Climate Change

Climate Change and agriculture are strongly interconnected. Farming activities directly depend on climatic conditions; therefore agriculture is highly exposed to effects of climate change like changing rainfall patterns, rising temperatures, increased weather variability and extreme events like heatwaves, droughts, storms and floods.

Dried out soy bean field

Agriculture is not only impacted by climate change, but also responsible for 17% of total greenhouse gas emissions, with major contributors being field emissions of methane (CH4) from the use of draft animals, animal husbandry or rice cultivation, carbon dioxide (CO2) from tractor usage and soil tillage, as well as nitrous oxide (N2O) from nitrogen fertilizers. At the same time, agriculture can also mitigate the pressure on our global climate by reducing emissions and sequestering carbon, all while producing enough healthy and affordable food for the growing world population.

Agriculture can adapt in three major areas in order to tackle the effects of climate change and contribute to both reducing climate change impacts and the damage of those impacts.

  • improving resilience of agriculture and crop production against negative impacts from climate change
  • reducing greenhouse gas emissions from farming activities
  • increasing productivity in farming to reduce pressure to convert natural land to farmland

We support farmers worldwide to address the challenges they will face due to the expected changes in farming conditions. One important way is measuring the carbon footprint of their farming operation with AgBalance.

1 Myhre, G., Shindell, D., Bréon, F.-M., Collins, W., Fuglestvedt, J., Huan, J., . . . Zhang, H. (2013). Chapter 8: Anthropogenic and Natural Radiative Forcing. In T. Stocker, D. Qin, G.-K. Plattner, M. Tignor, S. K. Allen, J. Boschung, . . . P. Midgley, Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (pp. 659-740). Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press.

2 European Commission. (2017). Guidance for the development of Product Environmental Footprint Category Rules (PEFCRs), version 6.3.