Mitigation and the farming sector
The farming sector will not only suffer some negative impacts of climate change. It is also a source of greenhouse gas emissions and can play a key role in mitigating climate change. According to Eurostat, agriculture accounts for about 10% of the total greenhouse gas emissions in the EU-28 (excluding LULUCF), which corresponds to 470.6 million tons of CO2 equivalent (2012).Agricultural emissions are generally linked to the management of agricultural soils, enteric fermentation and manure management.
Promoting farming practices that combat climate change is a powerful tool to improve climate conditions and also to preserve nature and increase the sector’s viability. Three of the four partners of the AgriAdapt project also participated in a previous project called AgriClimateChange. The lessons learnt from this successful project were the basis for the development of the AgriAdapt project.
The AgriClimateChange project (LIFE+09 ENV/ES/000441) was implemented simultaneously in four European countries (France, Germany, Italy and Spain) between September 2010 and December 2013 and its objective was to determine and support farming practices that best contribute to mitigating climate change at farm level. The AgriClimateChange project was awarded as one of the “Best of the Best” LIFE Environment Projects Award in 2014 and the “.EU Web Award” by EURid (registry manager of the .eu domains).
A software tool was designed, based on the partners’ previous experience: the ACCT (AgriClimateChange Tool). It evaluates energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions and carbon storage at farm level. An online version can be accessed here: https://extranet.solagro.org/ACCTool
149 farms were assessed using this software. Taking into account the results obtained in the assessments, action plans were drawn up and implemented in 128 farms during 3 years. These action plans were specifically designed for each farm and implemented on a voluntary basis. The average reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption was between 10 and 40%.
Communication and transferability
Quantitative results and lessons learnt during that period with farmers were transformed into Global Mitigation Proposals at farm level and presented to several European, national and regional authorities. Communication and awareness-raising activities focused on key stakeholders (farmers, farmer unions, professional associations or consumers) were implemented. A specific report (“Measures at farm level to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from EU agriculture”) was elaborated and presented at the European Parliament.
Report “Measures at farm level to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from EU agriculture”
The results of the AgriClimateChange project were included in a study elaborated for and presented at the European Parliament (Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development). The aim of this study is to provide a comprehensive analysis of the impact of mitigation options at farm level, in order to provide decision-makers with recommendations and policy-relevant advice, particularly within the framework of the new CAP reform.
Manual “Climate friendly agriculture. Evaluations and improvements for energy and greenhouse gas emissions at the farm level in the European Union”
This manual provides information on the common tool created in the project and the results from the diagnosis per farming systems. The second part of the manual is dedicated to providing case studies related to crop systems, dairy systems and arboriculture and viticulture systems.
Presentation of the AgriClimateChange project at the Best LIFE project 2014 Awards Ceremony
Presentation at the European Parliament on 21/01/2014.
Quantifying Climate Action on European Farms
AgriClimateChange Project – Description (ENG)
AgriClimateChange: Full Video. English