08 March 2013 - The first results of the LIFE project AgriClimateChange (LIFE09 ENV/ES/000441) have shown how agriculture can reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by nearly half in some cases. This important project is not just showing farmers what can be done to respond to climate change, but adding new information to political debate around reform of the Common Agricultural Policy.
The AgriClimateChange project – through partners in Spain, France, Italy and Germany – has developed and tested a tool to assess the energy consumption, GHG emissions and carbon storage potential of farm plots using up to 60 parameters. This in turn has enabled farmers to implement targeted actions to improve the environmental performance of 120 farm plots, which has had impressive results.
Jordi Domingo, a technician of the Global Nature Foundation, confirms that testing of the tool and resulting targeted actions in more than 25 plots of olives, bananas, tomatoes and citrus fruits in Valencia “demonstrated that it is possible to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas consumption by between 10 and 20% with simple and realistic measures.”
For example, data on soil can enable farmers to use pesticides, herbicides and fertilisers only when they are really needed. This not only reduces excessive consumption of these products, but also the energy consumption involved in spreading them across wide areas of land with a tractor. The use of vegetation cover also stores large amounts of carbon, reducing emissions further. In an orange grove of 1 ha, such actions were able to save 10.7% of energy and reduce GHG emissions by 48%.
For more information on the project, please visit www.agriclimatechange.eu
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