“Climate Change and China’s Agricultural Sector: An Overview of Impacts, Adaptation and Mitigation
” from the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development
(ICTSD) explores mitigation and adaptation strategies to avoid the worst effects of climate change in China’s farming sector. The authors, Jinxia Wang, Jikun Huang and Scott Rozelle, point out that, although often overlooked in favor of the industrial sector, a disproportionate amount (greater than 15 percent) of China’s greenhouse gas emissions come from agriculture. Challenges include over-fertilization, high methane levels, water pollution, and water scarcity. Wang, Huan, and Rozelle predict that trade “can and should be used to help China mitigate the impacts of climate change” and programs promoting better calibration of fertilizer dosages and “conservation tilling” practices will help farmers reduce emissions.
Also from ICTSD comes another study on climate adaptation and mitigation, this time focusing on the developing world. Globally, agriculture accounts for only 4 percent of GDP but according to the IPCC it also accounts for more than 25 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, making climate adaptation and mitigation in the sector particularly important. “Agricultural Technologies for Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation in Developing Countries: Policy Options for Innovation and Technology Diffusion” by Travis Lybbert and Daniel Sumner examines some of the more promising innovations that may help those countries most vulnerable to climate change to cope with and minimize risk. The authors suggest that most policies that target economic development and poverty reduction will also naturally lead to improvements in agriculture, accordingly most of their recommendations center around improving market efficiency, communication of technologies and best practices, and investment in research and development.