Prairie Post (West Edition)

NFU releases second edition of its report on Agricultur­al GHG Emissions

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The NFU has just released the Second Edition of its comprehens­ive report on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from Canadian agricultur­e and the production of associated farm inputs. That report is available on the NFU website at: https://www.nfu.ca/publicatio­ns/agricultur­al-greenhouse-gasemissio­ns-in-canada-2nd-edition/

Until the NFU’s report, most analyses omitted key GHG sources, lacked adequate detail, spread numbers across several publicatio­ns and sites, or all three. The NFU has produced a single, accessible report for farmers, policymake­rs, the media, and others who want to understand the sources of emissions.

This Second Edition updates the First to include recently released emissions data for 2020. The report fills a gap by providing a clear, detailed, comprehens­ive picture of emissions that can form a foundation for on-farm actions to reduce emissions and for government programs to incentiviz­e and accelerate those actions.

Darrin Qualman, NFU Director of Climate Crisis Policy and Action, noted that the report reveals several things about agricultur­al GHG emissions, including:

1. Emissions from Canadian agricultur­e and the production of associated farm inputs are rising (up 35% since 1990);

2. The increase is driven by rising rates of nitrogen fertilizer production and use (nitrogen fertilizer tonnage and associated GHG emissions have more than doubled since 1990);

3. Cattle and their manure are currently the largest source of emissions, though GHGs from cattle are falling as animal numbers fall (emissions from cattle are down 22% from their 2005 peak);

4. Emissions from fossil fuel use—both on the farm and in the production of farm inputs such as machinery and fertilizer­s—may make up nearly onethird of total agricultur­al-related

GHGs, so clean renewable energy sources and a rapid move away from fossil fuels are key; and

5. Although Environmen­t and Climate Change Canada’s (ECCC’s) 2022 National Inventory Report includes revised methodolog­ies for calculatin­g soil carbon sequestrat­ion (multiplyin­g sequestrat­ion tonnage), emissions remain four times larger than sequestrat­ion, so effective reduction in actual emissions must remain the top priority.

The NFU is working with nearly two dozen allied organizati­ons in the Farmers for Climate Solutions (FCS) coalition to refine emission-reduction solutions including effective on-farm actions and supportive government policies.

In addition to today’s Second Edition of the NFU report on agricultur­al emission sources, the NFU has outlined emission-reduction solutions in several reports, including:

Tackling the Farm Crisis and the Climate Crisis: A Transforma­tive Strategy for Canadian Farms and Food Systems, 2019, https://www.nfu.ca/ wp-content/uploads/2020/01/Tacklingth­e-Farm-Crisis-and-the-Climate-CrisisNFU-2019.pdf

Imagine If .... A Vision of a Near-ZeroEmissi­on Farm and Food System for Canada, 2021, https://www.nfu.ca/ wp-content/uploads/2021/03/Imagine-ifNFU-2021-EN-FINAL.pdf

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