Workshop: “Pathways for decarbonised agriculture and food systems” (18 November 2019)

The transition towards a carbon neutral Europe will require deep changes in its economy, institutions, politics, social networks and people’s behaviour. The DEEDS workshop on "Pathways for decarbonised agriculture and food systems" discussed the recommendations of the High-Level Panel of the European Decarbonisation Pathways Initiative.

The seventh workshop of the DEEDS stakeholder engagement series on “Pathways for decarbonised agriculture and food systems” took place on 18 November 2019 in Montpellier, France.

The workshop on agriculture and food systems, focused on research and innovations for boosting a decarbonised agriculture sector which enables sustainable food production and promotes healthy soils in Europe. It explored which policies and innovations are needed to achieve sustainable agriculture, as well as discussed the priorities and recommendations brought forward in the Final Report of the High-Level Panel for European Decarbonisation Pathways. In addition, it delved into new farming models, changing dietary behaviour to promoting sustainable food systems, and the implications for forestry and land use. A working session allowed an in-depth discussion on the limitations to ramp up low-carbon agricultural models that facilitate a circular bioeconomy and to scale up the deployment of innovative solutions. This was done in collaboration with stakeholders from policy making, academia, businesses and civil society.

Decarbonising European agriculture is challenging as it must be achieved in a context of rapidly growing global food demand (between +50 % and +100 %, according to the latest foresight studies), whilst also coping with the impacts of climate change.

In this context, the importance of European agriculture and forests in decarbonization strategies is threefold. It is first a matter of reducing greenhouse gas emissions emitted through the agricultural production process. In Europe, this concerns mainly methane from livestock production and nitrous oxide from fertilizer use. It is also a matter of Europe’s indirect impact on global agricultural emissions. While Europe accounts for around 12% of global emissions resulting from the agricultural production process, this contribution is probably larger if correcting for domestic consumption of agricultural products and the associated flows of imports and exports. Finally, European agriculture must promote the sequestration of carbon in soils and vegetation to meet the target of negative emissions. This refers to the geological or biological sequestration of carbon, associated to the decarbonization pathways limiting the global warming to 1.5°C or 2°C.

Venue: Cirad (Bâtiment 4/building 4), Room: Amphithéâtre Jacques Alliot

Address: 389 Avenue Agropolis, 34980 Montferrier-sur-Lez (Montpellier), France

For more information about the workshop write to Iker Urdangarin.