International Emissions Intensity Statistics
Estimates of emissions intensity data are provided for grains and rice. The provision of these estimates provides users with a more accurate comparison of global emissions intensities by utilising national greenhouse inventory submissions to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. The code used for generation of the estimates, in the R programming language, is also provided for transparency.
The role that support policies play in either increasing or decreasing global agricultural GHG emissions is attracting greater scrutiny, with several studies pointing to contrasting impacts. However, agriculture is only one part of a broader food system. Not only do agricultural subsidies and tariff protections matter, but so do the trade distortions that impact downstream food production and trade. This report provides technical details on previously published ABARES research used to support Australia's WTO negotiating team to advance Australia's efforts to reduce global trade distortions.
Emissions, agricultural support and food security
Agriculture puts food on tables around the world. It also contributes to global emissions. To meet the global commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, it is essential to seek all avenues for reduction. Agriculture and related land use accounts for around 12% of global emissions. Global agrifood production remains heavily subsidised and protected in many parts of the world, implying that avoidable emissions are subsidised by taxpayers around the world. A reduction in global agrifood subsidies, tariffs and quotas would lead to a recalibration of agrifood production, with implications for emissions. Could the world cut emissions from agrifood production, improve food security and raise global economic growth?
While approaches to sustainability vary between the EU and Australia, both countries have common goals and have made significant efforts to ensure sustainable agricultural production. Australia’s key strengths relate to working with the natural environment and not against it, fostered by a policy environment that lets market forces govern sustainable input and land use. Australia’s agricultural innovation system is key to improving sustainability outcomes for the sector. This slide pack was shared during a panel event and provides an overview of Australian agriculture's approach to sustainability.
Australia’s food and fibre industries will be shaped by multiple interacting changes over the coming decades. These changes will occur at global, national, and local scales. They will create opportunities and challenges for all food and fibre industries and farm businesses. They will also impact on Australian lifestyles, landscapes, communities, and wider society and economy.
In order to better understand these evolving changes, this article updates previous CSIRO analysis (Hajkowicz 2015, Hajkowicz and Eady 2015), setting out five global megatrends that will shape Australian life and choices, and exploring their implications for Australian food and fibre industries to 2040 and beyond.
Climate change and associated policies have important implications for future competitiveness of Australia’s agricultural exports, which many agricultural industries are already addressing through ambitious emissions reduction plans. Some of Australia’s major agricultural exports are already relatively less emissions intensive than some major competitors providing scope for Australia to further its trade reputation as a reliable and sustainable producer.
This ABARES Insights report concludes that innovation and investment are key to decoupling emissions from agricultural production, and promoting evidence-based trade rules and product certification will help achieve industry goals of emissions reduction and revenue growth.