Food and Agriculture Pathway
Launched in November 2022, the GMP Food and Agriculture Pathway advances climate and food security goals through actions that increase agricultural productivity, reduce food loss and waste, and improve the viability of agriculture in the future.
The agriculture sector is responsible for 40% of anthropogenic methane emissions. In the agricultural sector, livestock emissions from manure and enteric fermentation represent roughly 32%, and rice cultivation is 8% of global anthropogenic emissions. The Global Methane Assessment found that existing targeted measures could reduce methane emissions from the agricultural sector by around 30 million tonnes per year by 2030. These include measures targeted at improving animal health and husbandry, livestock manure management, rice paddies and agricultural crop residues. Reducing food waste and loss, improving livestock management, and the adoption of healthy diets could reduce methane emissions by 65–80 million tonnes per year over the next few decades, in addition to bringing co-benefits for human health and agricultural productivity.
Over the past years, progress has been made by GMP countries to address methane emissions from the food and agriculture sectors. Brazil has been a significant actor, launching projects to implement nation-wide agricultural methane reductions. In parallel, ministers of agriculture from over 20 countries met for the first Ministerial Conference on Low Emissions Food Systems in Santiago, Chile, in April 2023 to discuss opportunities and cooperation to reduce methane emissions from the agriculture sector.
Key initiatives under the GMP food and agriculture pathway have made new headways
- New Dairy Methane Action Alliance to accelerate food industry action to drive down dairy methane emissions
Recognizing the urgency of the climate crisis and the significant role of the food sector in reducing global emissions of methane, the Dairy Methane Action Alliance was launched at COP28 to catalyze accountability, transparency, and ambitious climate action within the food industry. This global initiative accelerates action and accountability on methane across the dairy sector. Signatory companies, already include more than three major food companies, representing billions of dollars in global annual dairy sales. By joining the alliance, companies commit to annually account for and publicly disclose methane emissions within their dairy supply chains, and to publish & implement a comprehensive methane action plan by the end of 2024. Environmental Defense Fund and the sustainability nonprofit Ceres will hold these companies accountable as their plans are implemented.
- Enteric Fermentation Accelerator Sets Target for 30% Ruminant Methane Reduction
The Enteric Fermentation Accelerator, led by the Global Methane Hub, is a novel coordinated global initiative to accelerate the research, development, and implementation of methane-mitigating technologies for livestock. By 2030, the Accelerator hopes to establish technical solutions to reduce enteric fermentation methane by at least 30% for all ruminant livestock systems. The Accelerator has mobilized US$70 million to date and aims to mobilize at least $200 million from philanthropic, public and private sectors. The funding will support long-term trials of feed additives, the development of new additives, genetic tools and protocols to select for low-emitting livestock, microbiome research to underpin the above research areas, and information necessary to facilitate regulatory approval of mitigation technologies.
- Climate and Clean Air Coalition Supports National Planning For Large-Scale Agricultural Methane Reductions
CCAC work in the agriculture sector focuses on scaling up best practices on enteric fermentation, manure management, and low-emissions rice cultivation. The CCAC will quickly start work with countries on assessments to mitigate methane from the agriculture sector, including Cambodia, Colombia, Fiji, Ghana, Moldova, Nigeria, Panama, and Vietnam, and deliver an agriculture sector strategy for SCLP mitigation in Côte D’Ivoire. In the Central African Republic, the CCAC will deliver methane emission and mitigation assessments for the livestock sector to assist in developing Tier 2 emissions computations. The CCAC will also support Colombia and Nigeria to deliver national roadmaps to reduce SCLPs from open burning and the Mekong region to develop a roadmap to reduce black carbon emissions from the agriculture sector. Over the past years, the CCAC has allocated over US$2 million to support transformation action in the agriculture sector. Through these transformative action initiatives, the CCAC is working with the Government of Brazil to develop a National Short-lived Climate Pollutant Action Plan and to build capacity at a national level on SCLP mitigation. In sub-Saharan Africa, the CCAC is partnering with ministries, development partners, private sector partners, and financial institutions to assist farmers in adopting agroecology and circular economy technologies to reduce methane and black carbon emissions from Africa's cultivation of maize and rice. In Asia, the CCAC is partnering with the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and government ministries to accelerate methane reductions in rice production systems through market-based mechanisms.
- Reducing Agricultural Methane Program Supports Smallholder Farmers
This year, with support from the Global Methane Hub and the U.S. State Department, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) has established the Reducing Agricultural Methane Program (RAMP). RAMP aspires to build the climate resilience of smallholder farmers while supporting activities that transform food systems and place nations on a pathway toward achieving the goals of the methane pledge. RAMP supports the mainstreaming of Global Methane Pledge objectives into Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), supporting the development of bankable projects for methane reduction in agriculture and food systems and improving knowledge dissemination around methane reduction. At COP28, RAMP announced that it will, with funding from the US and Global Methane Hub, support 15 governments to incorporate agricultural methane into their nationally determined contributions and 10 governments to build investment pipelines in low-methane agricultural development.
- Pathways to Dairy Net Zero brings partners together including Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, and Kenya to raise significant new funding for dairy sector transformation
The Green Climate Fund (GCF) in partnership with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the Global Dairy Platform (GDP) approved USD 3.5 million of project preparation funding to support the development of a regional public-private livestock sector programme for Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. GCF’s grant contribution of USD 1.1 million complements the co-financing from the partners, with the objective of developing a blended finance initiative to leverage USD 400 million in financing to support the transition of the region’s dairy systems to lower emissions and climate resilient pathways. The project is now well under development and is projected to go to the board for final approval in 2024.
- Global Methane Hub Improves Transparency and Funding While Protecting Productivity
Quantification of methane in agricultural systems through monitoring and verification is crucial for the development of effective mitigation strategies and mobilization of finance, especially in low- and middle-income economies. To better support rice methane measurement projects in Ghana, Panama, Peru, the United States and Uruguay, GMH is integrating remote sensing technology with field measurements to generate robust data. A key consideration in effective agricultural methane projects is to not compromise the livelihoods of agricultural supply chain actors while also achieving the broad benefits of mitigation. GMH is supporting the development of a feed ration formulation decision tool for smallholder livestock systems in low and middle-income countries. This tool will help farmers to formulate feed rations for their livestock, optimized to meet the energy and nutritional requirements of the animal at the lowest cost and lowest methane intensity possible.
- USAID invests in low-emission livestock and rice production systems to reduce methane emissions
USAID’s agriculture and food security investments under the Feed the Future initiative focus on improving agricultural productivity. This core strategy is achieved through a range of interventions which drive down emission intensity while delivering significant co-benefits on nutrition and food security, sustainable livelihoods and enhanced resilience.
USAID has invested in low-emission livestock and rice production systems, addressing land use change and supporting agriculture-related carbon-market development.in Kenya, Tanzania, Paraguay, Colombia and Bangladesh and is embedding climate smart agriculture approaches across all new agriculture investments. USAID is a supporting partner of the Pathways to Dairy Net Zero initiative, led by the Global Dairy Platform. USAID is co-financing a Project Preparation Facility, which is designing a proposal for low-emission, resilient dairy development in East Africa through the Green Climate Fund in partnership with IFAD, FAO, ILRI and the Global Methane Hub.
- The World Bank launched the Global Methane Reduction Platform for Development (CH4D)
The World Bank launched the Global Methane Reduction Platform for Development (CH4D) to support low-and mid-income countries to realize the ‘methane triple-wins’ of abating emissions, enhancing resilience, and empowering livelihoods. Through partnerships, including with the CCAC Methane Roadmap Action Programme (M-RAP), CH4D will mobilize expertise, affordable technologies, and catalytic finance for methane abatement in the agriculture and waste sectors.