The agricultural sector contributes over 13% of global man-made greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions1. It is also a major driver of indirect emissions through the conversion of forests and other natural systems to farmland. As interest has grown amongst agricultural companies in reporting these emissions, so has awareness of the associated challenges. These challenges include:
- Accounting for changes in the management and ownership of the carbon stored in soils and biomass, particularly those changes resulting from land use change.
- The high level of variability in emissions rates over both space and time, affecting the ability to set and track progress toward GHG emissions reduction targets.
- The difficulty in separating natural from human causes of emissions, affecting the usefulness of inventories as management tools.
- The large uncertainties of many estimates of agricultural emissions.
To help address these challenges and harmonize GHG accounting practices worldwide, the GHG Protocol has developed an international supplement to its Corporate Standard – the Agriculture Guidance. This Guidance lays out principles and methods for including agricultural emissions in corporate inventories of scope one and two emissions. The Guidance covers all agricultural and horticultural subsectors, including livestock and crop production.
- Companies that own or control agricultural operations.
- GHG reporting programs.
- Governmental and non-governmental initiatives seeking to develop tools or metrics for assessing the GHG emissions from agriculture.
The Guidance has been developed and will be posted online shortly. It is the culmination of a three-year stakeholder consultation process that involved over 150 Technical Working Group (TWG) members internationally. Milestones include:
- January, 2011: Publication of WRI Working Paper.
- March, 2011: Formation of TWG
- January, 2012: First draft of Guidance
- April, 2012: Stakeholder workshop in Washington, DC
- August, 2012: Second draft of Guidance
- September, 2012: TWG workshop in Sao Paulo
- January, 2013: TWG workshop in Sao Paulo
- March – August, 2013: Road testing and public open comment period
- October, 2013: Third draft of Guidance
Special Initiatives in Brazil
Brazil stands out in terms of the importance of the GHG emissions from land use. About 35 percent and 20 percent of Brazil’s GHG emissions result from agriculture and land use, respectively. To facilitate adoption of the Guidance in Brazil, GHG Protocol customized the Guidance to the Brazilian context and also developed an accompanying GHG emissions calculation tool. For more information about our work in Brazil, please go here:
- Brazil project overview (in English)
- Diretrizes Agrícolas Brasileiras – Visão geral sobre o projeto (em português)
|Draft - Agriculture Guidance||Oct 12|
|Working Paper||Feb 11|
|Project Overview||Jan 12|
|April 4, 2012 Stakeholder Workshop - Washington, D.C.|
|Workshop Agenda||April 2012|
|Presentation: Introduction to the GHG Protocol||April 2012|
|Presentation: Overview of GHG Protocol's Work on Agricultural Emissions||April 2012|
|Presentation: Boundaries and Base Years||April 2012|
|Presentation: Accounting for Carbon Stocks||April 2012|
|Presentation: Overview of the Scope 3 Standard||April 2012|
|September 25, 2012 Stakeholder Workshop – Sao Paulo|
|Workshop Summary||September 2012|
|Workshop Agenda||September 2012|
|Overview of the GHG Protocol||September 2012|
|Overview of the Project||September 2012|
|Carbon Stocks||September 2012|