Report: Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Emissions Increase In Canada

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News in brief: A new report reveals that agricultural greenhouse gas emissions in Canada have risen to 54 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent in 2021, the second-highest on record, driven by increased livestock numbers and nitrogen fertiliser usage.

A new report by National Farmers Union (NFU) shows that agricultural greenhouse gas emissions in Canada have continued to rise. Compiled by Darrin Qualman, Director of Climate crisis policy and action for the NFU, it is the third edition to include all emissions and soil sequestration values.

The report found that agricultural emissions were 54 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MtCO2e) in 2021, the second highest on record behind 2020, marking an increase of 41% since 1990.

Also, it found that the two main factors contributing to the upward trend in emissions are an increase in the number of livestock and nitrogen fertiliser usage.

Canada’s number of livestock increased by 15% since 1990. The increase was attributed to population growth, change in dietary habits among others.

On the other hand, nitrogen fertiliser use has increased by 50%. The report notes that the increased use of nitrogen fertiliser was because of the need for bigger yield to meet the demands of a growing population.

The report claimed that agricultural soils have been a net sink for carbon dioxide since 1990. However, this sink is not large enough to offset the emissions from livestock and fertiliser use.

It concludes that there is a need to reduce agricultural emissions in order to mitigate climate change. Some of the ways suggested include reducing livestock population, less nitrogen fertiliser use, soil health improvements, among others.

Finally, the report calls on the government to take action to reduce agricultural emissions. This includes setting a target for reducing emissions from agriculture, providing financial incentives for farmers to adopt climate-friendly practices, and supporting research into new technologies to reduce emissions.

Joseph Akahome
Joseph Akahome
Joseph O Akahome (OJ) is a writer, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Literature from the University of Benin. He is an avid agriculturist, with a bias for poultry and an insatiable appetite for chicken wings. When he is neither reading nor researching, he likes to spend recreational time playing board games, or swimming in serene forested lakes.

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