From net carbon emitter to net carbon sink
Generating over a quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions, the agrifood sector contributes significantly to the disruption of key natural ecosystems underpinning climate, biodiversity and, ultimately, food security. Despite the global community’s recent focus on the inadequacy of our food systems, critical issues remain, making agrifood a key sector to act on in order to tackle ongoing global crises.
Today one of the major carbon emitters, agrifood has the potential to turn into a key sector for decarbonisation, becoming a significant carbon emission sink by capturing and sequestering more GHG emissions from the atmosphere than it generates. Priority for agrifood business is therefore understanding how to exploit this – yet mostly untapped – potential, steering away from business-as-usual approaches and implementing forward-thinking strategies.
The complex agrifood supply chains offer huge scope for improvement. Interventions to reduce sector GHG emissions include improvements in plastic management and sustainable packaging, switch to renewable energy and investment in innovative regenerative agriculture practices. These actions should be integrated into a solid medium to long-term climate strategy, adding value to core business and increasing its competitiveness and resilience. Carbonsink, with South Pole the world’s largest climate solution provider and carbon project developer, has developed a roadmap guiding agrifood businesses along their decarbonisation journey, staring with measuring their carbon footprint, setting science-based targets, reducing emissions across the supply chain, compensating for residual emissions with certified carbon credits and communicating results.