From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Climate change due to agriculture
Mains level : Climate change
A report released on Thursday by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has concluded that better management of the world’s farms and forests is necessary to tackle climate change.
- Land use has always been part of conversations on climate change and activities like afforestation have held an important place in the fight against global warming.
- Discourse on combating global warming has given more thrust to curbing vehicular and industrial emissions.
What the report says
- The IPCC report warns that clean energy, clean transport and reducing emissions alone will not cut global emissions enough to avoid warming beyond 2 degrees Celsius.
- It points out that the global food system is responsible for 21 to 37% of the world’s GHG emissions.
- About a quarter of the Earth’s ice-free land area is subjected to “human-induced degradation”.
- Rapid agricultural expansion has led to the destruction of forests, wetlands and grasslands and other ecosystems.
- Soil erosion from agricultural fields is 10 to 100 times higher than the soil formation rate.
- When land is degraded, it becomes less productive, restricting what can be grown and reducing the soil’s ability to absorb carbon.
- Agriculture and allied activities like cattle rearing are major sources of methane and nitrous oxide and are more dangerous GHGs than carbon dioxide.
- It raised a key scientific input for future climate negotiations, such as the CoP of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification and the UNFCCC CoP25.
- It could pressure developing countries like India to ramp up their global warming mitigation targets.
India should pay heed to the IPCC report’s recommendations on curbing land degradation and soil erosion by improving knowledge systems.