According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), climate change is “widespread, rapid and intensifying.”
The panel recently published a report stating that many of the changes observed by scientists are unprecedented in “the hundreds, if not thousands, of years,” and that even with strong reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, it could take 20-30 years for global temperatures to stabilize.
This report is not encouraging. However, the IPCC does provide a glimmer of hope in its assessment — a glimmer that could turn into a beacon of light, if we leverage the power of agriculture.
According to the IPCC, reducing greenhouse gas emissions could limit climate change. And the more we understand about limiting emissions, the better equipped we’ll be to understand, adopt and incentivize climate-smart practices. This is especially true for our food systems.
The Importance of Limiting Emissions
Evidence in the IPCC’s report shows that carbon dioxide (CO2) is the main driver of climate change. As IPCC Working Group I Co-Chair Panmao Zhai explained, “Stabilizing the climate will require strong, rapid, and sustained reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, and reaching net zero CO2 emissions.”
By reforming our farming practices, agriculture could contribute to the strong, sustained reductions we need. According to the World Resources Institute, agriculture accounted for 11% of greenhouse gas emissions in 2019, up 14% from the year 2000. Significant changes in the way we farm could have significant impacts on our global emissions.
In addition, establishing a long-term plan for change in agriculture could secure these reductions for generations to come.
Building a Regenerative Agriculture System
One of the best ways for us to combat climate change is to transition to regenerative farming practices. These practices help limit emissions and allow the soil to store more carbon, which removes it from the atmosphere.
In order to adopt regenerative farming practices, farmers and their communities must feel confident that these practices will be profitable and scalable. New technologies can help by allowing farmers to reduce their inputs, track their own emissions and determine how much carbon they’re sequestering in the soil. They enable farmers to make climate-smart decisions for their operations, and to make their regenerative practices more profitable and sustainable in the long run.
The Role of Ecosystem Markets
New technologies have made regenerative agriculture more profitable and scalable. Now, corporations have the opportunity to incentivize practices and increase the longevity of these practices.
Ecosystem-based markets, like carbon markets, offer payment for growers who are practicing climate-smart farming. This allows corporations to reduce emissions within their supply chains, and to increase the rate of regenerative agriculture adoption.
Explore our Ecosystem Markets Ebook for more information about ecosystem markets, how they work and why they incentivize climate action. Then, learn why carbon markets — the most established ecosystem market — are only the beginning of our efforts.
Collaboration and Climate Action
Reports like the one developed by the IPCC can be a harsh awakening to the climate crisis we’re facing. However, with regenerative agriculture, ecosystem markets and innovative technology, we can make significant strides in stabilizing the Earth’s temperature, and build a world that’s healthier and more resilient for generations to come.
Interested in learning more? Get in touch.