More than 100 countries have pledged to reduce agricultural greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (Richards et al., 2015a) in the 2015 Paris Agreement. Yet technical information about how much mitigation is needed in the sector versus how much is feasible remains poor. We propose a preliminary global target for reducing emissions from agriculture in 2030 of ~1 GtCO2e/yr by 2030 to limit warming to 2°C. Plausible agricultural development pathways that include mitigation deliver only 15 to 21% of needed mitigation. More transformative technical and policy options will be needed, such as methane inhibitors and finance for new practices. A more comprehensive target for the 2°C limit should be developed to include soil carbon and agriculture-related mitigation options. Excluding agricultural emissions from mitigation will increase the cost of mitigation in other sectors or reduce the feasibility of meeting the 2°C limit.
- climate change
- Integrated assessment modelling
- United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change