests, including standards for measuring, reporting and verifying the emissions cuts. Similar standards haven’t been developed yet for agriculture.
…Farm industry leaders and academics formed the North American Climate Smart Agriculture Alliance in 2015 to prompt changes in agricultural practices that have climate benefits. ….”People are turned off by the climate change conversation,” Shea said. “Once you get into a conversation about improving productivity, you can get into a conversation about co-benefits.”
Greenhouse gas emissions from the agriculture sector in developed countries average about 12 percent, compared to 35 percent in developing countries…. advocates are pushing agricultural interests and regulators in the U.S. to do their part, pointing to research that says reaching the goals of the Paris agreement will be impossible without agriculture’s contribution….