In the Nature article “Contribution of the land sector to a 1.5°C world”, a cohort of international researchers reviewed existing mitigation pathways to develop a land-sector roadmap for achieving the 1.5°C Paris Agreement target. They find that transforming the land sector could contribute to around 30% of the global mitigation needed to achieve this target by 2050.
The authors review several key GHG reductions measures that could contribute to achieving the 1.5°C target, including such as carbon dioxide removal (e.g. reforestation, soil carbon sequestration), reduced land-use change (such as deforestation), better feed and animal management, improved rice cultivation, and enhanced management of cropland nutrients. They also point to changes in consumer behaviour, such as shifting to more sustainable diets and reducing food waste, as another important source of GHG emissions reduction potential.
Based on this review, they show that mitigation potential is greatest in the regions with the highest AFOLU emissions. They point to the high mitigation potential for improved rice cultivation in Asia, forest management and enteric fermentation, synthetic fertilizer, and manure in large emerging (China, India, Russia) and developed countries and regions (US, Australia, EU), and carbon removal (e.g. afforestation) and reduced land-use change in tropical countries. Taking adequate measures on these points would go a long way towards reaching the 1.5°C goal and also notably help fulfill the Sustainable Development Goals and Aichi Targets.
The authors emphasize that “no single strategy or region will be sufficient to deliver on the mitigation target” and that ambitious mitigation strategies should be implemented rapidly. International cooperation is needed, for instance to determine national and regional pathways towards global targets — a knowledge gap that the “Food, Agriculture, Biodiversity, Land-Use, and Energy” (FABLE) Consortium is trying to fill.