Climate change mitigation through technology innovations in agriculture
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Climate Change Mitigation through Technology Innovations in Agriculture. Bettina Hedden-Dunkhorst and Paul Vlek Center for Development Research, University of Bonn. Outline. 1 Background 2 Technology Development in Agriculture 3 New Technologies for Climate Change Mitigation

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Climate change mitigation through technology innovations in agriculture

Climate Change Mitigation through Technology Innovations in Agriculture

Bettina Hedden-Dunkhorst

and Paul Vlek

Center for Development Research,

University of Bonn


Outline
Outline

1 Background

2 Technology Development in Agriculture

3 New Technologies for Climate Change Mitigation

4 Adoption Constraints

5 Suggestions for Policies and Instruments


Background
Background

  • Agriculture causes about 25 % global anthropogenic CO2 emissions, 65 % of CH4, and 90 % of N2O emissions.

  • GWP: CH4, – 21times higher than CO2; N2O – 310 times higher;

    • Largest source of emissions – transformation of forest to agricultural land

  • But, agriculture is also affected by climate change

    • through increased climate variability

  • (Modest) mitigation options are available that could result in win-win solutions

  • Productivity increases are necessary to guarantee adoption


Technology development in agriculture
Technology Development in Agriculture

  • Research

    • Scale:

      • International (16 IARCs - CGIAR)

      • National (NARS)

      • Local (NGOs, local knowledge)

    • Policy directions for research:

      • Economic policies

        • Trade : export crops

      • Social policies

        • Appropriate technologies, low input technologies

      • Environmental policies

        • Reduced GHG emissions, anti soil erosion technologies, water saving technologies


  • Capacity for Manufacturing or Multiplication of Technology

    • Examples

      • Mulching machine (Eastern Amazon Region)

      • Seed multiplication (Zimbabwe)


  • New agricultural technologies for climate change mitigation rice wheat systems
    New Agricultural Technologies for Climate Change Mitigation - Rice-Wheat Systems

    • 24-27 million ha in South and East Asia

    • Rice – flooded fields; Wheat well-drained soils;

    • Rice:

      • Emissions:

        • methane and nitrous oxide

          (carbon dioxide – straw burning)

      • Mitigation strategies:

        • proper management of organic inputs

        • temporary (mid-season) field drainage

        • direct seeding (-18% CH4)


    • Wheat - Rice-Wheat Systems

      • Emissions: nitrous oxide (emitted after fertilization, irrigation and heavy rains or during fallow periods)

      • Mitigation strategies:

        • Emissions less sensitive to

          management practices

    • Problem:

      • Antagonism between methane and nitrous oxide emissions, hence targeting one gas alone is inappropriate.


    New agricultural technologies for climate change mitigation pastoral ecosystems of the tropics
    New Agricultural Technologies for Climate Change Mitigation - Pastoral Ecosystems of the Tropics

    • Worldwide grazing land covers ¼ of earth‘s land surface - twice the area under crops

    • Savannas: greatest storage capacity for belowground carbon

    • Soil carbon losses through: land conversion (pasture – crop land); grazing management

    • Methane emission: derive from grazing animals

    • Nitrous oxide emissions (low in developing countries): fertilizer use, land conversion, manure application


    • Pastoral lands will lose above and belowground C when they become drier due to climate change.

    • Mitigating strategies - Carbon dioxide

      Improved grazing management (0.5 t C ha-1)

      • Reduction in grazing intensity

        and biomass burning

      • Improvement of degraded land

      • Reduction of soil erosion

      • Changes in species mix to deep-root grasses

      • (Substitution of renewable biological products for fossil fuels – commercial ranches LA)


    • Implementation Requirements become drier due to climate change.

      • Policies:

        • Government regulations, taxes, subsidies

      • Incentives for Carbon market development:

        • Strengthen institutional linkages between countries selling/buying

        • Strengthen pastoral networks of communication

        • Information through extension services

        • Functioning and accountable community governance structures

        • Monitoring systems for carbon stocks


    New agricultural technologies for climate change mitigation other systems
    New Agricultural Technologies for Climate Change Mitigation - Other Systems

    • Alternatives to Slash and Burn

      • Managed forests

      • Agroforestry

    • Wheat, Maize, Soybean, etc.

      • No-tillage (accumulation of soil Carbon, less fossil fuel use)

      • Reduced N fertilization


    Adoption constraints farmers perspective
    Adoption Constraints: Farmers Perspective - Other Systems

    • Lack of:

      • Information

      • Capital

      • Transportation

      • Incentives (low potential to increased returns)

    • Temporary land tenure and water rights

    • Unreliable supplies

    • Risk aversion and vulnerability of farmers


    Suggestions for policies and instruments
    Suggestions for Policies and Instruments - Other Systems

    Policies

    Instruments

    Rural poverty

    reduction

    Payments for

    environmental services,

    provide market

    opportunities

    Information

    and

    Education

    Media support,

    free education

    Property

    rights

    Legal instruments:

    contract enforcement

    • Policy coordination

    • and linking by sector

    • (environmental, agricultural)

    • and level

    • (national, local)

    Participation in

    policy design,

    subsidiarity,

    decentralisation


    Policies - Other Systems

    Instruments

    Research

    Targeted

    funding

    • International Level

    Technology

    exchange

    Enabling environment:

    patents,

    technology advice

    Information

    Generation of data base

    and dissemination

    of findings

    Trade

    Enabling environment:

    WTO negotiations,

    labeling

    (climate change

    mitigation)


    On balance
    On Balance … - Other Systems

    • Agricultural technologies for modest climate change mitigation exist.

    • More needs to be known about their effects and interactions (all GHG) under different conditions.

    • Mechanisms to support technology adoption need to be developed.


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